Five legislative bills may affect as many as 20,000 licensed acupuncturists in the United States, of which more than 2,000 of them practice in Florida. In a recently published article on Acupuncture Today, the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) has been working on a series of legislation that will have an impact on practitioners, as well as patients who choose to get acupuncture in Palm Harbor or elsewhere in the country. As explained by AAAOM:
“The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) includes a number of provisions that prohibit discrimination against state-licensed complementary and alternative professionals and mandates their participation in the healthcare system and newly-formed medical home. The law contains provisions that ensure patients have access to acupuncture and Oriental medicine. However, much depends on how state and federal regulators interpret and implement the provisions of the law.”
As PPACA goes on full swing, the AAAOM is crafting five new bills to address three important issues facing the profession. These important issues are the authorization of working in federal healthcare programs and conventional medical facilities, eligibility for reimbursement through federal and relevant state programs, and reinforcement of non-discrimination towards acupuncturists. The draft bills provide direction on how to properly address these issues.
The AAAOM says that in order to push these bills forward, they first must form a degree of consensus among its members. By establishing a general consensus, it ensures that many of their members comprehend and agree on the content of the bills. Additionally, AAAOM is working with congressional leaders and their staff to help them understand the issues involved and get their support for the initiatives of the association and its members.
AAAOM adds that because of the joint efforts of other national and state association partners, almost 54 million Americans in six states got involved since last year. This movement can also benefit a clinic like East West Healing Solutions, or just about any acupuncturist in Palm Harbor and the rest of Florida. The next 17 months represent an important moment not just for AAAOM and its members, but for all practitioners and their patients who wish to voice their collective needs to Congress.