NCCAOM Advocacy Update Summer 2018

With the headquarters move to Washington, D.C. in the beginning of the year, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM®) is focused on providing services such as advocacy and public relations to promote our NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™ throughout the U.S. Therefore, the NCCAOM Board of Commissioners and staff are proud to announce that we have retained SmithBucklin’s Government Relations & Advocacy team in D.C. to provide federal advocacy services, further enabling our ability to work with U.S. policymakers and regulators. The SmithBucklin Advocacy team, under the leadership of John Richardson, also represents such groups as the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, and Lamaze International. Our partnership with SmithBucklin will focus on a three-pronged strategy to build awareness of acupuncture as a mainstream, evidence-based methodology for many conditions, especially pain management, while expanding patient access to certified acupuncturists nationwide and advocating on behalf of NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists. Pain management will be a primary focus, as we emphasize promoting acupuncture services for treating opioid addiction and pain.

The SmithBucklin Advocacy team will be responsible for expanding NCCAOM’s engagement with Congress, the federal government, NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™, and stakeholders across the health care industry. The goal of this partnership is to promote and serve the practice of acupuncture and the acupuncturist profession to better serve patients nationwide in three ways:

SmithBucklin will further NCCAOM’s policy work with Congress, federal and state agencies, and the private sector, enabling NCCAOM to expand awareness of acupuncture as a mainstream, evidence-based methodology for health and wellness. To date, the NCCAOM’s advocacy team has submitted comments on the use of acupuncture for pain treatment to the United States to the Senate Committee on Finance as well as the House Committee on Ways and Means. In addition, NCCAOM has engaged with the Healthcare Leadership Council to include information on nonpharmacological pain management in its Roadmap for Action for the opioid crisis.
NCCAOM recognizes that the greatest barrier preventing the increased use of acupuncture for pain management is the widespread lack of patient access. SmithBucklin is working with the NCCAOM to eradicate these barriers by addressing the lack of financial reimbursement and limited availability of acupuncture services for varied patient populations, including veterans and active duty military, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and the uninsured.
NCCAOM certification makes an important statement about professional competence that is recognized by regulatory bodies, third-party payers, the profession, and the public. As the organization representing the highest quality of standards for competency for acupuncturists, NCCAOM will continue to serve its Diplomates through its partnership with the SmithBucklin Advocacy Team and aid them in representing their profession. NCCAOM is developing a range of tools for Diplomates to perform their own local advocacy work, as well as expanding benefits and opportunities for NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturists™ nationwide.
As part of our mission to serve Diplomates, the NCCAOM Advocacy Team will begin to share regular NCCAOM® Advocacy Updates and Action Alerts to provide information on our ongoing efforts with lobbying and advocacy. These will include news of developments in the states, details on federal initiatives, and any calls to action for Diplomates that may arrive. The first edition of this update is below, and includes information on NCCAOM’s advocacy work so far, as well as support for state regulation to advance acupuncture services and NCCAOM credentials.
The Advocacy Updates will also provide an opportunity for feedback from Diplomates – if you have questions on our advocacy work, or want to bring anything to our attention, feel free to reach out to advocacy team at advocacy@thenccaom.org.