2018 Acupuncturist Profession Landmarks in Focus
American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine - Public Policy Committee
· In alignment with the profession’s 2009 Consensus Conference, Congresswoman Judy Chu champions the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) historic federal bills within the United States Congress as the “Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act of 2017-2018” and the “Acupuncture for our Heroes Act of 2017-2018” with aim to expand qualified acupuncturist services to veterans, military, seniors, disabled, and more.
· Pain assessment/management standards for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, implemented in January, include provisions for nonpharmacologic pain treatment provided by Licensed Independent Practitioners such as Licensed Acupuncturists.
· Acupuncture is promoted as a pain treatment in government agency patient education materials where it is described as “a practice that involves the stimulation of specific points on the body, usually through the insertion of thin needles into the skin.”
· The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) publishes occupational requirements in February for GS 9-13 licensed acupuncturist positions (supervised/independent/supervisory/administrative). Throughout the year, federal job openings are posted online.
· The Standard Occupation Classification Manual, containing the profession’s new and distinct standard occupation code (SOC) “29-1291 Acupuncturist,” is released in March by the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget.
· Terminally ill patients gain the “Right to Try” experimental treatments as S.204 is signed into law by President Trump in May.
· President Trump signs the VA MISSION Act of 2018into law in June to “consolidate the VA’s community care programs into a new Veterans Community Care Program.” Qualified acupuncturists credential as vendors with local VA facilities.
· The Federal Student Aid office implements the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) tool available for individuals working for qualified employers: government organizations (federal, state, local, tribal) and certain 501(c)(3) organizations.
· Professional non-degree and post-graduate degree programs, accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) include: Certificate, Master, and Doctoral levels. References:
H.R.2839: Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act of 2017. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2839
The Joint Commission. R3 Report. https://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/R3_Report_Issue_11_Pain_Assessment_8_25_17_FINAL.pdf
 Gale M, Hospital Practice: Recognition of Acupuncturist as a Licensed Independent Practitioner (LIP). Meridians. 2016; 3(4): 11-16.
 “Rx Pain Medications, Know the Facts, Managing Your Pain: Which Approach is Right for You?” DHSS, CDC, SAMHSA. https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma17-5053-1.pdf
 Executive Office of the President of the United States. Standard Occupational Classification Manual. 2018. https://www.bls.gov/soc/2018/soc_2018_manual.pdf
 S 2372: The VA MISSION Act of 2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2372/text
 HR 6: SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6
  Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service. Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses. December 01, 2017: 5. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
 Retrieved online [1/2/2019] https://fsastore.com/FSA-Eligibility-List/A/Acupuncture-E7.aspx
 Corbet, Michelle, “BlueCross removes Oxycontin, addes acupuncture amid opioid crisis,” Daily Memphian, 26 December 2018.
 Bathurst R, Valentine-Davis B, Williamson T, “Acupuncture and the Oklahoma Budget Crisis: Self Regulation and Workplace Inclusivity of Acupuncturists Relieves Healthcare Costs, Provides Recurrent Revenue, and Protects the Public.” OKAA. August 9, 2017. http://www.okacupunctureassociation.org/
 Marsh & McLennan Companies. State Medicaid Interventions for Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse Overdose: A Report for the National Association of Medicaid Directors. National Association of Medicaid Directors. 2014.