Our Mission

We are an association created to give the acupuncturists of California the opportunity to build momentum on issues that concern them and the people they serve, to take action on those issues, and to connect with each other,

Why Us?

California Acupuncturists deserve to know, understand, and have a unified voice on all issues that affect them. We want to be that voice for the acupuncturists of California.

Our goal is to be a connection that helps every acupuncturist in the state by empowering them to take action on important issues.

We are dedicated to sharing and remaining involved in current topics that affect our future to practice our medicine and protect our rights as acupuncturists.

Why are you better for being connected with us? It is very frustrating to be isolated and not know what to do or what action to take when disagreeable legislation is being presented.

We connect people and empower them to take action together.

Recent Updates

April 8, 2018  Inaugural meeting of unification steering committee held at Capitol

Assemblyman Evan Low issued a press release in English and Mandarin following the first meeting of the acupuncture unification steering committee.  CAA President Michael Fox was elected as Chair of the committee, Anyork Lee was elected as Vice Chair, and Jung Eun Seo was elected as Secretary/Treasurer.  Here are the releases:

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2018 Contact: James Wang, (408) 446-2810
                                                   The Inaugural Steering Committee Meeting
Carrying on the mission to form a statewide acupuncture association, 14 steering committee members, among them 8 representing major acupuncture organizations in Southern and Northern California were sworn in by State Assemblymember Evan Low on April 8 in the State Capitol during the inaugural meeting.
“You are making history, period! ” said Low, and added that among 50 States in America, California is the leader in the industry of acupuncture.
One committee member, Neil Miller, compared the significance of the inaugural steering meeting to the historic moment in 1975 when then Governor Jerry Brown legalized acupuncture in California.
The steering committee will build the foundation for a new statewide unified acupuncture association. After a lively and spirited discussion, the committee has selected Michael Fox of California Acupuncture Association and Anyork Lee of United Acupuncture Association as Chair and Vice-Chair of steering committee respectively, and has decided to choose “California Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine Association” as new name for the statewide association.
It is hoped that a unified statewide association will take acupuncture profession to new heights. Currently there are about 25 to 30 acupuncture associations in California. This tends to dilute the voice of the profession, often leaving policymakers to sort through issues on their own. With the vision of unifying the community, Low held three very successful acupuncture stakeholder meetings in February in Los Angeles, San Jose, and Sacramento respectively, in which more than 100 leaders of acupuncture community attended. These meetings helped
build momentum for unification, which subsequently lead to the establishment of the steering committee.
When the new association is formed, said Assemblymember Low, the acupuncture profession can finally advocate before the government with a strong, unified voice to make sure that insurance companies have more coverage for acupuncture and acupuncture can be another option in the battle against opioid crisis.

加州眾議員羅達倫 (Evan Low) 4月8日於加州議會舉行的全州性針灸公會籌備委員會首次會議中,帶領14位委員宣誓就任。14位籌備委員中,8位是南加州、北加州主要針灸公會代表。他們身負建立全州性針灸公會的重任。
加州州長布朗 (Jerry Brown) 1975年擔任州長期間,將加州針灸合法化。新當選籌備委員米勒 (Neil Miller) 把這次籌備委員會首次大會的歷史重要性,比之於當年。
籌備委員會主要任務是為新的全州性公會打下基礎,經過熱烈討論過後,委員會選出加州針灸公會 (California Acupuncture Association) 代表福斯 (Michael Fox) 為主席,聯合針灸委員會代表李安岳 (Anyork Lee) 為副主席。籌備委員會同時通過,將新的全州性針灸公會命名為「加州針灸與傳統醫學公會」 (California Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine Association) 。
羅達倫表示,新的全州性公會成立之後,針灸業將可以統一、強大的聲音在政府宣揚他們的權益,如要求保險公司擴大針灸醫療的保險涵蓋範圍,或要求採用針灸對抗目前類鴉片藥物 (opioid) 危機一項選擇。

March 24, 2018  CAA President to serve on Steering Committee for unified California acupuncture trade

Assemblyman Evan Low has constructed a steering committee made of nine organizational members, five at-large members, and one student to begin the historical and monumental task of bringing the multitude of California acupuncture trade organizations together in order to have a unified voice for legislators.  This is central to the tenets of CAA, and we are excited to announce that Michael Fox, PhD LAc ACN, has been selected to serve on this committee.  The first meeting will be April 8 2018 at the Capitol in Sacramento.

March 18, 2018  Acupuncture Now Foundation release "Getting To The Point" clip at ASA convention

The ANF has teamed up with Doug Dearth, creator of the award-winning film 9000 Needles, to create a feature-length documentary about acupuncture’s expanding role in modern healthcare.



March 15-18, 2018  CAA attends 3rd annual national ASA convention in Denver

Mori West and Michael Fox represented CAA at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Acupuncturists.  This was an excellent conference of state acupuncture associations and was an opportunity for CAA to be a part of national efforts to further the acupuncture profession through legislative coordination, spirited discussion and leadership development.  CAA attends these conferences as non-voting participants.  The full post meeting report is available on the ASA site.

You may recall that CAA withdrew its application for ASA membership in order to focus on and leave space for the new unified California trade organization currently in progress. Here's an excerpt from the annual report, dealing with the crisis currently facing California:

California at a Critical Juncture

California affects the industry with 1⁄3 of the US acupuncture licensees. Assemblymember Evan Low chairs the Business and Professions Committee, which oversees the California Acupuncture Board (CAB). He has hosted several meetings of the California acupuncture community. Currently, there are approximately 26 acupuncture groups in California. One single unified acupuncture voice was requested, thereby asking existing groups to disband and rejoin into a new entity. Additionally, the California legislature would like to move towards national standards through the adoption of the NCCAOM exams.

There are 3 primary concerns that have been voiced by CA stakeholders in regards to the NCCAOM exams:

  •  That the NCCAOM exam is perceived to be substantially different from and less difficult than California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE). This is untrue, and an extensive linkage study has been performed showing the exams to be substantially equivalent. The exception is that the NCCAOM exam does not cover state specific laws, thereby, California would require a supplemental jurisprudence exam to cover California state law.
  •  The NCCAOM exams have a lower educational hour requirement for sitting for the certification exam than CAB, and that this would thus lower educational requirements for practice in CA. This is untrue, in that the educational requirements to practice in CA can remain independent of the requirements for sitting for the NCCAOM exam. These are independent variables, not dependent variables. Though the exams may have different prerequisite requirements, CAB’s educational requirements can still be greater than those of NCCAOM to allow licensure.
  • The cost of the exam. CALE is $625, compared to approximately $1800 for all modules of the NCCAOM exam. This is a true concern. NCCAOM testing, however, comes with significant conveniences such as year-round testing at free-standing centers and more support-infrastructure. This point remains in discussion.

If CA state organizations do not comply with the effort to unite, there is a risk for the sunsetting of the California Acupuncture Board. The CAB could be moved from independence back under the medical board, and this could dramatically affect licensing and regulation in the state, affecting the industry nationwide.

ASA involved organizations CSOMA and CAA are at the forefront of these discussions, and have been assigned to the steering committee of the new organization. ASA as a national group remains as a resource to these organizations.

From the national perspective, adopting the NCCAOM exams and creating a unified voice for acupuncturists in California would strengthen the profession impressively. This is a complicated process, however, and moving to a single organization may not be possible.

February 2, 2018  Asm. Evan Low hosts historic ACUPUNCTURE UNIFICATION forums

   in Alhambra and San Jose

February 2nd was a truly historical day for the acupuncture profession in California.  Assemblymember Evan Low (D-CA 28) prepared professional presentations to open the dialogue about the crucial importance of uniting our profession in our state. As a result of our preliminary meetings in December 2017, CAA President, Dr. Michael Fox, and Treasurer, Mori West,  participated in formal discussions for unification of the profession. Low emphatically stressed we must have a clear and consistent message from the acupuncture profession as a whole
to be heard on legislative initiatives that move our profession forward. 

Currently, there are more than 25 active acupuncture trade organizations in California, and they are divided in disagreement about many key issues.  --> More than 25 ! <-- 

This need for a single voice in the California acupuncture stakeholders has been a primary goal of CAA since its inception.  Progress is being made, and YOUR participation is important.

A 50-page document laying out steps for this process was prepared and presented by professional lobbyist Kara Corches. This document is here in English and here in Mandarin.

Vincent Chee, special consultant to the Committee on Business and Professions for the California State Assembly, presented the current timeline of the Sunset Review Board for the California Acupuncture Board.  If the CAB is sunsetted, there will be no more acupuncture licenses issued to graduates, no new schools approved, and no enforcement actions pursued against licensed acupuncturists who fail to adhere to state laws.  That Sunset Review Board meeting is on February 26, 2018, in Sacramento.

An identical agenda was presented two days later in San Jose, which was also attended by CAA President Michael Fox.

Assemblyman Evan Low and CAA President Michael Fox

January 28 , 2018  ASA Year in Review

ASA American Society of Acupuncturists released their year-end review.  Read more here.

January 19, 2018 Grace Meng (D-NY06) cosponsors HR 2838

  Grace Meng (6) joined as a cosponsor of Judy Chu's bill, raising the total cosponsors to 9.

Grace Meng sits on the following committees:

December 12, 2017

Assemblyman Evan Low (D-CA 28 Silicon Valley) requested a meeting with Southern California stakeholders regarding unifying the voices of state trade associations and acupuncture stakeholders.  CAA was inviited to co-host this event with DongGuk University.  Discussions were also held regarding the status of the replacement of the CALE exam with the NCCAOM exam for initial licensure for California Acupuncturists.

December 12, 2017 CAA supports the NCCAOM as replacement for the California Acupuncture Licensing exam.

In preparation for our meeting with Assemblyman Evan Low (D-CA 28), CAA finalized its position regarding upcoming changes to the California Acupuncture Licensing Examination (CALE).  This has been in progress for about three years with many public discussions at the CAB meetings. The DCA’s Office of Professional Examination Services (OPES) conducted an audit of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (NCCAOM) examination program. OPES review determined that the NCCAOM exam is comparable to the CALE in terms of assessing the general areas of entry-level California acupuncture practice.

CAA believes that national standardization of examinations for entry-level acupuncture practice is in the longterm interest of the profession, and is congruent with the licensing examination practices of other healthcare  professions.  Pass rates for the CALE and the NCCAOM Exam appear to be comparable for the last five years, each with a median pass rate of about 75%.

The CAA supports the use of the NCCAOM exam with California supplement, with the caveat that relevant stakeholders be given sufficient opportunity to provide input and to review the content of the California supplement.  Read our letter to Assemblyman Evan Low here.

December 4, 2017 Henry "Hank" Johnson Jr. (D-GA04) cosponsors HR 2838

     Acupuncture for our Heroes Act

Hank Johnson joined as a cosponsor of Judy Chu's bill, raising the total cosponsors to 8.

Henry “Hank” Johnson Jr. sits on the following committees:

December 1, 2017  CAB releases its 2018 Sunsets Review Report

The complete report is here

The BP&E committee will meet on February26, 2018, to determine sunset status.

November 8, 2017  ASA Hill Briefing on HR 2838

     Acupuncture for our Heroes Act

See the video presentation here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tKKW1omRuo

Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), who has introduced groundbreaking federal legislation HR 2838 to get acupuncture to our veterans, led the acupuncturist community to hold its first-ever Congressional Briefing.  It was cosponsored by Sponsored by Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), the Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment & Recovery Caucus.

Over 50 staff members were in attendance including representatives from House members Loebsack (D-IA), Butterfield (D-NC), Bishop (R-UT), Brownley (D-CA26), Lieu (D-CA33), Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Garamendi (D-CA3), Lofgren (D-CA19), Moore (D- WI), Rogers (R-AL), Speier (D-CA14), Bass (D-CA37), Crawford (R-AR), Posey (R-FL), Crowley (D-NY), Matsui (D-CA6), O'Halleran (D-AZ), Speaker Pelosi (D-CA12), Johnson (D-GA), and Gottheimer (D- NJ), and Senate members Tillis (R- NC), Leahy (D-VT), Blumenthal (D- CT), Cardin (D-MD), Boozman (R- AR), Ernst (R-IA). This was a rare bi-partisan event.

In addition, there was ample representation from the Chronic Care community and other
trade associations addressing pain, including the Arthritis Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the US Pain Association, and the American Physical Therapy Association. The NCCAOM was also graciously in attendance.

The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS) and the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) carefully planned and sponsored this event, and were supported by local acupuncturists performing treatments.  ASA prepared a public report which is available on our site here and also on the ASA web site here.

July 28, 2017  Mark Takano D-CA41 cosponsors HR 2838

     Acupuncture for our Heroes Act

Mark Takano joined as a cosponsor of Judy Chu's bill, raising the total cosponsors to 7.

Mark Takano sits on the following committees:

July 24, 2017  Adam Schiff D-CA28 cosponsors HR 2838

     Acupuncture for our Heroes Act

Adam Schiff joined as a cosponsor of Judy Chu's bill, raising the total cosponsors to 6.

Adam Schiff sits on the following committees:

June 29, 2017  1 new cosponsor for HR 2838

     Acupuncture for our Heroes Act

Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ3) joined as a cosponsor of Judy Chu's bill, raising the total cosponsors to 5.

Raúl Grijalva sits on the following committees:

June 28, 2017  3 new cosponsors for HR 2838 Acupuncture for our Heroes Act

Ted Lieu (D-CA33), Grace Napolitano (D-CA32) and Nydia Velázquez (D-NY7) joined as cosponsors of Judy Chu's bill, raising the total cosponsors to 4. 

Ted Lieu sits on the following committees:

Nydia Velázquez sits on the following committees:

June 26, 2017  Tim Ryan (D-OH13) cosponsors HR 2838 Acupuncture for our Heroes Act

Tim Ryan became the first cosponsor of Judy Chu's bill.  He sits on the following committees:

June 14, 2017  NBC News reports on HR 2838 Acupuncture for our Heroes Act

Agnes Constante reported for NBC news on Judy Chu's bill.  Read the article here.

June 8, 2017  Judy Chu introduces Acupuncture for our Heroes Act HR 2838

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the Acupuncture for Our Heroes Act. The bill requires that at least one Veterans Administration (VA) health facility per Integrated Service Network provide acupuncture services to veterans enrolled in the VA health system. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

“As part of my commitment to ensuring quality healthcare for all Americans, I have been proud to fight for the field of acupuncture. For millennia, traditional Asian medicine has been treating a range of health problems. It led to a Noble Prize for Medicine in 2015 and was even on display at the 2016 Olympics. As our nation faces the worst opioid epidemic in our history, acupuncture can serve as a safe and proven alternative to addictive medicines and risky surgeries. I believe that veterans should have more options for healthcare, not fewer. That is why I’m introducing this bill to ensure that our veterans can access acupuncture as part of the menu of options available to them.”

The bill language can be found here.  You can track its progress here.

The bill is also endorsed by the American Legion, the Korean Acupuncture and Asian Medicine Association in USA, and Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Associations (CAOMA).

March 17-18, 2017  2nd Annual Meeting of American Society of Acupuncturists

Mori West and Michael Fox represented CAA at the 2nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Acupuncturists.  This was an excellent conference of state acupuncture associations and was an opportunity for CAA to be a part of national efforts to further the acupuncture profession through legislative coordination, spirited discussion and leadership development.  CAA attends these conferences as non-voting participants.  The full post meeting report is available on the ASA site.

February 18, 2017  Dept of Insurance replies to inquiry about possible Blue Cross discrimination

In December 2016, the CAA made an inquiry with the California Dept of Insurance (DOI) regarding actions by Anthem Blue Cross transferring utilization review and claims payment functions to American Specialty Health (ASH) beginning October 1, 2016. The move effectively slashed reimbursement rates to licensed acupuncturists by 20%, since acupuncturists in the Anthem network now receive ASH reimbursement rates.

At issue in the inquiry to the DOI was a FAQ that was sent out to Anthem insurance clients. One question in the FAQ stated the following:

Q. Do other non-acupuncture providers follow this process if they offer acupuncture services?

A. No Anthem will review and process all claims for them - not ASH.

In California, other "non-acupuncture providers" include MDs, DOs and dentists.

The CAA inquiry stated that it believes this policy change by Anthem may be in violation of Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), titled the "Nondiscrimination in Health Care" provision.

Section 2706 states that a health insurer "shall not discriminate with respect to participation or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider's license or certification under applicable State Law...Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a group health plan, a health insurance issuer, or the Secretary from establishing varying reimbursement rates BASED ON QUALITY OR PERFORMANCE MEASURES".

By requiring licensed acupuncturists to submit claims to ASH while continuing to process claims for acupuncture services submitted by non-acupuncture providers, The CAA believes that Anthem Blue Cross is discriminating against licensed acupuncturists by establishing varying reimbursement rates that are NOT based on quality or performance measures, but rather based on licensing.

The CAA received a reply from the DOI on Feb. 2, stating the following: The ACA non-discrimination provision prohibits discrimination with respect to participation under the plan or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider's license under applicable law...Insurers cannot cover treatments and services performed by some providers but not others. But that issue involves claims handling. There does not seem to be any prohibitions against the procedural practices for claims handling.

This opinion was echoed by licensed acupuncturist William Reddy, who is Director of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC). In his response to CAA's request for advice on Section 2706, Dr. Reddy stated: "One of the frustrating things about the Non-Discrimination provision is that it doesn't protect us AT ALL from fiscal discrimination, only from NOT being reimbursed based on our profession".

Given this information, CAA is looking into how best this issue is best addressed going forward.

February 16, 2017  Acupuncture Board announces new regulations

The California Acupuncture Board sent out letters dated February 2, 2017, summarizing enactment of new regulations.  New signage in acupuncture offices, new reporting requirements, and other changes are detailed in their letter, which you can read HERE.

Effective October 1, 2016, acupuncturists in California must display a Notice to Consumers that the Acupuncturists are licensed and regulated by the California Acupuncture Board, using specific wording and font size. CAA has one you can use here

February 14 ♥, 2017  New Episodes of HIPAAdy by NueMD

Check out these amusing reminders about HIPAA compliance offered by Nue MD   HIPAARDY!


January 20, 2017 - HR 3849 dies in committees

The status of HR 3849 is now:Died in a previous Congress

This bill "Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act of 2015" was introduced on October 28, 2015, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

January 11, 2017 - Melinda Phoenix named Membership Chair of CAA

The board of directors of CAA announced that Melinda Phoenix has accepted the position of Membership Chair and will be working to coordinate membership enrollment. 

Melinda is a passionate leader for legislative advocacy. She is focused on empowering and mobilizing her fellow peers in taking action towards evolving healthcare systems through ground-work implementation and political involvement. 

Melinda founded East-West Collaborative Health in 2014, where she incorporates an array of Eastern and Western medical modalities. She completed Integrative Medicine residency programs at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California and also at the National Hospital of Integrative Medicine in Vietnam. She received her Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University and her AA in Communications from Cabrillo College. 

Melinda is the co-founder and President of the 501(c)3 DREEM Reality which educates on sustainable living techniques. She served on the student government body at her alumni school Five Branches University for 3 years, and served as secretary and co-founder of the Sustainability Council at Cabrillo College.

November 7, 2016 - Advocacy group sues Anthem

A class-action lawsuit from Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica-based advocacy group,  has been filed against Anthem Blue Cross, arguing that federal Affordable Care Act regulations prohibit insurers from automatically renewing customers if their policies undergo a major change.  To hold down premiums, the insurer switched to policies with no out-of-network benefits.  Read more of the LA Times editorial here:


September 26, 2016 - TWO new co-sponsors of HR3849

Alcee Hastings (D-FL 20) officially signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 3849 Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act!    As of this date, the bill now has 12 official co-sponsors.  Track it here:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3849

September 22, 2016 - TWO new co-sponsors of HR3849

Alan Grayson (D-FL 9) officially signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 3849 Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act!    As of this date, the bill now has 11 official co-sponsors.  Track it here:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3849

September 12, 2016 - TWO new co-sponsors of HR3849

Alan Lowenthal (D-CA 47) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ 3) officially sign on as co-sponsors of HR 3849 Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act!    As of this date, the bill now has 10 official co-sponsors.  Track it here:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3849

July 22, 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics proposes Acupuncturist SOC

On July 22, 2016 the BLS announced the proposal of a new standard occupational code - Acupuncturists: 29-1291.

Multiple dockets requested a new detailed occupation for Acupuncturists, which are classified in 29-1199 Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners in the 2010 SOC.

The SOCPC accepted this recommendation because the work performed by Acupuncturists is sufficiently distinct to reliably collect data, as required by Classification Principle 9. The SOCPC recommends establishing a new code for this occupation, 29-1291 Acupuncturists.

July 14, 2016 Grace Meng co-sponsors HR 3849

Grace Meng (D-NY 6) officially signs on as a co-sponsor of HR 3849 Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act!    Rep. Meng sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific  As of this date, the bill now has 8 official co-sponsors.  Track it here:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3849

July 6, 2016 Grace Napolitano co-sponsors HR 3849

Grace Napolitano (D-CA 32) officially signs on as a co-sponsor of HR 3849 Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act!  Napolitano and Judy Chu joined forces on June 26 with the California Army National Guard, the City of Azusa, and local veterans organizations to bring the VA to the U.S. Army National Guard Armory in Azusa to assist San Gabriel Valley veterans with their casework.  Rep. Napolitano sits on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastruction and is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.  As of this date, the bill now has 7 official co-sponsors.  Track it here:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3849

June 10, 2016

California Acupuncture Board recommends legislation to replace CALE with NCCAOM exam

The Board recommended the introduction of legislation mandating for Acupuncture licensure in California, that applicants now be required to take the NCCAOM exam with a California supplemental exam, to be implemented not before January 1, 2019.  

See the CAB letter to the Business and Professions Committee here.

April 15, 2016 Adam Schiff co-sponsors HR 3849

Adam Schiff (D-CA 28) officially signs on as a co-sponsor of HR 3849 Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act!  CAA supporters began contacting him on March 9 and encouraged him to support this act.  Rep. Schiff is the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  As of this date, the bill now has 6 official co-sponsors.  Track it here:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3849

April 12, 2016 Ted Lieu so-sponsors HR 3849

Ted Lieu (D-CA 33) officially signs on as a co-sponsor of HR 3849 Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act!  CAA supporters began contacting him on March 9 and encouraged him to support this act.  Rep. Lieu is on the House Committee on the Budget and the Subcommittee on National Security.  As of this date, the bill now has 5 official co-sponsors.  Track it here:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3849

March 15, 2016 Loretta Sanchez co-sponsors HR 3849

Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 46) officially signs on as a co-sponsor of HR 3849 Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act!  CAA supporters began contacting her on March 9 and encouraged her to support this act.  Rep. Sanchez is on the House Committee on Armed Services, one of the four committees looking at this bill.  As of this date, the bill now has 4 official co-sponsors.  Track it here:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3849

March 9, 2016  NCCAOM Academy announced

NCCAOM was an invited guest at the ASA board meeting in Albuquerque, and announced its new Academy which is a membership arm of Diplomates.  The breaking news press release from NCCAOM is on their site at http://www.nccaom.org/2016-press-releases/new-membership-organization-announcement/

This e-blast from the ASA (American Society of Acupuncturists) came out today.

Dear Colleagues:  

It is no doubt with surprise and perhaps trepidation that you learn today of the new NCCAOM Academy.   The ASA has been in close contact with NCCAOM regarding this new arm of their organization.  It is the position of the ASA that there is immense work to be done for the profession.  We recognize that solely structured as a certifying body, NCCAOM was limited in the amount and type of work it could do on behalf of the profession without violating the rules surrounding its own credentialing under the NCCA (http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=25). 

The leadership of your state associations in attendance at the recent ASA meeting in Albuquerque, NM met with NCCAOM about this issue, and the board of the ASA has worked with NCCAOM to help determine how to best make this change of benefit to the profession as a whole.  The ASA has signed a memorandum of understanding with NCCAOM about this new Academy, and we continue to work with NCCAOM to assure that the roles to be played by both organizations remain clear and complementary.  There is much work to do ahead to assure that work of the Academy does not detract from the ASA, and similarly that the ASA not be in competition with this structure, but rather in collaboration. 

The ASA remains the core structure dedicated to improving the practice of acupuncture via the state association infrastructure, and serves a different purpose to what the Academy can achieve.  The NCCAOM has pledged its support of our work.  We hope in the near future to create shared benefits for practitioners, and, by working together, deliver more powerful representation to and on behalf of the profession.  We encourage all practitioners to join their state associations, and encourage Diplomates of the NCCAOM to give constructive feedback on how to collaboratively develop the new Academy.  Both of these organizations have at heart the best interest of the individual acupuncture practitioner, and we look forward to many years of service in harmony.

The Board of the American Society of Acupuncturists

March 4-5, 2016

CAA Board Members Michael Fox and Mori West participated in the first annual meeting of the American Society of Acupuncturists in Albuquerque last weekend March 4-5. The major topics were nationwide "dry needling" legislative battles, an update to NCCAOM structure and events, and international participation in efforts of acupuncture research, ISO standards and CPT updates.  Fox and West spoke about statewide efforts to bring the California acupuncturists together with a unified voice.

February 20, 2016

Support Kansas Acupuncturists in

Passing Their Acupuncture Practice Act

On Wednesday, 2/17/16, SB 363, The Kansas Acupuncture Practice Act, passed out of the Kansas State Senate Health Committee. This Act would finally recognize acupuncturists in Kansas with licensure and define their scope of practice. We congratulate the Kansas Association of Oriental Medicine (KAOM) and all Kansas acupuncturists for their success in getting SB 363 to the floor of the Senate.

SB 363 is meeting stiff resistance, however, from Kansas physical therapists who view this bill as a threat to their ability to perform dry needling. While dry needling is not specifically contained within their scope of practice, Kansas physical therapists have been performing this procedure because State law has been silent on the issue.

The KAOM states that they had reached a prior agreement with the physical therapists that would promote passage of SB 363 while acupuncturists would assist in any future actions by physical therapists to have dry needling written into their scope of practice. This agreement was broken when physical therapists began lobbying the Senate to have physical therapy exempt from the provisions of SB 363.

Normally, the CAA does not encourage contacting public officials of whom you are not a constituent. However, physical therapists appear to have launched a nationwide campaign to bombard the Kansas State Senate urging them not to pass the Kansas Acupuncture Practice Act. In response, our colleagues in Kansas are asking acupuncturists in California and throughout the country to support them by urging Kansas State senators to pass SB 363.

CAA immedately sent an action alert to all our members with a sample letter, contact information for all Kansas State senators and instructions for sending letters, emails and phone calls urging the Senate to pass SB 363 without further amendments.

A vote on SB 363 is expected to come up on the Senate floor as early as TUESDAY FEB 23. Let's show our colleagues in Kansas that acupuncturists in California are 100% behind them in their efforts for long overdue recognition and licensure in the State of Kansas.

February 10, 2016

State Fund Contracts with Harbor Health

Systems to Administer its MPN

For our members who treat work comp patients, an important change has occurred in the State Fund (SCIF) MPN. Starting February 1, the State Fund MPN ceased to exist and was replaced by the State Fund MPN by Harbor Health. This MPN will be administered by Harbor Health Systems based in Irvine, CA. According to a Provider FAQ posted on the Harbor Health website, Harbor Health Systems will provide Medical Access Assistant (MAA) services “to assist covered injured workers in locating a specialty matched medical provider” in the MPN.

In this way, Harbor Health Systems performs functions similar to established MAA companies Align Networks and Medrisk by scheduling initial appointments for injured workers who have been authorized to receive treatment or diagnostic services.

In addition, the Provider FAQ states that injured workers may choose their own providers by accessing a roster of all treating physicians, or a complete provider directory in the State Fund MPN. To schedule an appointment, the injured worker may either contact the provider directly, through their claims adjuster, the State Fund Customer Service Center or through a Harbor Health MAA. It also states that the Harbor Health MAA can assist with securing appointments with a selected provider on behalf of the referring physician.

This is a significant change from Align Networks and Medrisk's standard procedure of routinely selecting the treating provider, offering no choice to the patient and often disregarding the wishes of the referring physician. It appears to be a welcome change, more closely adhering to what the 2013 DWC regulatory revisions intended when it first mandated the use of MAAs. We will see in the coming year how well Harbor Health manages SCIF's MPN.

The Harbor Health MAA may be contacted by phone, fax or email:

Phone: 855-251-7082

Fax: 571-466-2070

Email: StatefundMPNMAA@harborsys.com

February 9, 2016

Members reported that a live Dry Needling demonstration was planned and advertised in Anaheim during the Combined Sections Meeting of APTA "CSM 2016", and expressed concerns that someone not properly licensed to perform acupuncture would be demonstrating this technique.  CAA sent a letter of concern to KinetaCore in Brighton, CO, and to the president of APTA, reminding them that California state law only allows the practice of acupuncture for a limited number of professions, of which physical therapy is not included. KinetaCore provides continuing education courses and dry needling certification for physical therapists nationwide. Read the full text here.

February 1, 2016

We published a free toolkit to help acupuncturists and their patients support HR 3846 the Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act of 2015.  At this date the bill was sitting in four committees and only had 3 co-sponsors.  Download the six forms at the upper right corner of home page.  CAA Members got the links early on Jan 31.

January 17, 2016

The Work Comp Survey Results Are In!

Due to continuing complaints from California acupuncturists regarding the increasing trend of heavily discounted and capped rates imposed by Scheduling Administrators in the workers compensation market, CAA conducted an online survey to better understand how this trend is affecting our profession.

Of a total 101 respondents, 56 responded either “yes” or “unsure” to the question of whether they participate in a network manged by a Scheduling Administrator.

When asked their level of satisfaction regarding reimbursement rates, 17.3% were satisfied or very satisfied while 63.5% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

When asked their level of satisfaction regarding number of patient referrals received, 22.0% were satisfied or very satisfied while 68.0% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

When asked how many patients per month were referred to them by Scheduling Administrators, 46.7% received less than one patient per month, 40.0% received 1-5 per month, and 13.3% received greater than 5 patients per month.

Acupuncturists who have heard complaints about Scheduling Administrators from their patients totaled 51.2% of respondents, while those hearing complaints from their referring doctors totaled 35.9% of respondents.

Perhaps most telling of the effect that Scheduling Administrators are having on the industry, when asked whether the growing influence of Scheduling Administrators has prompted them to consider reducing or ending completely their involvement in work comp, 19.0% have strongly considered while 38.1% have considered the possibility.

In 2016, CAA will be working with a broad coalition of healthcare providers whose professions have been adversely impacted by Scheduling Administrators in the work comp system. We will keep our members apprised of developments and call upon acupuncturists to lend your support as the coalition solidifies its action agenda in the coming months.

To view entire survey, please follow the link: See Survey Results

December 18, 2015

During the public comment period for proposed amendments to the State of California's Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule (MTUS), CAA reiterated its support of acupuncture as a first-line treatment in lieu of opioids for chronic pain, and requested inclusion of acupuncture in treatment guidelines for post-operative pain.  Read the letter here.  Go here to see the Department of Industrial Relations summary of the proposed changes.

November 20, 2015

Many of our members reported that a Dry Needling demonstration was planned and advertised in Los Angeles during the 1st Annual Lewis A. Yocum, MD, Memorial Baseball Medicine Conference, and expressed concerns that someone not properly licensed to perform acupuncture would be demonstrating this technique.  On Nov. 16, CAA sent a letter of concern to Systemic Dry Needling in Phoenix, AZ, and to the Exhibit Coordinator of the conference, reminding them that California state law only allows the practice of acupuncture for a limited number of professions, of which physical therapy is not included. Systemic Dry Needling provides continuing education courses and dry needling certification for physical therapists nationwide. Read the full text here.


November 15, 2015

When Representative Judy Chu introduced HR 3849, the Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act of 2015 to Congress on October 28, 2015, we wanted to hear your voice!  We presented our membership a section-by-section summary and the full text of the bill, and surveyed whether CAA should join the growing number of organizations nationwide who are endorsing this bill.   


The results of those who responded were  

90% in favor of 

supporting this legislation.

Thank you to all our members 

who took the time to share their opinion. 

Accordingly, we sent an official letter of support to her offices in Washington, DC, and Pasadena, CA, and got confirmation in December that we were on the official list of endorsing organizations.  

Read the letter here.


November 07, 2015

With the October 1 commencement of ICD-10 protocols, our members needed professional advice on new documentation and coding practices.  Mori West, award-winning founder of the specialty billing company AcuClaims, developed a new Superbill and a short-list "cheat sheet" of ICD-10 codes that California acupuncturists will use most often. The Superbill is in fillable-PDF format and can be customized.  The ICD-10 Cheat Sheet is graphically designed to print double-side on one page and be handy for your coding and billing tasks.  These are now available to members in our Member Only Content page in PDF format.  

Thanks AcuClaims!


November 05, 2015

Our "Call to Action" generated a lot of motivation, questions, and a few concerns. There were some reported misinterpretations of CAA's intentions, and clarification was needed. CAA amended one sentence on the information page of the Call To Action. This amendment in no way changes the goals of CAA to advocate on behalf of our profession for better reimbursement rates and broader coverage for our scope of practice.  

Here's what was changed:  see California Acupuncture Association: page 2, section 1, paragraph 3: Strike last sentence: CAA seeks to break the silence, take ASH to task and reverse this policy.

Read the Amended Call to Action here.  Read the Original Call to Action here.


October 7, 2015

With newly appointed board members in place, CAA identified three key issues of interest to California acupuncturists and drafted a Call to Action to introduce to members and prospective members.  Those three issues were:

1. Raise the low PPO insurance reimbursement rates for in-network providers in California

2. End excessive discounted fee caps forced on secondary providers in workers compensation

3. Enforce the ACA non-discrimination regulations and get paid for the ENTIRE scope of practice

The board also recognized that making any headway on these issues would require a substantial membership body, and set membership goals.

Real the original Call to Action here.



October 7, 2015

One acupuncturist can treat a patient.

Two acupuncturists can form a group practice.

Ten acupuncturists can sit in a CEU class.

How many acupuncturists do we need to form an association that will make a difference in your practice and your profession?

Our goal is 600.

That is 10% of the estimated licensed acupuncturists actively practicing in the State of California.

With 600 members, CAA can approach our legislators with the power of our practicing professionals; CAA can be a formidable ally with like-minded professional associations working on issues that affect all our practices; CAA can sit as a member nationally in the Council of State Associations (CSA), addressing issues that affect acupuncturists nationwide.

600 - It begins with you. The CAA can be the professional association that will fight for you, represent you and have your back, only if you are willing to fight for, represent and have the backs of each of your fellow acupuncturists.

You can start by joining us at CAA.  Membership fees are unbelievably low!



September 26 and 28, 2015

With ICD-10 commencing on October 1, CAA presented TWO webinars on the new coding and documentation requirements, each was free to members and each included CEU credits with the California Acupuncture Board.

These webinars were recorded and are now in the Members-Only Content

September 1, 2015

The State of California Department of Industrial Relations held a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule (MTUS).  Specifically, Amendments to Section 9792.24.2 Chronic Pain Medical Treatment Guidelines and adoption of Section 9792.24.4 Opioids Treatment Guidelines were proposed. CAA supported the use of acupuncture as first-line treatment in lieu of opioids and also requested inclusion of acupuncture for treatment of post-operative pain.  Read the letter here.

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