Ensuring that AOM is Part of Essential Health Benefits
AAAOM is one of the leading organizations that support acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) in providing patient-centered care in the United States. Currently, the most influential avenue to ensuring patients' access to acupuncture is its inclusion within Essential Health Benefits. Essential Health Benefits is "A set of health care server categories that must be covered by certain plans, starting 2014," via the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Affordable Care Act
, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, affords patients better access to care, insurance-covered options, a patient's bill of rights, and much more. Following the adoption of this act, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requested the support of the Institute of Medicine
(IOM) in recommending which services should be considered "essential health benefits" for Americans. The IOM's project on Essential Health Benefits can be reviewed here
The Institute of Medicine is due to issue a Consensus Report to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on October 1, 2011. The HHS will make a determination about the inclusion of acupuncture by December, 2011.
AAAOM has inaugurated a task force comprised of board members, student organization members and legal counsel. It has also submitted a white paper
to IOM identifying acupuncture as cost-effective, safe and effective and substantiating it as essential for inclusion in the recommendations made to Secretary Sebelius.Students, Practitioners and Patients: What You Need to Know!
The efforts made by the AAAOM task force support this unique opportunity to be regarded as equal and essential as all other allopathic services currently available to patients nationwide. This is our call to the table, along with all other respected health care services in the United States health care system.
This call to you, loud and strong, is to ask you to support this endeavor by confirming acupuncture as an Essential Health Benefit - A right and not a privilege for all patients in America.How to Support AAAOM in Elevating Acupuncture to "Essential" Status
:It is unforeseen what conversations will materialize following the determination of the Essential Health Benefits index, thus conversations about billing specifics are not currently applicable. "One step at a time," - this is our opportunity to be invited to the table.
Please check back for updates.