Bureau of Labor Statistics
Over the past six years, the NCCAOM has been working with AOM community leaders and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to gain recognition for acupuncturists through the BLS Standards of Occupational Classification (SOC) system.
The NCCAOM recently sent out a memo to national and state association leaders with an update on these activities related to the BLS. The NCCAOM encourages everyone to read this important memo.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee (SOCPC) did not accept the AOM professional organizations’ request to add Acupuncturist as a separate detailed occupation to the 2010 SOC. The SOCPC stated:
“The SOCPC did not accept this recommendation, based on Classification Principle 9 which states that for a detailed occupation to be included in the SOC, either the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Census Bureau must be able to collect and report data on that occupation. Based on the information received, neither agency was able to determine it would be able to collect and report data for Acupuncturists. Acupuncture is practiced widely by healthcare providers in more than one SOC occupation.”
For more details please see the fulll response here
The OMB and SOCPC, also, did not accept the request by the AOM national organizations to add “Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Practitioner”. They stated that “Oriental medicine” is not uniformly defined as a field, and aspects of Oriental medicine are practiced widely by other healthcare providers in more than one SOC occupation. The SOCPC’s rationale for this decision is available here.
The next steps for the AOM national organizations are to prepare our case for the 2013 call for proposals to BLS’s Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee (SOCPC). We need to address the areas that are being tracked by the O-NET and also look at other occupations that provide acupuncture services or treatments (e.g. Chiropractors, MDs, nurses, etc.). We need to distinguish “Acupuncturists” from other health care providers providing acupuncture treatments. Hopefully the tracking services provided by O-NET will strengthen our case for the inclusion of a standard occupational classification for Acupuncturists in 2018 (decision will be made in 2015, implemented in 2018).
The Acupuncture profession has been acknowledged by the BLS as a result of our filing in 2009, as well as our follow up requesting a listing in the Direct Match Title tracking. The above activities were the first major steps to receive federal recognition by the BLS, now we should be coming down the home stretch by submitting our final request for an independent code.