Jacksonville, FL — A study of 89,000 acupuncture patients treated in 2014 and 2015 within a managed care network of licensed acupuncturists found high rates of satisfaction, exceeding national benchmarks’ averages. These results were recently released by American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH), a company that develops and maintains managed care plans for specialized care services such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, naturopathy, and physical therapy.
The study utilized the Clinician & Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS®) survey developed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). These “CHAPS” surveys were designed to provide a standardized tool to measure patients’ experiences with healthcare providers, health plans and health systems. They are administered by independent, accredited contractors, and the results are fed into a national database and compiled to help establish national benchmarks of patient satisfaction.
“This survey is very illuminating” said Matthew Bauer, L.Ac., President of the non-profit Acupuncture Now Foundation “because unlike many controlled trials, this captures what happens to real people with real health problems when they are treated by licensed acupuncturists.” Most notably, according to Bauer, were the findings that between 85% and 93% of those surveyed said their acupuncturist was successful in addressing their primary health issue. “Many of these patients had stubborn, chronic pain conditions” said Bauer, “to see such high satisfaction rates in that demographic is really remarkable.”
The CG-CAHPS survey asks patients to rate their satisfaction levels in such categories as communication with their provider as well as office staff, ability to schedule appointments in a timely manner, and their overall rating of their provider. Between 80% – 87% of survey responders rated their acupuncturists at a 9 or a 10 on a 1-10 point scale. The national CG-CAHPS averages for conventional care providers for those years were between 76%-80%.
“While this landmark survey was conducted on patients seeing ASH Network acupuncturists, their 6000 providers represent a large cross-section of all U.S. licensed acupuncturists”, according to Dr. David, Miller, M.D., President of the American Society of Acupuncturists, “and we believe these high satisfaction rates will be similar for all well-trained acupuncturists.”
The majority of the patients in the survey were treated for musculoskeletal pain syndromes with low back and neck pain being the most common. Also included were patients with chronic pain who were referred for acupuncture by medical pain management specialists. The survey included tracking of adverse events and found only 13 non-serious events per 86,769 patients or 0.014 percent.
“We hope the results of this survey will help to educate consumers, healthcare providers and health policymakers about the role acupuncture and acupuncturists can play in reducing the need for higher risk and often less effective pain interventions. “said Dr. Miller.
For more information on an array of conditions treated by acupuncture and how to find a nationally board certified acupuncturist, please visit the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM®). Nationally Board-Certified acupuncturists can address pain management and many other common health concerns,” said Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of the NCCAOM. “Acupuncture services often include Chinese herbal remedies which may also help with digestive issues, allergies, skin problems and headaches, and more – all of which have been shown to be brought on by a variety of stressors.”
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About ANF: The ANF was founded in 2014 by a diverse group of people from around the world who were concerned about common misunderstandings regarding acupuncture and wanted to help acupuncture reach its full potential. With a mission to elevate acupuncture’s impact on easing suffering and enhancing health through accurate information about its best practices, the organization seeks recognition as a leader in the collection and dissemination of unbiased and authoritative information about the practice of acupuncture. For more information, visit https://acupuncturenowfoundation.org/about-us/.
About ASA : Founded in 2015, the Mission of the American Society of Acupuncturists is to promote the highest standards of professional practice for Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine in the United States, thereby to benefit the public health. Through strengthening the profession at the state level while promoting collaboration nationally and internationally, the ASA provides its members, the public, legislators, and regulators resources for ensuring the best expression of this ancient and modern medicine. For more information visit http://www.asacu.com/ .
About NCCAOM: The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)® is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization established in 1982. NCCAOM is the only national organization that validates entry-level competency in the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) through professional certification. NCCAOM certification or a passing score on the NCCAOM certification examinations are documentation of competency for licensure as an acupuncturist by 45 states plus the District of Columbia which represents 98% of the states that regulate acupuncture. All NCCAOM certification programs are currently accredited by the National Commission for Certification Agencies (NCCA). To learn more about the NCCAOM, or about acupuncture and national board certification visit www.nccaom.org. To find an NCCAOM board-certified practitioner in your area, click on Find a Practitioner at www.nccaom.org.