The statements and opinions contained in the articles on the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's (AAAOM) Blog are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the AAAOM. The appearance of advertisements in the AAAOM’s publications are not a warranty, endorsement or approval of the products or their safety. The AAAOM disclaims responsibility for any loss, injury or damage to persons or property resulting from any ideas or products referred to in any article or advertisement. Readers are advised to verify any information on which they choose to rely. 

2018 Acupuncturist Profession Landmarks in Focus

27 Jan 2019 11:30 AM | Anonymous

2018 Acupuncturist Profession Landmarks in Focus

Part I

American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine - Public Policy Committee

·         In alignment with the profession’s 2009 Consensus Conference, Congresswoman Judy Chu champions the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) historic federal bills within the United States Congress as the “Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act of 2017-2018” and the “Acupuncture for our Heroes Act of 2017-2018” with aim to expand qualified acupuncturist services to veterans, military, seniors, disabled, and more.[1]

·         Pain assessment/management standards for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, implemented in January, include provisions for nonpharmacologic pain treatment provided by Licensed Independent Practitioners[2] such as Licensed Acupuncturists.[3] 

·         Acupuncture is promoted as a pain treatment in government agency patient education materials where it is described as “a practice that involves the stimulation of specific points on the body, usually through the insertion of thin needles into the skin.”[4]

·         The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) publishes occupational requirements in February for GS 9-13 licensed acupuncturist positions (supervised/independent/supervisory/administrative).[5]  Throughout the year, federal job openings are posted online.[6] 

·         The Standard Occupation Classification Manual, containing the profession’s new and distinct standard occupation code (SOC) “29-1291 Acupuncturist,” is released in March by the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget.[7]

·         Terminally ill patients gain the “Right to Try” experimental treatments as S.204 is signed into law by President Trump in May.[8] 

·         President Trump signs the VA MISSION Act of 2018[9]into law in June to “consolidate the VA’s community care programs into a new Veterans Community Care Program.”[10]  Qualified acupuncturists credential as vendors with local VA facilities.   

·         The Federal Student Aid office implements the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) tool[11] available for individuals working for qualified employers:  government organizations (federal, state, local, tribal) and certain 501(c)(3) organizations. 

·         Professional non-degree and post-graduate degree programs, accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) include:  Certificate, Master, and Doctoral levels.[12] 


[1]H.R.2839:  Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act of 2017.

[2]The Joint Commission. R3 Report.

[3] Gale M, Hospital Practice: Recognition of Acupuncturist as a Licensed Independent Practitioner (LIP). Meridians.  2016; 3(4): 11-16.

[4] “Rx Pain Medications, Know the Facts, Managing Your Pain:  Which Approach is Right for You?”  DHSS, CDC, SAMHSA.



[7] Executive Office of the President of the United States. Standard Occupational Classification Manual. 2018.


[9] S 2372:  The VA MISSION Act of 2018





[14] HR 6:  SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act




[18] [18] Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service.  Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses. December 01, 2017: 5.

[19] Retrieved online [1/2/2019]


[21] Corbet, Michelle, “BlueCross removes Oxycontin, addes acupuncture amid opioid crisis,” Daily Memphian, 26 December 2018.


[23] Bathurst R, Valentine-Davis B, Williamson T, “Acupuncture and the Oklahoma Budget Crisis:  Self Regulation and Workplace Inclusivity of Acupuncturists Relieves Healthcare Costs, Provides Recurrent Revenue, and Protects the Public.” OKAA.  August 9, 2017.

[24] Marsh & McLennan Companies. State Medicaid Interventions for Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse Overdose: A Report for the National Association of Medicaid Directors.  National Association of Medicaid Directors. 2014.




acupuncture website design

"American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

PO Box 96503 #44114
Washington DC 20090