The Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Society of Massachusetts (AOMSM) is a non-profit professional organization that promotes and protects the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in Massachusetts.
AOMSM is only as strong as its members so if you aren't yet a member, please join today. This is a time of important growth in our profession - get involved!!
Please contact your state representative and ask them to Co-Sponsor "An Act relative to the practice of acupuncture", HD501.
NOW, before January 29th
1. Find your State Representative:
• Type in your zip code here https://malegislature.gov/people/findmylegislator or here www.wheredoivotema.com
• Or call the state house switchboard at 617-722-2800 and ask for your state representative by name.
2. Make the Call:
State your name, that you are one of their constituents, and ask them to support "An Act relative to the practice of acupuncture", HD501.
About "An Act relative to the practice of acupuncture", HD501.
This bill seeks to accomplish the following two important goals:
• 1. Ensure that acupuncturists are able to be fairly reimbursed for their services by insurance plans in Massachusetts. Prohibit differentiation of reimbursement rates for acupuncture by provider types. Prohibit third party payer reimbursement for acupuncture services by anyone other than licensed acupuncturist or medical doctor. Treatment in the areas of pain management, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse treatment, and nausea would be covered.
• 2. Prompt the Department of Public Health to convene a special commission to investigate the effective integration of acupuncture and oriental medicine into new practice models and payment methodologies under the health care reform.
January 15, 2015Legislative Update
Bills for the 2015 Legislative Session will be submitted by January 16, 2015 and co-sponsors need to be on board by the end of the month.
Both of these issues; the Insurance Mandate and Needling Language are issues that all of us in the profession could be concerned about.
Why: The insurance mandate will allow patients to access acupuncture for a few conditions that acupuncture has been demonstrated by studies to be far and away a treatment of choice. Often those most in need do not know how effective acupuncture can be. They are not referred for treatment by their physicians, and even if they were may not be able to pay for it.
The Needling language is a public health issue. Having inadequately trained individuals performing acupuncture while calling it something else can result in real harm to patients. Some groups are looking to do this with less hours training than acupuncturists have in clean needle technique alone.
All too often in our culture, we don't pay enough attention to our State Legislators, and we don't question the ways they're doing the work on our behalf. Things slip in that we would rather not be passed. And other things that we care deeply about get pushed aside and not dealt with. It's really up to us, all of us, to pay attention to what's happening in Boston, to ensure that our profession is supported by our laws. This is what AOMSM is all about, and we ask you to join us in holding our legislatorsaccountable to the needs of the acupuncture profession, patients and the community at large.
AOMSMinvites you to step up and help with these efforts. Here's how you can jump in:
Become a member now so that you can be an active participant working for change for our profession.
Make a donation to ensure that we have the finances to follow these two important bills through to passage
Enter your name as someone willing to step up and physically participate in this or otherAOMSM initiatives. Email Linda Robinson-Hidas at Robinsonhidas@gmail.com.
We start a new legislative session in less than a month. AOMSM is preparing for that legislative session and is also planning to continue the work to change MassHealth Regulations so acupuncturists will be able to directly bill for acupuncture.
You may remember from our past eblasts that although we did not see our proposed legislation enacted into law. We did see it move successfully through several substantive committees (public health, health care financing, House Ways and Means). Unfortunately our bill was lumped together in a group of other mandate bills and from last year's Massachusetts budget committee it was sent to the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) our bill was sent for statistical analysis of its cosr effectiveness where it has sat since August. We have now been advised by Dan Delaney our political adviser that the work of the CHIA analysis has been delayed due to the substance abuse omnibus legislation that passed earlier this year and that has a number of mandates that they are studying.
There's much more work to do, and it's important that we use the resources of the AOMSMstrategically. First, we need to expand our membership and base. Second, we need to decide how to allocate our efforts regarding insurance reimbursement, scope of practice protection, and MassHealth regulatory change. Third, we should think more broadly about strategic allies outside of the practice of acupuncture.
The board is presently planning for the upcoming legislative session we are considering submitting two bills this year Bill#1 would be the same bill that we championed last year including all the needling language. Bill#2 would be a bill to cover needling language.
To be an effective force for our profession we need every acupuncturists to step up and become a member of AOMSM. To those of you who are members, thank you and please reach out to your colleagues and inform them of the important work we are doing. Please consider sitting on our board or one of our committees: Membership, Insurance Task Force, Fundraising, Dry Needling Task Force. To take a more active role please contact Linda Robinson Hidas.
For those of you who have not yet become anAOMSM member this would be an excellent time to do so. Your new membership will be a tax break, as will any donations made in addition to your membership.