Advocating for Acupuncture as an Essential Health Care Service

Thank you for taking the time to advocate for acupuncture as an essential healthcare service. Below is all the information you will need. Please feel free to share this page with friends and family as well.

Steps you can take:

  1. Email the Economic Re-Opening Task Force and Task Force members
  2. Share this information with friends and family and ask them to write as well.
  3. Call the task force directly and be heard publicly Friday, May 8th from 9 am to 11 a m.  For more information, see their site:  https://www.nheconomy.com/reopeningtaskforce
  4. Sign and share this petition: http://chng.it/j2J7zkZ9k5

How to Contact the NH Re-Opening Task Force

Drafted Letter

During this unprecedented time of economic closure, the NH Acupuncture and Asian Medicine Association board would like to call to attention the “Non-essential” status of Acupuncturists in the state of New Hampshire.

NH state-licensed acupuncturists are licensed in the Division of Health Professions within the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification and identified as “other Medical Professionals and Health Care Providers under North American Industry Codes (NAICS) code 621399. Within Exec. order 17 Exhibit A various Medical Professionals and healthcare providers, e.g., physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, speech pathologists and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists, other providers of mental and behavioral health care, personal care attendants, home health aides and home care workers, are deemed essential. Acupuncturists have not been included within this executive order and has not been addressed since.
Acupuncturists treat patients with a wide range of disease states. The World Health Organization currently recognizes 28 “Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved through controlled trials to be an effective treatment.” In addition, there are over 80 diseases, symptoms or conditions with various levels of research that are currently under investigation for efficacy.

Many State and Federal groups have recognized Acupuncture’s role as a front line treatment for various health issues. On 1/21/2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a decision to cover acupuncture for Medicare patients with chronic low back pain. The Veterans Administration has been providing and funding acupuncture treatment for veterans for several years now. Many veterans, in addition to our other patients, regularly use acupuncture as an essential non-opioid treatment for a variety of chronic pain conditions. In New Hampshire Senate Bill 708, which just passed in the Senate and will hopefully soon be taken up in the house, recognizes the importance of acupuncture as a non-opioid treatment for pain, and will establish insurance coverage for acupuncture treatment of pain in New Hampshire.

Acupuncture has been recognized as a valuable tool in addressing the ongoing opioid crisis. In 2019, the Dept. of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force released a report detailing gaps in care for the 50 million adults in the US who are affected by chronic pain. Acupuncture was specifically cited in this report as a modality to address these concerns. Not only is acupuncture an effective alternative to opioid medications, but it is also implicated for those recovering from opioid addiction. In 2017, the State of New Hampshire passed HB575 to allow trained healthcare providers and recovery coaches under the supervision of licensed acupuncturists to administer a 5 point acupuncture treatment to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. Treatment options for these conditions are currently very limited. Despite the ongoing pandemic, for many in New Hampshire, the battle with opioid addiction is still a daily struggle. We feel strongly that limiting access to legitimate non-opioid pain treatment even during the pandemic is short-sighted.

Acupuncturists regularly treat a variety of conditions in addition to chronic pain and opioid withdrawal. Stress management, mental health conditions, and symptoms relating to traumatic brain injury and PTSD are common focuses on our practice. Many of these conditions have already started to affect our frontline health care and service workers in NH. During this time, it is imperative to use all our resources to support the citizens of New Hampshire, and the research shows that acupuncture is an effective and cost-efficient modality to do that.

It is the position of the Cup of Life Healing Center of Keene, NH that NH Licensed Acupuncturists are medical professionals in the eyes of the NH state legislation, can serve a critical allied health role in the response to COVID-19 both to the well-being of their patients and the well-being of current frontline workers, and should be aligned with other non-hospital sector medical professionals and healthcare providers in the plan to reopen NH.

It is my hope that Acupuncturists are able to offer our valuable services that citizens will need now, and going forward. Thank you for your time.

Thank You For Your Help

Below are additional ways to support us

Continue Your Care via Virtual Visit

Video or phone virtual sessions are now available for both Acupuncture and Reiki Sessions.  We can help you get back or stay on track remotely until we can be in person.

Free Initial Consultation

New to Cup of Life? We treat a wide variety of health conditions.  Free initial consultations are available via video/phone. Click below to learn more or request your free initial consultation. 

Contribute to Our We Care Campaign

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