Blog & News
Mar 16, 2014
The following is an email from one of our AAC members. The response from the AAC President and one of the other Board members is included.
“Why are we even bothering with acupuncture training and licensure? Everyone now is doing it: RN’s, MD’s , Chiro’s, Physical therapists, addiction counselors, phsychologists…… As far as I can see, we have not fought hard enough to keep OUR licensure to US. It is time to take a stand. the hospitals are using RN’s to deliver acu. Those could have been jobs for our profession. We need to take a stand. Please let me know what we are doing about it. Even the NADA program is being taught to non-acu people. This hurts our profession.” From an AAC Member
Thank you for your message. My name is Stephanie Shober, and I am one of the volunteer Board Members of the AAC. We couldn’t agree with you more. As a matter of fact, your concerns are one of the main topics of our upcoming Annual Conference on April 26-27.
One of our sessions is titled The State of Acupuncture in Colorado, and protecting ourselves and our scope of practice is going to be the main theme. Valerie Hobbs will be one of the leaders of this session, and she has been fighting for us legislatively for decades. Marilyn Allen, a national figure who has a vested interest in our success, is flying out from California on her own dime to present at the conference. I cannot wait to hear her speak, because the concerns you shared are her passion. She has a three hour session on Sunday to talk about The Affordable Care Act and how we can unite to protect ourselves and get into the mainstream with preventative medicine.
Have you received the invitation to register? If not, I am happy to forward it to you. You can also feel free to call me on my cell phone at ——-
. Please come and join us!
AAC Board Member
Thank you for your concern. These are areas we have been working on for several years. We are limited on what we can do, because it is illegal for one organization to regulate another organization’s scope of practice. Chiropractors had acupuncture as part of their scope of practice before acupuncturists were a licensed profession in CO. Nurses and doctors literally have millions of dollars at thier disposal for lobbying and political campaigns. PTs have over 1300 members of their state association, we have 300. Despite the difference of funding, we have testified at the capital, have a lobbyist that is working for us, and even hired a lawyer pointing at the illegal expanse of scope of practice to include dry needling. It was unsuccessful despite our sound argument. Less than 25% of the acupuncturists in the state are members of the association, and an even smaller percentage are willing to help when it comes to these political issues. We have even had people leave the organization because part of the membership funds go towards political support. We have and continue to work on these issues to protect our scope of practice, but we are seriously out gunned and fighting against misconceptions about our training and ability to treat effectively. If you are willing to volunteer you time, we would be happy to have you help with the legislative chair or PR committee to help with these issues.
Scott Richardson M.S., L.Ac
President – Acupuncture Association of Colorado
Feb 23, 2014
Based on the work of Acupuncturists Without Borders and several of our profession who have provided compassionate care and psychological first aid in times of crisis, the head of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) in Washington, DC gave us the go ahead to create the first Acupuncture only based MRC group. Colorado will be the first in the nation, and hopefully a model for others to start in other states.
If you are not familiar with the Medical Reserve Corps, it was created after 9/11 when medically trained individuals showed up to help, and the emergency crews had no way of knowing who could do what. The federal government created the MRC as a way to ensure proper training and verification of licensure. There are some existing groups around this state – Boulder County and Rocky Mountain MRC, which comprise of various health care professionals. By joining one of these groups, you can then be “properly” mobilized (if you choose to) during a disaster.
We are working hard to get this group up and running, and have lined up a day of training for some courses for people to attend. Everyone who joins our group will be asked to complete the following items:
- take the ICS 100 and 700 federal courses, which allows us to understand Incident Command Systems and how to interact with other groups present onsite
- take Psychological First Aid – allows us to provide compassionate and consistent care to victims, rescue personnel and other volunteers in a crisis situation
- register with Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer – helps us track members, performs background check, and provides notification system in emergency; this will be our application process to CAMRC
- provide current First Aid and CPR certificates
- take the CAMRC training (dates to be announced)
The ICS 100, 700 and PFA are being offered March 30th up in Boulder – see links below.
To join the Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer organization, please log onto https://covolunteers.state.co.us. Under organization click on the name Colorado Acupuncture MRC and then click on the add button next to the Colorado Acupuncture MRC. We are encouraging everyone to join their local MRC (if available) too. You should be able to choose multiple organizations. Once you have taken the ICS 100, 700 and PFA, you can upload your certificates directly into the CVM. We will have someone present at the March 30th training to help you get started with this process if you need it.
If you would like to register for any of these classes, please contact Monica at email@example.com
MRC Psych Class Flyer
Feb 12, 2014
With medical information heading into the technological age, is your practice ready? Do your patients have a way to keep their medical records accessible and secure? Help the Acupuncture Association of Colorado bring your practice up to date, secure your patient’s paperwork, and support the same entity that supports your legal right to treat patients, bill insurance, and grow your practice in Colorado.
The Acupuncture Association of Colorado would like to introduce Zen Vault, a HIPAA compliant vault, supported by Cloud Technology. We are asking you to inform your patients of Zen Vault as a fundraising opportunity for the AAC. We have made the process very easy for both you and your patients.
Follow the two links at the bottom of this page. The first link is an introduction to your patients. The second link contains the instructions to sign up and obtain the discount. Zen Vault has generously offered a 20% discount to anyone signing up and they will donate 50% of the proceeds to the AAC. Please spread the word by printing or emailing out the content to your patients, friends, and family.
My personal experience in talking with my patients has been very favorable. My patients are impressed with the opportunity to have and handle all of their own and family’s medical records. I am signed up and I hope you will sign up as well. I am available to answer questions in your office, over the phone, or via email. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the best way to contact you, and I will return your message shortly thereafter.
We appreciate your efforts on this because we need to fund advertising and education concerning Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. We continue to promote education at the patient level and the governmental regulation level. We are here to promote health, wellness, and full practices.
AAC Letter for Zen Vault
Zen Vault Information
Feb 11, 2014
Golden Flower Chinese Herbs has been providing practitioners with high-quality traditional and innovative herbal formulas since 1990. For your convenience, we also carry a complete line of acupuncture needles and supplies. Visit us on the web at www.gfcherbs.com or call us toll-free 800-729-8509.
Golden Sunshine Int., Inc. – www.golden-sunshine.com, 970-323-5168
BioMat Store – www.suemcshanemassage.com, 970-484-2507
Miridia Acupuncture Technology – www.AcuGraph.com, 208-846-8448
Acudragon Wellness System – www.acudragon.us 212-947-7111
NCCAOM – www.nccaom.org, 904-674-2474
PunctureNote – www.PunctureNote.com, 888-506-8825
Health Soure Products, Inc. – www.e-fongherbs.com, 626-279-5666
Health Concerns – www.healthconcerns.com, 510-639-0280×111
Dr. Dave’s Herbal Medicine – www.drdaves.com, 970-704-1186
Blue Poppy Enterprises, www.bluepoppy.com, 303-447-8372
Young Living Essential Oils – www.YoungLiving.com, 308-760-0428
Far East Summit – www.fareastsummit.com, 541-937-2449
Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine & Evergreen Herbs – www.elotus.org and www.evherbs.com 626-810-5530
Jan 28, 2014
From the President
Scott Richardson, M.S., L.Ac.
I hope that everyone had a safe holiday filled with friends and loved ones. As we start 2014, we have some great things happening for our profession! There is a little nervous apprehension about how the Affordable Care Act is going to effect our profession and healthcare in this country. I am actually excited about how much our profession can thrive in an environment where there are incentives for patient satisfaction for reduced hospital visits. There are numerous studies that show the effectiveness of acupuncture and TCM lowering medical costs and helping people reduce medication usage. As we expand awareness in the medical field of how we provide a valuable service that patients are asking for, the demand for qualified practitioners is just going to grow. I invite you all to our annual conference to learn more about the changes that are coming, and how we are perfectly positions to be an essential part of where healthcare is going.
I feel very lucky to be working with a great group of practitioners on the board that are doing all they can for our profession. We have some really cool things coming up this year. One of our main areas of focus is educating the public and other healthcare professionals about what we do and our credentials. We hope to have a major announcement at the annual meeting (fingers crossed). Read through the other messages in the newsletter. Listen to all the hard work that is being done to help all of us. The more united we are, the more effective we will be in our efforts. Volunteer, help out, join or renew your membership.
Again, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you at the conference.
From the Vice President
Carol Messina Braverman, L.Ac.
2014 looks to be an important year for the acupuncture profession, and here’s why.
We’ve seen the results of our medicine and know it has great value on so many levels. In some states, acupuncture is already a sought-after treatment alongside conventional medicine. With the implementation of the ACA (aka Obamacare), our profession has a window of opportunity, within the state of Colorado, to expand our patient base, and rare is the person who wouldn’t want that.
Part 1 of the ACA is insurance reform- that’s what all the back-and-forth has been about.
Part 2 of the ACA is shifting the paradigm of care to outcomes- where we excel and have a place.
Part 3 of the ACA is a focus on prevention- ACO’s (Accountable Care Organizations), using the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics model of coordinated care, are coming online in 2015. This is experimental and will evolve gradually, but that’s what makes ACO’s a forum where we can create opportunities for ourselves. We need to show up and claim our seat at the table and the more of us, the better.
If you believe no one does prevention quite like acupuncture, and I’m betting you do, then please step forward and join us as we build bridges in health care.
How can you help?
- Volunteer: we’re an efficient board but could use help. This amounts to an hour of your time every few weeks, in an area that interests you.
- Join: become a member of the AAC if you’re not already. We have a new system for automatic payment to make it super simple.
- Express: we want to hear what you think can or should be done to protect and uphold our system medicine? If you want to help speed the process along, please call (303) 572-8744 or email the AAC to get in touch.
What’s the benefit to you?
- Community: you get to swap ideas and enact them with an amazing bunch of practitioners. Important for good Heart qi J.
- Giving back: being part of the living tradition that is eastern medicine is very gratifying.
- Free NCCAOM CEU credits: volunteering with the AAC can get you 10 PDA’s for recertification and while getting you in touch with the people- potential patients- in your community. Email PRComm@acucol.com for more information.
From the Treasurer
Katie Robinette, L.Ac.
Financial Empowerment Starts Now
Financial planning can be an intimidating topic for everyone, but especially for the self-employed. Staying on top of quarterly tax payments and paying student loans can be difficult enough. We also need to regularly set aside money for retirement. Although we love being acupuncturists, at some point we will want to retire. In order to do that successfully, we need to know our own financial situation inside and out. There are many great books, coaches, advisors, and groups out there to help you. With support from the right people, managing money well and saving for the future is an empowering way of life.
In his book “Smart Women Finish Rich,” David Bach promotes the “pay yourself first” principle. What this means is that, even if you have debt you are paying off, invest some of your income into your retirement fund before it goes to bills. He recommends saving 12% of your income in retirement funds. Where should we invest this money? To help us begin to navigate this complex world, I asked Bethany Neumann with Modern Woodmen for advice.
Me: Bethany, can you please tell us what you do, and what is Modern Woodmen?
Bethany: Modern Woodmen is a member-owned fraternal financial services organization. We are not-for-profit, and we specialize in life insurance and investment products.
Me: What is the greatest advantage of having your own business when it comes to saving for retirement?
Bethany: A SEP IRA is only available for self-employed people. You can contribute up to 25% of you’re your income, which is much higher than other retirement vehicles. It is also a good option because your contribution can be a tax write off, which is helpful when you are just starting a business. But in my opinion, a Roth IRA is better.
Me: Why is the Roth IRA better?
Bethany: The downside is that a Roth is not tax write off, but the benefit is that you pay taxes on it now, when you are presumably at a lower tax bracket, instead of paying taxes on it when use the money during retirement. We will probably pay higher taxes when we retire, either because we are in a higher tax bracket, or because taxes are higher in general. You will probably spend less in taxes on your retirement account if you pay for them now.
Me: What are some tricks to save money and pay yourself first?
Bethany: Starting a business is no easy task. Set up an auto transfer into your IRA account. You can transfer as little as $25 a month. That is $300 a year. That is less than a dollar a day. Setting up an auto transfer that you know you can pay each month ensures that you are always contributing something. Then, look at your income for the month, and put away extra on the months you make more.
Me: What is the best way to earn on your investment without taking much risk?
Bethany: Aside from a savings account with a low interest rate, I often recommend investing in a life insurance plan that will provide protection for your family, and also will give you a decent return in the long run that will add to your retirement portfolio.
Me: What has helped you most in creating a successful business?
Bethany: Building relationships, getting out there and meeting people has been the best thing I do for my business. I’m big on positive thinking and the law of attraction. I believe that focusing on making a difference for other will help you grow your business.
Me: How can people contact you if they would like to learn more?
Bethany: For a free consultation, and to get advice on starting a plan, call 720-217-6178, or email Bethany.email@example.com. I’m happy to answer questions.
Me: Thank you, Bethany
One more thing I would like to mention is the importance of having a wealth mentality. Invest in yourself. Take courses, hire an advisor, and keep up your membership with the AAC to maximize what is possible for our profession. Investments bring a return back to you, and are essential for building wealth.
Facing your finances honestly can be downright terrifying. Push through, get the help you need, and know that being financially empowered is well worth the battle. On that note, take advantage of the aspect of retirement savings that acupuncturists know best. Conserving Kidney energy and maintaining a healthy, energized being is the best gift we can give ourselves.
Here are some books to get you started:
David Bach Smart Women Finish Rich
Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover
Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich
Thomas Stanley and William Danko The Millionaire Next Door
If you would like more information, contact Katie Robinette at Treasurer@acucol.com.
From the Public Relations Chair
Jacqui Strike, L.Ac.
Happy New Year to one and all. As we get ready to invite the year of the Horses (Wood) on January 31st, it could be a good time to plan your strategies to take advantage of this predicted fast-paced, free-spirited year.
We are all interested in increasing our business so that we can best serve our clients and offer our amazing services to possible new clients.
Here are a few dates to mark on your calendar. These are particularly auspicious times to reach out to current contacts and gather new contacts.
January 31st- Chinese New Year horse (Wooden)
March – April -9 news health fair
May 10th- Mother’s Day -woman’s health focus
June 15th- Father’s Day- men’s health focus
July- Dragon Boat festival
September 1st- Labor Day -grandparents day aging
October 24-Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine day- increase public awareness
November 11th- Veterans Day- PTSD /stress
If you would like to know more about marketing supports -8 no cost strategies to attract new clients. Explore the video by Acupuncture Media Works
Become a committee member.
To make the most of all I’ll public relations opportunities this year we need to expand all subcommittees. All of these positions are available do volunteer for any of these committees.
- 9 News Health Fair: improve quality and experience of Interaction and Education Center booths and manage volunteers.
- Festivals: seek out and Staff events.
- Press: create and post press releases monitor and respond to current events
- Social Media: manage Facebook, Yahoo groups, and Linked In.
- AOM: day create an event.
Please email me as I invite you to become involved in all public relations PRComm@acucol.com
As Always wishing you enthusiasm and exceptional health.
From the Fund Raising Chair
Sue West. M.A., L.Ac.
Happy New Year to everyone!
I want to Thank all of the Board Members and Charissa Haines for all of the hard work laying the groundwork for the upcoming year. This year looks to be exciting, fun, and prosperous!
I would like to thank the members of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado and our other peer Acupuncturists around the State of Colorado for participating and getting our first fundraiser, ZENVAULT, off to a great start. The response has been very good and will help start the education and advertising process of the benefits of Acupuncture in our communities. This in turn will help all of us and our practice of Oriental Medicine. Thank You again, and lets continue to offer this program to our patients, friends and families.
I have had the opportunity to talk and meet with a number of Acupuncturists: not only about fundraising with Zen Vault, but about our Medicine as a whole and how we are coming to the forefront in the Medical field. I would like to continue to meet with as many of you as I can to build better communication and to increase the support of the AAC towards your practice. I will be in Pueblo and Pueblo West on January 20th and plan to follow I-25 north to include:
Colorado Springs, Monument and Castle Rock in February
Centennial, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Englewood, and Littleton in March
Denver and Lakewood in May
And, Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins in June
My visits to the Mountains and The Western Slope will occur in July and August.
I look forward to these visits and encourage your communication, so please contact any member of your Board at anytime.
An update on the 5K race is forthcoming as details are still coming together.
I Thank You again for the success we are having with Zen Vault, and I do look forward to meeting you.
Jul 16, 2013
Classified Ads section may be found under the tab “Acupuncturists” and then selecting “Classified Ads.”
May 23, 2013
Click here to see AAC and Speer Annoucement
Part of my job as president of the Board is to help all the members as best I can. I know we are all interested in ways to save money nowadays, and Hermann Li has helped me a lot, and I’d like to share that help.
Personally I’ve had Hermann as my insurance agent for years. Every year or so he’ll give me options on how to save money or improve my coverages – this year he reviewed my homeowner’s insurance and my personal car insurance, got me better coverage and saved me over $400 a year from what I was paying! I’ve never had an insurance person who is as pro-active as he is and contacts me about various ways to save money – it’s always been that I found something cheaper on my own and then the past insurance people were scrambling to get me to come back. Hermann is a preventative insurance person – much like we’re preventative medicine people. And with the addition of extra funds to the AAC, his offer couldn’t come at a better time!!! He is as interested in your success as we are in yours!
Hermann is an independent insurance agent who specializes in working with the AAC membership on their business, homeowners and auto insurance needs. What makes this relationship special is Hermann’s ongoing dedication to helping AAC members get the proper coverages, providing excellent customer service and often saving them quite a bit of money! He works on your behalf and represents over 30 top-notch companies and understands their individual strengths and weaknesses. No two insurance companies are exactly alike in their coverages, costs, and claims-handling procedures – that’s why having a knowledgeable and caring advocate like Hermann working for you can help.
The key to the success of this program will be when members realize that this not only could benefit you, your employees and even your family; it can also benefit the AAC immensely. In order for this true partnership to work effectively, it can’t be just one memo to the membership or hidden away on the website. You are so busy trying to run your practices and most people are not attentive to their insurance coverages since that is hardly ever “top of mind” to them – until they need it. Hermann will do his best to be a valued partner to the membership/Association.
So here’s the deal – when you submit your current home, auto or business policies to him (at no obligation) for review, he will donate money to the AAC! Additionally, when you refer others to Hermann, he will donate even more money to the AAC!
He has graciously agreed to extend this offer to your employees, associates and family members personal insurance needs as well Each person must include, “AAC code 4380″ in communications with him for this campaign.
Here’s his contact information to get started so give him a call or send him an email:
Hermann Li, Independent Agent
Speer Insurance Services
9000 E. Nichols Ave., Suite 105 Centennial, CO 80112
O: (303) 792-0455 F: (303) 649-1931 C: (303) 210-5830 Url: www.linkedin.com/in/hermannli/
AUTO • HOME • LIFE • BUSINESS
Greg Shim, L.Ac.
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado
Feb 28, 2013
There has been a lot of activity the past few days on our Sunset bill. We decided to initiate an amendment to the bill that includes the word “modern” “The practice of Acupuncture is based on traditional and modern Oriental Medical concepts.”
There is a second amendment that we put in. It specifically prohibits us from doing chiropractic adjustments.
The third amendment is from our sponsor Linda Newell. It asks DORA to reinstate the sending of disciplinary letters by certified mail.
WE met with DORA policy makers today and we believe that we have their support for the change in wording.
The actual hearing is Thursday, Feb. 21, at 1:30. If it gets the votes needed (we expect it to easily pass) the next step is that it will go to the whole Senate for a “second” reading. Leo and I met with most of the committee members today and he will meet the rest of them in the morning. Leo is very effective as a lobbyist. We are lucky to have him.
When we met with Senator Cowder ( R ) he said that he had heard from some of us and he didn’t understand why we would want to be regulated but he would support our bill. So our efforts to contact our base is paying off.
Thanks for all that you are doing to help our profession.
UPDATE: Out Sunset bill has passed the senate Health committee with two amendments. One amendment says that “The practice of acupuncture is based on traditional and MODERN Oriental Medical Concepts”. The second one says that we cannot do Chiropractic manipulation and mobilization.
It will go to the appropriations committee and then to the Senate floor of a second and third reading. (Not yet scheduled). The senators had heard from their constituents and we only had Sen Lunburg vote against us. So far we are in good shape. Anne Chew
Feb 14, 2013
Longmont non-profit organization, Acupuncture for Veterans and their Families, needs Licensed Acupuncture practitioners to volunteer with a community acupuncture clinic at the Longmont American Legion:
315 South Bowen
Thursdays from 5:30 to 7pm
Contact: Daisy Lear at 303.587.3557 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AVF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides health care for veterans, those on active duty, and their immediate family members, at no cost to them. More information at AVFinfo.org.
Feb 14, 2013
Well, the 2013 Legislative Session has begun in earnest and that means the Acupuncture Practice Act is now in its legislative process. We had our first preliminary hearing at the Capitol yesterday. This hearing was basically to vote that the DORA report will continue on and become a bill. It was heard by the Senate Health Committee. Senator Linda Newell will sponsor this bill, so if you are in her district (26 – Denver and Arapahoe Counties), you can send her an email ( email@example.com ) or a hand written note thanking her for sponsoring our bill.
The next step will be a more formal hearing before the same Committee; at that time, the report will officially be a bill. There may or may not be debate on aspects of the bill; the public is entitled to testify if they wish. There is currently no date set for the next hearing, but we will let you know when it is. Anyone is welcome to attend the hearings.
Injection therapy may come up during this process; we have had some opposition from some medical groups, but no one was there yesterday to testify about this. We will keep you informed if there is any news in this area.
There may also be another auricular therapy bill coming up during this session, and we’ll keep you posted on that as well as any other legislative news that comes up.
Feb 7, 2013
Sign the White House Petition to Designate ‘Acupuncturist’ as a Recognized Healthcare Provider under the Social Security Act
There are only days left to sign a crucial petition to alert the Obama Administration to the fact that acupuncturists are not currently recognized as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act and, therefore, cannot get reimbursement for services provided to Medicare patients.
The Social Security Act does recognize other healthcare professionals such as dieticians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and clinical social workers.
By changing the compensation structure allowed under Medicare, we can ensure that patients have access to their local acupuncturist.
The petition, started one month ago, needs 25,000 signatures by February 10 to get a response from the White House regarding the inclusion of acupuncturists in the Social Security Act. Currently, we have over 10,000 signatures. If you have not yet signed this important petition, please do so now by visiting the following link by February 10:
Please immediately spread the word and forward this petition to your friends and family as every signature counts!
Thank you for your support and action!.
Jan 17, 2013
Now available – the January 2013 AAC Newsletter! Read here . . .
Jan. 2013 Newsletter
Nov 25, 2012
Dear Fellow Acupuncturists,
Thanks to your strong response to Rule 211, the PT Board has decided to drop Rule 211 from the November 30th hearing! Pat yourself on the back, open a bottle of champagne, and then get ready for even more of this kind of group effort.
We’re bringing our practice act to the legislation this coming January and we have to be on the ball. If you know someone who is not a member of the AAC, demand that they join to get the law WE want passed! Even if they just join for one year, this is the one year they need to join.
We’ll be sending out writing points on issues we anticipate to pop up during the legislation – so you won’t be in the dark.
It was your response that got the PT Board to act, and it will be your response that keeps the practice of acupuncture legal in Colorado.
yer (proud of the membership) pal,
Greg Shim, L.Ac.
Nov 6, 2012
New email address information:
Please send your emails to:
PT PERSON: firstname.lastname@example.org
ACUPUNCTURE PERSON: Megan.Ripko@state.co.us
(she’s super nice and our buddy! Your email might be a little angry, so maybe send her a little extra email saying how awesome she’s doing, because she really is)
ECONOMIC IMPACT PERSON: email@example.com
I went up to DORA yesterday to meet with them and finally got some clarification on the addresses. DORA did just go through a huge restructuring, and most everyone is new – but they’re there for us and we have a great relationship with them.
Also, the November 6th date is a soft date, so you have until the 30th to get your letters/emails in (but get them in soon!). Mark your calendars to be at the hearing 11/30/12 at 9:00 am. We’ll keep you informed!
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado
The AAC just sent this letter – it’s time to stop this nonsense!
Here’s a copy of what we sent:
November 5, 2012
RE: Rule 211 for Physical Therapists
Dear Ms. Larson,
The Acupuncture Association of Colorado has a number of very strong concerns regarding what physical therapists are doing in Colorado under Rule 211. We have drafted this letter to point out 9 items of which we feel you need to be aware.
1.) Dry Needling is Acupuncture.
The Colorado PT Board has adopted an argument that how one thinks about a medical procedure changes what the procedure is. This is not good public policy. Under this same logic, PTs could practice any medical procedure by redefining it to a PT diagnosis. Licensed Acupuncturists could expand their authority to include pharmaceutical prescriptive authority. This sets a precedent within Colorado law that is beyond the statutory authority of the PT Board. Only the legislature can set policy that scopes of practice can be expanded to include any medical procedure as long as the definition of terminology is changed. Of particular note, the PT Board has no authority to expand the definition of a manual therapy technique to include procedures that incise the skin with a class II medical device.
2.) Economic Impact
The Acupuncture Association of Colorado requests an economic impact statement on small business. Many acupuncturists are complaining, including myself, that because PTs are billing acupuncture under the manual therapy code 97140, people are using their insurance that doesn’t cover acupuncture to get acupuncture from PTs. This makes it very hard to compete in a market that allows physical therapists to unfairly bill insurance for the same procedure that Licensed Acupuncturists cannot bill. Even if PTs change the code to something else, they are still performing acupuncture. If they coded it under what they are doing, Acupuncture 97810, insurance companies would not pay for it. This gives PTs preferential treatment by insurance companies.
3.) Expansion of Scope
In amending Rule 211, the Physical Therapy Board and profession clearly intends to change the definition of dry needling to expand it further to apply to any treatment of any disorder through the use of acupuncture needles (dry needling). This further expansion of scope means that PTs will functionally expand their scope to be indistinguishable from the practice of acupuncture. The statue for the practice of acupuncture is a legislatively conferred standard for the minimum education and certification in order to protect the public and establish safe standards for effective practice. The PT Board does not have the authority to expand by rule the majority of practice under an established statute.
The training required to allow PTs to do dry needling is minimal and does not meet WHO standards for the application of acupuncture techniques. This minimal training presents a public safety hazard as the limited training in needling means that PTs can and are learning this technique in a weekend.
The technique has no national standard developed, and is not taught in any accredited PT programs. The content of the training is not regulated, and the profession has not come forward with any standard nor set curriculum for this training.
5.) No supervised clinical training is required
There is no supervised clinical training required. Rule 210, the rule that allows PTs to work on animals, is similar to dry needling in that this expands the scope of PTs to practice beyond the content of their entry-level training. Under Rule 210, 120 hours of supervised clinic is required. It appears that the PT board requires a higher level of education to treat animals than it does to insert acupuncture needles in a human, and this rule shows that the PT board recognizes that techniques that significantly expand practice and are not part of entry level training require some supervision of the trainee in order to prevent harm.
6.) No registration or expanded authority mechanism
There is no registration of professionals who practice this technique. The Board allows a practice of a procedure that carries risk of harm to the patient without requiring any standard for education, continuing education, or otherwise requiring any disclosure or registration. There is no mechanism to assure the public that a PT has met any requirements or is regulated in any way to practice an invasive technique.
7.) Failure to seek legislative authority
The PT profession failed to seek legislative authority for expanded practice including dry needling. In its 2010 sunset to renew their statutory authority, the PT profession sought special practice authority for all rules in which it had expanded its scope in CRS 12-41-13, but did not seek to expand its scope to practice dry needling. Because dry needling, using acupuncture needles, meets the definition of surgery, the PT Board has no authority to expand its scope, especially when there was opportunity for legislative review.
8.) Failure to enforce its rule
The PT Board has failed its duty to enforce the rule on dry needling. Because they have failed to regulate this practice, they have abrogated their authority to expand this practice by rule. The Board has shown that it will fail to regulate this practice unless statutorily defined. The board has failed to enforce its rule in the following ways:
The training mandated by the rule is not being enforced. The Board has knowledge that PTs are practicing dry needling with half the number of hours than required by rule and have not enforced their own rule.
The Board has evidence the Colorado providers are teaching techniques of acupuncture that far beyond the scope of the rule, and yet they neither enforce the rule nor specify exactly what training can be taught.
The Board has knowledge that current practice of PTs in Colorado exceeds the current definition of dry needling that is limited to trigger points, and has failed to enforce the rule.
9.) Potential for Insurance Fraud
Many insurance companies mandate that this procedure is billed under codes for experimental procedures. Current PT courses teach the use of billing through a manual therapy code 97140, and this practice is being instituted in Colorado. What is being taught is that the use of this code should not be used for Medicaid patients, but PTs are regularly billing for this procedure from private insurance under a manual therapy code.
We thank you in advance for your time and consideration of our concerns. If there is any other way we can assist in clarifying our points, please do not hesitate to ask.
Greg Shim, L.Ac., MTCM, M.Ed.
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado
Certificated in Integrative Sports Medicine
Diplomate in Oriental Medicine
Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner
Nov 6, 2012
Dear Fellow Acupuncturists,
This is a Professional emergency!!! Stop what you’re doing and take action this minute!
The Physical Therapists are making a rule change to include all body points for dry needling and to change how they bill by calling acupuncture a physical intervention.
We just got notice this, so If you think it’s a problem for a PT to be needling someone after 23 hours of training (with a promise to do 23 hours more) after you’ve spent a minimum of 660 hours of supervised training in needling, please email the director:
with feedback (including harm to your business) relating to Rule 211.
Here’s the link for the proposed Rule 211 changes:
Just like us, you have until November 6th to complete this – and yes, we just found out, too. The AAC will be sending a formal letter today, November 5th.
After you send the email, print it out and send it by snail mail:
Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
1560 Broadway, Suite 1550
Denver, CO 80202
Ann Chew, the board, and I will keep you abreast of what’s happening. I, for one, will be sending a $100.00 check to the AAC to help support this important issue. I hope that I am leading by example here. We will be hiring an attorney to help us navigate this horrendous situation. PT’s are billing Medicare and other insurance companies that don’t accept acupuncture. I have had patients use their non-acupuncture insurance to get dry needling, only to eventually come to me and pay cash when they got no satisfactory results. If you feel that dry needling is cutting into your business, please put that in writing and send it to Mr. Harrelson. And even better, after you send the letter, show up November 30th and make your stand for acupuncture!
We’re about to have our entire scope of needling annexed by another profession if we do nothing.
Anne Chew, Legislative Chair
Greg Shim, President
ps, below is the email we received the other day (note, they gave us the wrong email address – use the one above!).
This is to notify you that the Department of Regulatory Agencies – Physical Therapy has submitted a draft proposed rule or amendment to an existing rule concerning:
The rulemaking concerns the initial proposal of Rules 101, 102, 212, and 214, and proposed amendments to Rule 211.
The proposed rule or amendment may be found at:
A hearing on the proposed rule or amendment is set for Friday, November 30, 2012 at 09:00 am at 1560 Broadway, Conference Room 1250 C, Denver CO 80202. For more information about the proposed rule or amendment, you can contact Lisa Hill, Program Manager at 303-894-2987 at the Department of Regulatory Agencies.
In the next few days, we will be analyzing the proposed rule or amendment to determine if it impacts Colorado’s economic competitiveness, job creation or small businesses. If initial research looks as if the proposed rule or amendment may negatively impact one or more of those areas, we will request the entity submitting the proposed rule or amendment to perform a cost-benefit analysis. If you want to provide us with feedback on the proposed rule or amendment to help us make that determination, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org [AAC correction - email@example.com] before Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
I hope you find this service and information useful.
Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform
Oct 25, 2012
Check out the new Colorado Acupuncturist newsletter, presented by your Acupuncture Association of Colorado: http://acucol.com/members-only/newsletter-archives/ then click on October 2012 Issue.
Oct 25, 2012
Free Acupuncture Treatments Celebrating National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day was Wednesday, October 24th, 2012.
In celebration of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day on Wednesday October 24th, 2012, licensed acupuncturists in the state of Colorado offered free acupuncture treatments to all new patients.
This was an excellent opportunity to explore the benefits of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and to try a sample treatment. To find a professional, licensed acupuncturist in your area, go to www.acucol.com.
Oriental medicine, used for over 3,000 years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being, is a comprehensive health care system. Oriental medicine encompasses a variety of traditional health care therapies such as acupuncture, herbology, tui na (Chinese medical massage), and dietary therapy based on Chinese health principals.
The World Health Organization has identified over 40 conditions that can be effectively treated with acupuncture. To explore more studies showing the efficacy of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine visit www.acupuncture.com. Acupuncture is currently used by over 43% of the population.
Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado proclaimed October 24, 2012 AOM Day throughout Colorado and Mayor Michael B. Hancock echoed that proclamation for Denver. Since its inception in 2002, AOM Day has been proclaimed by many other states, cities and towns across the country. Please visit http://www.aomday.org/programs.html to find a practitioner in your area.
Click below to see AOM Procolomation!
ACUPUNCTURE AND ORIENTAL MEDICINE DAY
Oct 25, 2012
On October 15th, DORA released the report for our Sunset Review. This report will go to the legislature in January and will eventually become the bill for our new Acupuncture Practice Act. Based on feedback we received from our Town Hall meetings last year, we had presented DORA with a draft of changes we wanted to see. These changes included:
- Provisions for L.Ac’s to be able to order labs and prescribe supplements
- A certificate program for non-L.Ac.’s who wish to practice auricular therapy (this would have included supervision by L.Ac.’s)
- Formation of an Acupuncture Advisory Board that would exist to address problems specific to our profession i.e. dry needling, auricular therapy, etc.
- Statement clarifying that dry needling is within the scope of acupuncture even though it is practiced by another profession (P.T.’s)
There is some language in the report that suggests labs and supplements could be “within the scope of acupuncture” but the wording is still rather vague and does not mention these therapies specifically.
Overall, the report looks good, but the auricular therapy certification and the advisory board were omitted, most likely due to fiscal concerns in a time of economic bust.
Several members of the Sunset Review Committee will be meeting with DORA in the next few weeks to discuss the report. At this point, nothing can be changed until it goes to the legislature in Jan. or Feb., but we can introduce amendments if need be. Our meeting with DORA will be more for clarification and continued good communication as we gear up for the next several months.
Since August, the Sunset Review Committee, with the help of our lobbyist, identified many candidates who we feel will be advocates for us, and we donated generously to many campaigns. In total, the AAC gave approximately $18,000.00 to a total of about 65 candidates, no donation exceeding $400.00 in accordance with campaign finance laws.
If you would like to read the report for yourself, here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/8uemolu. If you cannot access the document by this link, go to www.dora.co.state.us , click on Office of Professions and Occupations, then look for Sunset Reviews and click on Acupuncture.
Our next steps will be:
- Meeting with DORA
- Meeting with members of the Colorado Medical Society to discuss any concerns they may have regarding the report
- Watching for election results: after the election, we will be actively contacting the elected officials to whom we donated and seeking their support. We will be educating them about our bill as well as about acupuncture itself. We will be contacting AAC members and non-members to help contact these legislators – you will receive phone calls, emails or letters sometime after the election in Nov.
Anne Chew MA, LAC
Aug 13, 2012
There are opportunities for employment as well as office space. Check out AAC Classified Ads!
Click here for classified ads
Jul 23, 2012
Some of you have already been in the loop regarding the recent shooting in Aurora and the need to get an AWB supported trauma clinic up and running. Many of you have already contacted me and have offered to help with this endeavor. This is where we are in the process:
We found space in the area: It Takes a Village located at 1475 Lima St., Aurora CO. The exec. director, Imani Latif has generously offered for us to use space for our clinics. We need Volunteers to help us in the clinic!!!!
Click below for a flier for you to print out and/or email to folks so the word can be spread.
CLICK HERE FOR FLIER
If you are not AWB and/or NADA trained, please let us know and we can help train you!!
If you are available to volunteer-please sign up on the following on-line schedule link:
Randi Savage RN, MS, Lic. Acupuncturist, AWB Board Member
Jul 9, 2012
Thank you to AWB and all of the acupuncturists, acupuncture schools, vendors and everyone who volunteered
to help the victims and evacuees of the fires that have burned throughout Colorado. You have helped so many get through this stressful time in their lives. The AAC appreciates you!!
Jun 28, 2012
As some of you may know already, AWB has been supporting a disaster acupuncture relief clinic in Fort Collins for those being affected by the High Park Fire. Now, with the Waldo Canyon Fire, we are again faced with a challenging situation. There is a group of acupuncturists in Colorado Springs area that is trying to secure a safe location for us to set up a clinic. Once we secure a site, we will need volunteers to start helping out by doing free acupuncture using the NADA protocol. Please help in any way you can
If anyone is interested in Volunteering please contact Randi at 303-710-9849 or contact Diane at 719-331-0437.
If you live in the Fort Collins area and/or would like to volunteer for the clinic there, follow this link-you can sign up to volunteer with this link directly on the site page. If you need refresher on how to run AWB clinic and/or NADA protocol for Ft. Collins, please contact Debi Epstein 301-706-3442.
The schedule link is below.
May 24, 2012
Several acupuncturists and patients have recently contacted me regarding the new insurance parity law. It seems that some insurance companies are still not paying for acupuncture services when performed by an acupuncturist but will cover other providers, especially M.D.s.
As a reminder, the insurance parity law only covers state insurance plans because this bill was enacted in Colorado. Federal employee insurance, for example, is exempted from this bill. Several people have complained about Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s federal plan only covering M.D.’s for acupuncture. Unfortunately, our insurance bill did not affect them.
If you or your patients are not on a federal plan and are still being denied insurance parity, you can file a complaint with DORA. Go to the DORA website and click under Insurance. There is a page to file an insurance complaint. Click here for the complaint form. If you are filing a complaint on behalf of a patient you MUST have permission from them to do so. The actual statute can be found under Colorado Revised Statutes Title 10-16-104. You can then scroll down to (7) part A to read it.
Please contact me with any additional questions.
Linda Gibbons, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, MSTCM
Legislative Chair, Acupuncture Assoc. of Colorado
Sage Mountain Wellness
May 14, 2012
Below is an email from Robert Applebaum, a MoveOn member who created a petition at SignOn.org that is getting a lot of attention and may be of interest to people in your area. If you have concerns or feedback about this petition, click here.
Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by a shameful 511%. In 2010, total outstanding student loan debt exceeded total outstanding credit card debt in America for the first time ever. In 2012, total outstanding student loan debt is expected to exceed $1 trillion.
In response to this crisis, U.S. Representative Hansen Clarke of Michigan has just introduced H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, which would extend a helping hand to those struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt.
That’s why I created a petition to Rep. John Kline, Chairman of the House Education and the Workplace Committee; the United States House of Representatives and Senate; and President Barack Obama on SignOn.org, which says:
Total outstanding student loan debt in America is expected to exceed $1 TRILLION this year. Millions of hardworking, taxpaying, educated Americans are being crushed under the weight of their educational debts, while the economy continues to sputter. Support a REAL economic stimulus and jobs plan. Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170).
Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:
May 3, 2012
AOM Day and PR Committee Meeting:
The PR Committee is looking for those interested in forming a strategy for AOM Day, coming up October 24th, 2012.
In the past we have had a proclamation issued by the mayor and done free treatments to the public, posting the participating practitioners on our website and generating press around what we do. Let’s discuss and plan out something amazing for this year!
Udi’s in Olde Towne Arvada, Monday, May 7th at 6:30PM
Please RSVP to Tina at 303-881-1971 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested but unable to attend, please contact me as well.
New PR Committee Chair Needed:
My term ends in September of this year and I have grown and enjoyed serving my profession. I am looking for someone who would like to join the board and take over from me. PR and Marketing experience is a plus, but not necessary. The PR Chair oversees our educational efforts, press releases, Facebook, AOM Day, Festivals, and the 9 Health Fairs.
The AAC will be at the Refugee Women’s Health Walk and Fair on Sunday, May 20th from 9am to 1:30 pm at Denver’s Cheesman Park. Tina Laue, L.Ac. will be there. Would anybody else like to come out and join me? You may bring your business cards to pass out if someone asks for your information. Our primary focus is on educating about AOM, however, you are the face that people want to connect with at these events, so often you gain new clients. We will also be referring to our fellow AAC Members. Please RSVP by May10th to Tina at email@example.com
Wishing you exceptional health,
Tina Laue, L.Ac., Dipl. OM (NCCAOM)
May 3, 2012
I’ve just gotten back from the 4 day Council of State Associations’ annual conference and am extremely excited about everything that I learned. I have a full time practice, I teach at CSTCM a few times a trimester, and take an active role in my awesome family (and extended family – I live next door to my brother and his 4 kids). With all that I have going on, I feel a deep sense of responsibility to give back to what brings so much purpose (and some income) to my life.
We are a Board with diverse backgrounds and ideas. We don’t all agree on the same thing, but we make it a point to share those differing ideas and reach consensus. We’re looking for someone who would like to step into the Vice President’s position. Someone who will make the time to meet every quarter and someone who eventually might want to become president. I’m not leaving the Board anytime soon, so you’ll have plenty of time to be mentored (not to mention past presidents who are there to give you a hand when you need it – thanks all!).
You practice your medicine because of past board members. Now you have the opportunity to shape the practice of your medicine. Please join us!
yer (as always) pal,
Diplomate in Oriental Medicine
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado
Apr 24, 2012
The AAC Board recently passed a policy to allow acupuncture students in Colorado to join AAC for free! Click on the instructions to become a new (or renewed) member. Please make sure you notify AAC (either by email or phone) to provide your school name and graduation date.
INSTRUCTIONS TO SIGN UP FOR FREE
Apr 19, 2012
Below is information on an important event that I think AAC members and other acupuncturist will be interested in. The cost is reasonable but this organization is an important one and it is new. There are some big names presenting.
Dr. Huber will be speaking and please note the two youtube videos of Dr Huber being interviewed. He is speaking on GMO’s. Bob Roundtree is a local guy, an MD. We all have to be diligent if we are going to stop GMO’s from infiltrating into our food supply even more.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4swW9OFmf8 (part 1)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENmc9kHnvbo (part 2)
To all Functional Medicine Forum supporters
We are truly excited to bring this great event to our community
Please Join Us
The “Seeds of Doubt” Conference
Saturday June 9, 2012
Omni Interlocken Hotel :: Broomfield, Colorado
8:00am – 5:00pm
Lunch & Lecture sponsored by Metametrix
Seating is limited – Register early
8 CEU’s available
Cost: $125.00 – Early Registration by May 1, 2012
$160.00 – After May 1, 2012
Make Checks Payable to:
Functional Medicine Forum
665 Eldorado Blvd, Suite #434
Broomfield, Colorado 80021
Double click on flier below to view full size.
Thank You to our Sponsors
Colorado Functional Medicine Forum
Coming together to create a community of innovative, cutting-edge healthcare practitioners and social leaders through education
Donna Sigmond, MS, RD, LAc, LCh, Dipl OM, CLT, FAARFM, ABAAHP
Apr 2, 2012
Check out the AAC Classified Section! AAC members have the opportunity to post ads regarding their acupuncture practice. Employment, office space, etc. are a few of the options.
Mar 5, 2012
We are writing you to extend an invitation to submit your research articles, case studies, literature reviews to The American Acupuncturist, the professional quarterly journal of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. As you may know, the journal was accepted a few years ago for indexing by CINAHL, the Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. We are striving for further indexing, thereby increasing the reach and impact of the contributing authors’ works.
The staff of The American Acupuncturist is aggressively pursing the goal of getting the journal indexed in MEDLINE, the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s database of over 18 million references to articles published in more than 5,500 current biomedical journals from the United States and over 80 foreign countries.
We extend, on a continuing basis, the invitation for you to submit articles. The next deadline, April 1, is for our summer issue. If you cannot meet this deadline, please submit at any time as we consider articles on an ongoing basis.
Before submitting your article please read our “Author Guidelines” that can be found under the Publications tab on the AAAOM website: www.aaaomonline.org This contains the submission link. You may also contact Associate Editor Lynn Eder for clarification of requirements. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for supporting and contributing to The AmericanAcupuncturist. We look forward to working with you to advance this profession together.
Jennifer Stone LAc
Editor in Chief
and the AAAOM Editorial Staff
Feb 27, 2012
Dear AAC Members,
The acudetox bill, HB1141, went before the Health and Environment Committee last week and did not pass, primarily because key committee members were absent. As I reported recently, the AAC had worked closely with the sponsor to forge a bill that we could support.
This week the sponsor, Rep. Claire Levy of Boulder, introduced a new acudetox bill that had to be different than the original bill in order to be considered by the committee. We were not consulted about this new bill and our lobbyist learned about it only one day before its introduction. It included language unacceptable to the AAC. We were able to insert some changes to the bill, but due to committee rules there was no opportunity to testify against this new bill, which passed. This bill will enable mental health workers to perform 5-point ear acupuncture for acudetox, as did the first version. Unfortunately, this version does not stipulate a minimum standard requirement for acudetox training, and supervision would be done as required through the mental health workers’ practice acts, not through an M.D. or L.Ac.
Fortunately, the bill is far from becoming law. It has to pass the full Legislature and then go before the Senate committee and pass the full Senate. We know that DORA has some issues with this bill as well, so there will undoubtedly be changes made to this bill before it goes any further.
As of today, the new bill language was not posted on the General Assembly website.
I will keep Colorado acupuncturists posted regarding the new acudetox bill and will let you know if we need support to make calls to legislators.
Linda Gibbons, L.Ac.
Legislative Chair AAC
Feb 23, 2012
Hello Colorado L.Ac’s.
Your Sunset Review Committee has continued to be hard at work. Here’s where we are now:
The Committee has reviewed the Acupuncture Practice Acts for most of the other states to get an idea of wording and concepts. We have also reviewed the Practice Acts for other related professions such as Nursing, P.T., O.T., etc. What we find consistently is that the wording of most Practice Acts is very broad – the details are in the rules of the state regulatory agencies, but legislators don’t like to haggle over the particulars.
After reviewing these Practice Acts, Valerie came up with some sample wording. I will be posting this in the next week or two after the Committee fine tunes it, but some of the basics are:
- changing the word “oriental” to “Asian” or “East Asian” to keep up with current trends; the word “oriental” is widely seen as offensive (even though it exists quite clearly in many organization’s names.)
- using the phrase “modern and traditional therapies” – this will allow us greater latitude in including functional medicine; i.e. ability to recommend dietary supplements, order lab work, etc.
- specifically include the term “dry needling” in our Practice Act so we are never excluded from practicing our own medicine (sounds crazy, but it could happen!)
We will be meeting again with DORA at the end of February to go over this language and to discuss what our next steps will be.
Since we are starting to gain momentum in this process, I will be updating you more often via this Constant Contact, our facebook page and the AAC discussion list. I apologize if this will be redundant and result in more emails for some of you, but we feel it is imperative for as many people as possible to be informed of this process. We appreciate your understanding.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Jan 30, 2012
Here is the latest information about the new acudetox bill going before the state legislature:
A bill allowing mental health professionals and psychiatric technicians to perform five-point auricular acudetox was introduced and ultimately defeated in the 2011 legislative session. The bill initiator, an M.D. in Pueblo, is introducing another acudetox bill in the current legislative session. The AAC has been working with the bill sponsors to insure the content is agreeable to us. This bill will allow specific mental health workers to perform the NADA procedure on patients that have been diagnosed with an addiction disorder. A key inclusion for us is that either a licensed acupuncturist or M.D must do indirect supervision. Currently 18 states have acudetox statutes in place, and if this bill passes it will be one of the most well defined statutes of its type. The bill, HB12-1141, has now been scheduled to go before the House Health and Environment Committee on February 14, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. Pasting the following link into your browser will allow you to read the text of the bill:
Click here to open bill
By working with the bill sponsors, the AAC has worked hard to protect the acupuncture scope and interests of licensed acupuncturists in Colorado, potentially add some employment opportunities for L.Ac.’s, insure patient safety, and enable more patients to receive acudetox treatments.
Linda Gibbons, L.Ac.
AAC Legislative Chair
Jan 23, 2012
Dear AAC Members,
Written comments opposition the proposed rule to force healthcare workers to take a flu shot need to be received by February 1st. It would be great if everyone could send in comments to oppose this rule. If you have questions, please contact your Colorado State Director, Cindy Loveland, at email@example.com.
Dawn Richardson, Director of Advocacy
National Vaccine Information Center
http://NVIC.org and http://NVICAdvocacy.org
URGENT ACTION ALERT: Colorado Flu Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers
The Colorado Board of Health will have the final hearing and adoption of the new rule that mandates healthcare workers get an annual flu vaccine on Feb. 15, 2012. There is NO religious or personal exemption in the current version of the rule. Time is running out and comments must be received by Feb. 1st, 2012.
ACTION NEEDED NOW:
Send written comments addressed to the Colorado Board of Health before Feb. 1st, 2012 to the attention of Jamie Thornton and plan on attending the final hearing on Feb. 15th.
Jamie Thornton, Board Program Assistant
4300 Cherry Creek Dr. South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
303-691-7702 – fax
The official agenda will be posted on the health dept. web site here:
MAIN POINTS TO MAKE:
1. Not allowing a declination for religious reasons is a civil rights violation, a human rights violation and eliminates a religious right that has been recognized in the state of Colorado for years. There will be legal challenges to this rule that will be costly for the State of Colorado.
EEOC rules state religious exemptions must be allowed. This rule violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Code and the ADA:
http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/pandemic_flu.html#36 see pint #13 in this EEOC Document.
Tell the board the rule must include an exemption or declination for religious reasons. The state cannot define religion and they cannot discriminate based on religion., so the religious exemption cannot be tied to any particular religion.
2. This rule needs to go through the legislative process, not the rule-making process being used by the Board of Health. The true stakeholders were not engaged in the drafting process. No one was allowed to comment at public meetings where this issue was discussed.
An opposing view or comments were not allowed after the very biased presentation at the board meeting on Jan. 18th. The regulatory analysis that was done, is inadequate and there has been no true cost/benefit analysis done.
- read the NVIC comments concerning this issue being discussed at the national level. This is an excellent, well referenced source of information. This information applies, not only at the national level, but at the state level.
Tell the board to vote NO on this rule and send it to the legislature,
The legislature is the appropriate place for this matter to be considered. Elected officials who are accountable to the people are the ones who should be considering a rule that will effect so many people in Colorado, not appointed board members.
Mark your calendar for Feb. 15th and plan to attend the board meeting for the final hearing of this rule. The board will allow public comments, however they may limit the time depending on how many people want to comment. They may allow 5 minutes a person, or less than that.
Contact your local news station and local newspaper and ask them to cover this story.
Details of the meeting can be found here:
The revised rule can be found here:
The Statement of Basis and Purpose, why they are doing this, can be found here:
The so-called regulatory analysis, including the cost of this rule, can be found here:
Jan 23, 2012
Letter from AAAOM – Action Alert!
Essential Health Benefits: In 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform law intended to ensure access to quality and affordable health insurance for all Americans. Starting in 2014, most health plans will be required to offer a comprehensive package of items and services to patients, known as “essential health benefits” (EHB). Under the new law, EHB must cover certain specific services including emergency services, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs as well as preventive and wellness services, among others.
The AAAOM strongly supports designating acupuncture as an EHB. Our full position statement is available in the Governance section of our website at aaaomonline.org. If you are able to contribute financial support to this effort, which will be solely used to further publicize and generate action on this issue, please click here or contact us. To participate in committee work or related research projects, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Input is Needed: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently accepting input regarding their approach to establishing EHBs. A strong public show of support for acupuncture as an essential health benefit will be noticed by policymakers and will lay a solid foundation for future federal acupuncture initiatives.
Take action now: Ask your patients to send an email to the address below to show their support for EHB. Also, send your own email as a patient showing your support. Emails should request that acupuncture be designated as an essential benefit service and should share the benefits of acupuncture and its cost effectiveness. A sample letter is included on our website.
To send a message to HHS, visit aaaomonline.org/ehb or send an email directly to: EssentialHealthBenefits@cms.hhs.gov and carbon copy EHB@aaaomonline.org so that we can track the letters sent. The deadline for comments is January 31, 2012.
Thank you for your support of our efforts to serve our profession. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please contact AAAOM at 1-866-455-7999, extension 3, or email@example.com.
Jeannie Kang, MSTOM, LAc, DNBAO, DNBIM
President, AAAOM Board of Directors
Nov 29, 2011
Dear Acupuncture Association of Colorado:
For over thirty years the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) has served as our national AOM professional association, representing licensed acupuncturists and AOM health care providers throughout the U.S. and abroad. Over the past five years, the AAAOM has been monitoring and constantly engaging the ever-changing terrain of health care delivery in this country as well as working to finetune our goals and member services.
The AAAOM’s leadership is composed entirely of volunteers. As volunteers, we ask acupuncturists like you to step up and help the profession that we all love and respect. We are pleased to announce that the AAAOM Board of Directors 2012 Elections are now underway. The 2012 elections will be conducted exclusively online. For complete details about the election, go to www.aaaomonline.org/elections.
Please encourage colleagues you feel would make a significant contribution to the well-being of our profession to run for the AAAOM Board of Directors. Nominations are now open and will close on January 23, 2012. To submit your nomination application, please complete the online submission form at www.aaaomonline.org/nominations. Nominations that are (USPS) mailed to AAAOM will not be accepted.
You will need to log in to your membership account at www.aaaomonline.org to verify your membership status to determine your eligibility for nomination or to vote. Should you have questions or problems with the online nomination form, please contact the AAAOM office at 866-455-7999. Press extension 1 if you require assistance with logging into your AAAOM membership account. Press extension 3 if you require assistance with the nomination form or the election process. You may also email us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AAAOM Election Committee
(Jessica Gregory, Claudette Baker, Deborah Lincoln, and Joshua Saul)
Nov 28, 2011
The AAAOM is working to get acupuncture accepted on the national level. Here’s what they have to say:
AAAOM is working to designate acupuncture as an Essential Health Benefit (EHB) under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Such designation as an EHB will serve as a catalyst to increase opportunities for all practitioners in mainstream medicine across the nation. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has issued a Consensus Report concerning this to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS will make a determination about the inclusion of acupuncture in EHB by May, 2012. Right now, the AAAOM is organizing a letter support national campaign to let our voices be heard.
The AAAOM needs the active nationwide support of as many practitioners, state organizations, students, schools, and patients as possible. As the health care landscape dramatically changes, the federal recognition and inclusion of acupuncture as an Essential Heath Benefit will serve as a critical first step for increasing patient numbers and therefore employment opportunities for acupuncturists nationwide.
The hope is that acupuncture, and eventually all aspects of Oriental medicine, will be included in national discussions about health care, with possible inclusion into programs such as Tricare. I encourage you to regularly check AAAOM’s website (https://aaaomonline.org) for information about this endeavor and visit our Rally Congress site (http://aaaom.rallycongress.com) to join and participate in our support letter campaign now.
Once you fill out the information for the letter, there are options to help your patients get involved as well!
yer (it’s not the needle, it’s the paradigm!) pal,
Nov 14, 2011
Hi AAC Members:
As you are all aware, “dry needling” has become commonplace in Colorado as more physical therapists and chiropractors are getting trained to perform this procedure on their patients. Dry needling is defined as the insertion of filiform needles in myofascial trigger points. The training requirements are 46 hours of face-to-face training and 2 years of prior experience as a physical therapist or chiropractor. The practitioner must also provide a written disclosure of the number of hours of training they have had in dry needling prior to treating the patient.
We contend that dry needling is an acupuncture procedure and as such should require much more training in order to insure patient safety. In addition, we have been hearing of instances where physcial therapists perform dry needling on patients that do not have acupuncture insurance and then get reimbursment. However, an acupuncturist performing the exact same procedure would not be eligible for reimbursement. Even though dry needling is by law not described as acupuncture, some patients have chosen to go to a physical therapist instead of an acupuncturist for “dry needling” because their insurance will pay for it. Also, some patients have reported that dry needling has been extremely painful.
Below is the link to a questionnaire that we ask you to present to your patients that have had experience with dry needling. As the questionnaire states, we are not trying to get individuals in trouble. We are trying to collect written documentation that we can use in the near future to help strengthen our position as licensed acupuncturists against the scope creep we are seeing with dry needling. Please have your patients mail, fax or email the questionnaire to the AAC office prior to December 15, 2011. Thanks for your help.
Aug 4, 2011
Check out the Classified Ads for new listings! Employment opportunities and office space available!! Click on the tab “Acupuncturist Area” and see the Classified Ads link in the left-hand column.
Jul 13, 2011
Have you seen AAC’s Classifieds? Looking for work? Need office space? Go to: