Published February 29, 2024

March 2024 Newsletter

March 2024 Newsletter

From the Chair | The Latest | ASA Joint Developments | ASA Sponsors | State Associations Updates

From the Chair

Dear Colleagues,

As we are only a few weeks away from the glorious cherry blossom season in Washington, DC, I am delighted to extend my warmest invitation to each and every one of you to join us for our upcoming 2024 ASA Conference on April 6-7. This highly anticipated event promises to be enlightening, enriching, and an excellent way to fulfill 32.5 CEU’s including safety and ethics!

I am particularly excited about the lineup of distinguished speakers and experts who will grace our stage, sharing their expertise and thought leadership on a variety of topics. Their insights will undoubtedly inspire us to push the boundaries of what is possible and propel our profession to new heights of achievement.

And of course, the conference presents an invaluable opportunity for us to strengthen our bonds as a community. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the field, I encourage you to seize this occasion to connect with colleagues, forge new friendships, and cultivate lasting professional relationships.

Lastly, I offer my sincerest gratitude to our amazing conference committee and board of directors for their unwavering dedication, passion, and contributions to build this event. Together, with each one of you, I am confident that we will make this conference an unforgettable experience and set the stage for a prosperous year of the Dragon!

For more details about the conference, please read Conference Chair LiMing Tseng’s article.  Additionally, if you are interested in participating in our two Advocacy Day events on April 8 after the conference, please view this video re: meeting with house representatives and read Team Leader Amy Mager’s article re: applying to provide Acupuncture for Our Public Servants (AOPS).

Can’t wait to see you in DC!

Best,
Olivia

The Latest – What the ASA Committees are doing right now

Advocacy Committee – Chair, Jennifer Broadwell
The advocacy committee is looking forward to meeting many of you at the annual ASA Conference, 04-06/2024. We are preparing a great presentation for Sunday that will discuss and help you to prepare and schedule your advocacy efforts! It will be a great opportunity to learn together and network with others who are actively advocating to advance our profession. Please register today!

Conference Committee – Chair, LiMing Tseng
A total of 32.5 NCCAOM PDAs, 32.5 CEUs (Cat 1) for California Acupuncture Board, and Florida CE Broker was approved for the Live In-Person Conference, Bonus Pre-Conference, & Bonus Post-Conference. For More Information & to Register: https://asacu.org/american-society-of-acupuncturists-2024-live-in-person-conference/

Governance Committee – Chair,  David Bock
Gov Com has been very busy these past few months with updates to the Bylaws and video for the April Meeting. With the completion of those tasks, the committee is evaluating what projects need to be the next priority. Gov Com welcomes any suggestions of things that need to be addressed in regards to the governing structure of the ASA. Gov Com is also still low on members- If you know of anyone who has a head for detail please send them our way- Thank you.

Herbal Medicine Committee- Chair, Linda Robinson-Hidas
The Herbal Medicine Committee has produced two beautiful documents for you to print and  use in your office! They are designed to help answer questions about the safety of herbs and the expertise of the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Provider.

This is is for lay people and explains the expertise of the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine providers. https://www.asacu.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/About-Herbal-Medicine-Handout.pdf

This is more in depth for medical providers.
https://www.asacu.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/About-Herbal-Medicine-Professional-Handout-Final.pdf 

The Herbal Medicine Committee is actively looking for new members. We have reduced our meeting schedule to every other month for now so this is an opportunity to get involved without making a large time commitment.

Insurance Committee – Chair, Mori West
We HAVE been busy.  We are seeing E/M recoupments from BCBS for various states, starting at the first of the year for services provided in 2023.  We are seeing them in NY, ME and FL and are working with the state association to provide a template for rebuttal.

We are also continuing to research information about data i-sight and it’s methods for reduction of acupuncture codes to reimbursement fees LOWER than Medicare.

As usual our AMA representative, Jessica Gregory is attending both AMA CPT Editorial Panel meetings, as well as HCPAC meetings, (we had both in February).  HCPAC is the division of the AMA CPT panel for non-MDs and stands for Health Care Provider Advisory Committee.  The new chair has announcing meeting monthly, and we are happy as it gives us much more opportunity for engagement of specialty societies so we can find ways to collaborate and work together, not to mention opportunities to share resources.

Medicaid Committee – Committee Member Joe Pandolfo
Nearly 90 million adults and children are served by state Medicaid and ‘CHIP’ (child health) programs. This figure has increased 6.7% over the past year, and in recent years the programs have been expanded in 39 states across the political spectrum.

These programs form a dynamic landscape where one in five Americans gets health service benefits. To promote the integration of acupuncture in this landscape, the Medicaid Committee has resources to assist you in your state-level efforts to increase coverage of acupuncture.

 We’ve provided individual consultations and group conference discussions, as well as periodic reports in the ASA newsletter. Although each state has unique circumstances, many features of advocating for Medicaid coverage are translatable. We work to share the most useful experiences, contacts, materials and strategies from various states to assist your own state effort.  

 Here are some key features and findings from efforts we’ve engaged with.

Goals & Asks

  • Adding acupuncturists to the roster of covered professionals.
  • Covering acupuncture as a non-opioid pain therapy, and expanding coverage beyond pain treatment to other evidence-based diagnoses.
  • Extending child acupuncture coverage into adult Medicaid programs.
  • Upgrading fee schedules, and adding coverage for evaluation and management.

  Key Players & Partners

  • State Medicaid agency heads and staff, who not only determine how coverage is implemented but also inform lawmakers on the value of acupuncture when law changes are needed. 
  • Chairs of the legislative committees that oversee Medicaid programs, and often budget committee chairs. It’s effective to have constituents from the committee lawmakers’ districts join your engagement team. 
  • State policy task force and advisory groups (for example in the area of opioid overuse), which can serve as a setting for engagement with Medicaid decision makers. 
  • Decision makers at third party carrier companies, which administer Medicaid programs in most states.  

Strategies & Persuasion Points

  • Persistent engagement and positive relationship building with all the above key players and partners. In some states, lobbyists have connections to help on these multiple fronts. Sharing new studies is one example of a way to stay in dialogue once efforts are underway.
  • Timing and sequencing interactions with key players. The best engagements with lawmakers, for example, happen before their legislative sessions when they have more attention to offer.
  • Addressing head-on the common concerns of cost and efficacy. Sharing quality evidence, including favorable reports by other professions, is a winning strategy. Studies showing that acupuncture reduces the utilization and expense of pain medications and other costly interventions are an effective response to fiscal concerns.
  • Knowing and supporting the particular interests of decision makers. In one case a legislative chair’s concern about health equity and her enthusiasm for a related pilot program at the state’s acupuncture school drew the support of several lawmakers. 

We welcome your information sharing and input, and your requests for conversation, assistance or resources. Contact us any time . Supporting and learning from each other is the best path to a vibrant, effective profession!

Membership/Benefits Committee – Chair, Grace Ouchida
Happy 2024! For the new year, we activated the 2024 username and password to access the Members Only section of the ASA website. If you haven’t received it from your state association, please ask them for it since the 2023 username and password is no longer valid. 

The 2024 ASA membership certificate and digital badge is also now available in the Members Only section. 

If you are attending the April Conference, please say hello! You will most likely find me at the registration table.

Nominating Committee: Chair, Kelly Hora
We are seeking candidates for the ASA Board of Directors
Read more about the positions and access the application here

Research Committee – Chair, Lisa Conboy
Our members’ survey paper is in its last review.  We are discussing operational ideas for 2024 including: educational products for members who want more practice reading and analyzing research, and ideas how to get involved in research.

Student Committee – Chair, Angela Serabian
The Student Committee is still looking for Regional Directors. Please email if you are a student and interested in becoming a part of the Student Committee. We are looking forward to working with you!

Website Committee – Chair,  Jeff Bloom
We are excited to announce that New Jersey has launched their new website along with Pennsylvania and the national site. The content creation, development and transferring of old data is in process for several other states at this time. If you would like to inquire into the status of your state or get on the list, please contact MacDragon at .

Also wanted to share that Louis Jin has applied and been accepted as the new ASA Social Media Lead and will be helping the ASA lead the profession with quality messaging and content. And with the help of Louis, we have created a new Social Media committee. We are in the process of recruiting members to help, please reach out to Jeff or Louis if you are interested or know someone interested in joining.

ASA Joint developments

The TCM Kongress in Rothenburg

Programme – TCM Kongress Rothenburg (tcm-kongress.de)

Acupuncture for Our Public Servants April 8
The ASA is excited to announce the 3rd AOPS/acupuncture for our public servants including legislators and staff and anyone who works in the Rayburn building event on Capitol Hill 4/8/24. Right now, we are full of volunteers and if you have any questions you can contact Amy Mager directly at: . Last year, the team provided 136 Acupuncture demonstrations in four hours hours!

ASA Sponsors

Happening Soon: American Society of Acupuncturists 2024 Live In-Person Conference


ISI

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Apply Here https://isitrust.nylinsure.com/?category=li&prods=G-31136-00

*Not all states are currently eligible for the plan

2nd Conference of Wildlife Protection in TCM

https://www.wildlifeprotectionintcm.com/

State Association Updates

Colorado

AAC Rocky Mountain Regional Spring Fundraiser & Conference April 20th, 2024
6.5  NCCAOM PDA’s {PENDING}

Join us Saturday April 20th, 2024 for the AAC Rocky Mountain Regional Spring Fundraiser held this year at Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton, Colorado.

Optimizing Lumbopelvic Stability and Motor Control

This one day fundraiser and conference features Dr. Jenny Nieters who specializes in sports medicine, orthopedic injuries and athletic performance. In addition to her private clinical practice (www.AlamedaAcupuncture.com), she is a team acupuncturist for the San Francisco 49ers and the Saint Mary’s College Men’s Rugby teams. She teaches continuing education courses for Licensed Acupuncturists privately and was part of the Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprentice Program, developed by Whitfield Reaves.

We also want to stress the importance of community and hope you will join the Acupuncture Association of Colorado board for this unique day of education and networking. You are welcome to only join for the networking and dinner part in the evening.

Optimizing Lumbopelvic Stability and Motor Control 

Acupuncture can be a game changer for athletic performance. The tools offered in this course help to optimize lumbopelvic stability and motor control.   The same treatment that can improve performance in an elite athlete can also be effective for the chronic low back pain patient. Perhaps the more important impact to patients is the long term value in supporting movement that effectively loads joints, as we know that keeping our aging population mobile has deep impacts on quality of life and health. The course will include an overview of the anatomy,  straightforward assessment, and practical acupuncture treatments which can be easily integrated into clinical practice. In my clinical practice these points are some of the most requested points by my patient population and can be used in a range of patients from the geriatric patient to the elite athlete.

This course is appropriate for new and seasoned acupuncturists.
EARLY BIRD PRICING THROUGH MARCH 1st, 2024
REGISTER HERE

FSOMA
The Acupuncture & Eastern Medicine Conference, hosted by FSOMA, is scheduled for August 16-18 in Orlando, FL 

Please join us, we have an incredible line-up of speakers and classes that you can implement immediately into your practice. www.fsoma.org/2024con

The FSOMA Legislative Committee has been hard at work to update and protect our practice act. If you feel called to support our work, please consider making a contribution today: https://fsoma.memberclicks.net/political-action-committee

Maine
Maine Acupuncture Society has been working diligently on Anthem recoupments for E&M codes.  On February 5th President Jessica Peck-Lindsay sent a letter to Anthem ccing Kris Ossenfort, Anthem VP of Government Relations and the Maine Superintendent of Insurance.  Our lobbying group set up a meeting with Anthem and the Maine Bureau of Insurance on February 20th.  One important issue to be addressed is communication about a policy and procedure change for the modifier 25 (E&M) billing code in January 2023 and another is that providers submitted appeals with no response from Anthem. Attempts were made through the Avality platform and certified letters to Anthem’s headquarters as directed. 

On January 17th we visited the State House for our annual Hall of Flags event where we aim to meet our legislators and educate them about Acupuncture.  Our Treasurer and Primary Delegate Cristi DeMarco is looking forward to seeing you all in DC in early April and we are busy planning our Annual Meeting on 4/26. 

Massachusetts
Massachusetts had a terrific Acupuncture day on the hill! There were 200 people present at an event during vacation week which was phenomenal! We spoke about our bills, S1355 & 

H2270, an act relative to the safer treatment of pain, and H1120 & S722 which would require all commercial insurances to cover acupuncture in the Commonwealth for the treatment of pain, PTSD, nausea and opiate addiction. Both of these bills have moved out of their first committees and will be in front of the joint  healthcare finance committee. If you live in the Commonwealth, please reach out to your legislator today, and ask them to support our bills. Please use the link findmylegislatorma.gov to find yours.

Minnesota
The Minnesota Acupuncture Association is hosting a day at our state capitol in early March for our members to meet with their legislators. It’s an annual tradition that was paused during COVID, and we’re excited to get it started back up. This year we are hopeful that our years-long push to modernize our scope of practice act (remove outdated and culturally insensitive language, defining terms clearly, bringing it in line with current training and accreditation standards) will finally get a committee hearing this year and get voted on to pass.

Our association is also working hard to increase our membership and to revive some committees and projects that were halted during COVID. We’re gearing up for what will likely be a busy and productive year.

New Hampshire- NHAAMA
This first quarter of 2024 has been a busy one for NHAAMA legislative and political action endeavors. Two of the bills, 1676 and 1271 were moved up on the legislative calendar unexpectedly to 25 Jan 2024 and 31 Jan respectively. This provided little lead time for NHAAMA to act on behalf of NH’s concerned acupuncturists, however, we were successful in writing up our stance, encouraging people to get involved with voicing concerns, and had our secretary attend the hearings to speak for NHAAMA.

Both bills in the NH General Court have the potential to change the status of the Acupuncture Licensing Board, deregulate our license, and/or change our scope of practice.

HB1676-FN –This bill establishes a sunset commission to evaluate occupational boards and commissions, starting with the acupuncture profession. It’s a proactive step in ensuring accountability and efficiency in our regulatory processes. Bill 1676-FN is concerning in that people who are not acupuncturists would be evaluating the need for our license and scope of practice and includes the possibility of the commission considering licenses for repeal.   

HB 1271- This came on the heels of HB 1676-FN. This bill proposes converting the board of acupuncture licensing into an advisory board. It’s important to maintain a board with regular meetings and license reviews to ensure proper oversight and adherence to regulations. HB1271 is looking to take away the acupuncture licensing board and give control, oversight, and authority to the Executive Director of the OPLC (Office of Professional Licensing and Certification) who would be responsible for all matters of acupuncture licensing, scope of practice, etc.

There has been considerable opposition to both these bills from various licensed groups.

The NHAAMA board has found that there is a need for a weekly search of legislative bills and the legislative meeting calendar.

Legislative proposals with a possibly big impact on our profession that are on the horizon include: 

HB 1272: This bill addresses occupational license reciprocity, removing the requirement for out-of-state licensing requirements to be substantially similar. Consistent standards are essential to uphold professional integrity and public safety across states.

HB 1095: This bill includes a covert amendment that could give authority to license acupuncturists and acupuncture detox specialists without proper oversight. It’s crucial to address this amendment to maintain the integrity of our profession.

PLC 313: This concerns language regarding reciprocity that doesn’t align with existing law and lacks proper consultation with the board. It’s essential to address this discrepancy to ensure consistency and fairness.

Additionally, we await a decision from the IRS on our non-profit application status and NHAAMA’s membership drive efforts have led to increased membership tiers and new members. 

New York  
On January 30th, a team of 9 ASNY members traveled to the State Capitol in Albany with the goals of educating lawmakers on the efficacy and cost savings potential of acupuncture, the problems with private insurance and how they impede the state’s goal of providing New Yorkers with more access to non pharmacological treatment options for pain relief, to insure access to acupuncture in private insurance and NYSHIP, and the need to maintain high standards of care in acupuncture by defeating bills that would reduce training standards. All the lawmakers were very receptive, and agreed to continue working with us and our lobbying firm Schenker, Russo and Clark. 

 ASNY President Beth Nugent, Vice President Amy Hausman,  Treasurer Anna Panettiere, members Michelle Wright, Michael Kay, Erin Reilly, Kim Boldrini-Senn, Virginia Doran, and Itorye Silver attended the session and met with:

Assemblymember John McDonald (bill sponsor)https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2023/A7055

Sen. Neil Breslin (Chair Insurance)
Sen. John Liu
Assemblymember Amy Paulin (Chair of Health)
Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (Chair Higher Ed )
Assemblymember Ron Kim
Assemblymember Pat Fahy(Chair Higher Ed)
Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (bill sponsor)https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2023/S6202
Assemblymember David Weprin (Chair Insurance)

We met with some very important lawmakers and made an impact on the behalf of acupuncturists in New York State. We are working closely with AM Weprin’s office and Sen. Breslin and his staff on moving positive legislation forward, and we are keeping in contact with several other offices. 

We had a great group join us for the ASNY Lunar New Year celebration in Syosset on February 17th. We enjoyed delicious food and had the chance to discuss the joys and the challenges of practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine in New York State.

ASNY will be having their spring banquet in New York City’s Chinatown this year, Saturday, May 4th at Golden Unicorn on East Broadway. All are welcome, tickets available here, https://givebutter.com/c/XpydvL and all are welcome to participate in our hybrid silent auction, https://givebutter.com/c/XpydvL/auction!

North Carolina

Oregon
2024 has been a busy year so far for the OAA. In Oregon, we are having a short session in our legislature which means a lot needs to happen in a very short period of time. While there are no current bills that have been brought forth by the OAA we are watching several very carefully as they may lay the foundation for the 2025 session. Key members of the Advocacy Committee joined the OAA president in Salem to visit every office both the house and the senate to ensure that acupuncturists are being considered when addressing bills that pertain to healthcare providers, mental health resources Oregon Health Authority studies. We also met with staff members to gauge interest in backing and support for our 2025 efforts. 

HB 4091: Establishes the Health Insurance Mandate Review Advisory
Committee to review any proposed measure that requires health insurance policies to reimburse health care providers or to reimburse the cost of a specific service.

Establishment of this committee would also allow healthcare providers to bring their concerns about reimbursement up. This would be a huge benefit to independent medical providers since in Oregon we currently do not have any agency that looks into the complaints of IC providers. This might be a future place to gain some provider rights against predatory insurance contracts. 

HB 4092: Requires OHA to conduct a study to determine the funding required for each community mental health program to provide the services and perform the functions related to individuals with behavioral health disorders in specified age groups.

We want to ensure that in this study the Oregon Health Authority includes acupuncture since it is integrated into many of Oregon’s inpatient and outpatient mental health and rehab facilities. 

HB 4149: Requires pharmacy benefit managers to be licensed by the Department of Consumer and Business Services beginning January 1,2025.

If this passes we are hoping that we can use it as a template to apply to the medical field and hopefully regulate TPAs. In Oregon out TPAs take about 60% of the pay that the insurance companies would otherwise pay their contracted providers in addition to adding to our administrative burden.

In addition to our advocacy efforts we were able to hold a wonderful Lunar New Year talk on the energetics of the green, wood, dragon year. During this talk members were given their day master and corrections to negate the potential turbulent qi of the year.

Tennessee
The TAC board had our monthly meeting Feb 12th. Much of our meeting was preparing for our upcoming event. TAC is excited for our upcoming annual meeting and in-person conference Saturday March 2nd. 

NCCAOM approved 8.5 8.5PDAs

LOCATION: Encircle Acupuncture: Bellevue 140 Belle Forest Circle Nashville, TN 37221

Our Annual Meeting will be held from 8:00 AM-9:00 AM CST- This is FREE to all TAC members (1hr)

SPEAKERS: Schedule for Registered Attendees 

  • Anthony Von der Muhll, L.Ac., DAOM, DNBAO, FAIPM- **LIVE, IN-PERSON** Treating the Neck and Shoulder with Joint & Myofascial Acupuncture, 9:00 AM-12:30 PM. Female attendees will need to wear a sports bra for the hands-on portion of this class.
  • Alexa Hulsey, L.Ac.- **LIVE, IN-PERSON** Quick and Easy Point Prescriptions, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
  • Amy Sear, L.Ac., AP, Dipl. OM- **LIVE via Zoom** Red Flags, Safety & Medical Errors, 4:00 PM-6:00 PM

More information and Registration can be found here.

Thank you to our sponsors and gifts: Golden Needle, Treasures of the East Herbs, LhasaOMS, AAC, Holismprints, KPC herbs, Apothekary, earseeds.com, rock tape and much more!

Our Knoxville based acupuncturists met for Breakfast on Wed Feb 7th. This is a fun event for all and a way for us to connect, network, and support each other. Our next event is coming up Wed March 6th. 

TAC is looking forward to meeting everyone for the ASA Conference. See you there!
Texas
TAAOM 2023-25 Board of Directors transition

Good day to you all, I’m Victor Manuel, the newly appointed President of Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine! As the new year begins, outgoing president Wally Doggett and I wanted to give you a perspective on what’s happening and what we are looking forward to for next year. 

First, at the last September Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, elections for board members and officers were held. The new board is as follows:

Officers
President – Victor Manuel, L.Ac. (Richardson)
Treasurer – Louis Jin, DAOM, L.Ac. (The Woodlands) – Alternate Delegate to ASA
Secretary – Denise Saad, L.Ac. (Houston)
Board members
Cathy Liu, MD(China), L.Ac.  (Houston)
Hung Van Doan, L.Ac. (Tomball)
Zili Zhou, MD(China), L.Ac. (Houston)
Jing Fan, MD(China), L.Ac. (Austin) – Primary Delegate to ASA
Hui Ouyang, MD(China), DC, L.Ac. (Friendswood)
Greg Sparkman, DAOM, L.Ac. (Houston)
Tasneem Raja, DAOM, L.Ac.(Houston)

We, as the new TAAOM Board, are creating committees that will help us engage the membership in 2024, and build on the existing foundations to continue making the TAAOM a group that supports what’s best for acupuncture in Texas, the 1st new Board meeting is slated for March 10 in ACAOM, Houston, TX.

The Board has created a Membership Committee chaired by Dr. Louis Jin to improve the organization’s membership infrastructure, communication, and outreach. Dr. Louis comes to us by way of Wisconsin where he served as past presidente association there, and very busy managing social media across multiple platforms. This is an area he is keenly interested in, and we look forward to deploying his skillset on behalf of TAAOM.

We have also created an Education & Events Committee headed by myself (Victor Manuel) to look at in-person events for 2024 as well as the annual CE event. These groups will engage members for their input, so let your voice be heard!

Victor Manuel, L.Ac., President of TAAOM

 —

TAAOM vs TBCE – an update from former president Wally Doggett: 

The most recent ruling in this case comes at a time of long overdue transition for the association, and I felt it unfair to dump this on Victor to convey. This is a complex story many years in the making, and one that I lived for the past decade or so. It only seems right that I should be the one to deliver the message in this instance, so here goes…

After our long-awaited bench trial at the end of August 2023 – resuming our challenge to the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) rules allowing chiropractors to practice acupuncture (TAC 78.14) – we received notice in early October that the trial court granted judgment in the Chiropractic Defendants’ favor.

Subsequently, after conferring with our attorney and considering our options, we voted as a board on December 14, 2023, to not appeal, and to drop the litigation. This means chiropractors can continue to perform acupuncture under the rules adopted by TBCE.

Why, after all these years of fighting to overturn the Chiropractic Board’s acupuncture rule, was this the choice we made?

First, we knew this was an uphill battle, particularly in light of the 2021 TBCE vs TMA Texas Supreme Court opinion in which the Supreme Court showed broad deference to the Chiropractic Board’s rulemaking authority, creating a more difficult legal standard for these sorts of rule challenges.

So even though we had lost in district court previously and gone on to make some gains in the Court of Appeals, our chances of prevailing on appeal have now been so narrowed by court precedent as to make the cost and effort of going forward questionable at best.

Additionally, an appeal is complicated by the fact that administrative rule challenges such as our case will be directed to a newly established 15th Court of Appeals beginning September 2024, with justices appointed by the governor rather than elected. There is a fair bit of controversy surrounding the establishment of this court, but regardless – in our case – winding up in the new 15th Court of Appeals is likely a less favorable venue than the Third Court, where we would have wound up otherwise.

Ironically, in the aforementioned 2021 TBCE case the Texas Supreme Court opined that courts should not wade into the policy issues presented in these types of rule challenges. And yet, one could argue that is exactly what the Court of Appeals did when it ruled in the 2012 EMG case between the TMA and TBCE that chiropractors could not perform needle EMG – not because the insertion of any needle is inherently incisive (and thus prohibited under the Chiropractic Chapter), but because EMG needles are incisive because they have beveled tips. Likewise, in our challenge to the TBCE’s rule narrowly defining an incision as a “cut”, the appeals court sided with the Chiropractic Board, continuing on a train of thought from the EMG case: specifically, that while the common understanding of the word incisive would more broadly encompass puncturing and piercing, a narrower, “medical” definition could be construed to mean “cutting”, and so was not considered unreasonable.

And underpinning all of this is the 1997 re-definition of acupuncture as “nonincisive” found in the Acupuncture Chapter, which remains to this day. Despite the Third Court ruling that the Chiropractic Board could not rely on this definition to inform its scope of practice; it seems to have none-the-less informed the courts’ thinking in determining whether acupuncture was allowable under the Chiropractic Chapter – along with the other court cases mentioned above.

Despite our loss in court, our work was of the highest integrity. Our attorneys and all of our witnesses did very well. Judge Soifer graciously thanked both parties for doing such a good job in teeing up such a complex case, with 25+ years of history behind it.

Regardless, we must keep moving forward. The work of advocating for our profession is a long game. There will be ups and downs. In this case, we gave it all we had, and we did make some incremental gains in getting the Chiropractic Board to clean up its acupuncture rule along the way. Not all we would have wanted, but not nothing.

————————————–

Our heartfelt thanks to Wally for the amazing job he’s done managing the TAAOM through thick and thin over these many years. His defense of acupuncture in the state of Texas, and his stewardship of the organization have given me huge shoes to fill. Even with the chiropractic lawsuit behind us, there’s so much more to do. We will miss him on the Board, but continue to support each and every acupuncturist in the state, and build upon the great work done by others for all of us in the lone star state.

TAAOM BOD

Virginia
The Acupuncture Society of Virginia board and participating members will be heading to Richmond for a Lobby Day on March 4th. Though we do not have any bills before the Virginia General Assembly this year, we still would like legislators to know who the needle experts are in our state! 

Our membership has had a steady increase as we have improved our social media communication and instituted monthly newsletters. Our cohesive board is constantly working on better ways to serve our members.

Wisconsin

  1. WISCA proudly announces a series of local Acu-Gatherings designed to:
  • Spark free exchange of ideas among acupuncturists.
  • Build camaraderie and connections within the acupuncture community.
  • Strengthen a sense of belonging for WISCA members and other acupuncturists.

           During the event, members will

  • Share your clinical experiences and insights.
  • Learn from colleagues in a supportive environment.
  • Network and build valuable connections.
  • Contribute to a stronger, more vibrant acupuncture community.
  1. Rui Weng representing WISCA gave a 50 min talk about the Acupuncture in Healthcare profession at Indian Trail High School in Kenosha.  A poll was carried out, 8-10% of students heard of acupuncture, and 3% had acupuncture. This means our profession has so much potential to grow!
  2. The paper “The necessity of inheritance and innovation of classical acupuncture from the rising of dry needling” written by Prof.Jin Guanyuan and his team is officially published on World Journal of Acupuncture – Moxibustion
  3. Advocacy committee continues to work on the Medicaid acupuncture inclusion bill with the help of ASA. 

 

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