NCCAOM Diplomate E-News You Can Use: Summer 2022

In This Issue:

NCCAOM Advocacy Update – Summer 2022

Person working at desk with many files and papers.

The NCCAOM® Advocacy team represents NCCAOM certification, Diplomates, and stakeholders by providing information to promote acupuncture services to state and federal policymakers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as other stakeholder groups.

Advocacy News

Support for H.R. 4803

Initial meetings for the Summer Push for H.R. 4803, the Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act wrapped up in late July, just in time for Congress’ summer recess. A big thank you to all NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturists who participated, encouraged their colleagues to participate, and told their stories to their Representatives’ offices. The Summer Push effort is just the start. Our advocacy team is always working on meeting follow-up strategies and scheduling new meetings for constituents.

If you missed our Summer Push, there are still plenty of opportunities to take

part in a Hill meeting. Contact us today at [email protected] if you’d like to schedule a virtual meeting. Advancing federal legislation is often a marathon and your participation is fueling our efforts.

The ASA/NCCAOM Advocacy Team continues to engage with acupuncturists across the country to support H.R. 4803. While ensuring the bill establishes a solid bipartisan balance remains a priority, we welcome the opportunity to work with all of you to engage your U.S. Representatives on this issue. Your experience, your patients’ experience, your voice makes a difference and we invite you to contact [email protected] if you would like to meet with your U.S. Representative about H.R. 4803.

How You Can Get Involved

Since its introduction in late July 2021, the NCCAOM has worked with the ASA to help increase awareness of, and support for, H.R. 4803. There are a number of ways Diplomates can get involved with the effort. Here are a few:

Constituent Meetings

The NCCAOM/ASA Advocacy team continue to schedule Congressional meetings with acupuncturists in Republican House Districts. If you receive an email about a meeting opportunity, say yes! You do not need policy experience—you simply need to share how H.R. 4803 affects your practice and your patients. You will receive training before the meeting and have everything you need from the NCCAOM and the ASA. Hill meetings are a great way to help the NCCAOM and the ASA advance H.R. 4803!

Contact your U.S. Representative

You can also help promote H.R. 4803 without speaking a word and with a few quick clicks on your phone. Through the ASA/NCCAOM advocacy platform, acupuncturists, patients, acupuncture students, allies, and senior citizens can message their U.S. Representatives by email or Twitter. Just text 53886 on your cellphone and type any of the following words:

    • “Acupuncture” –  Acupuncture Campaign
    • “Student” – Student Campaign
    • “Acupuncture Patient” – Patient Campaign
    • “Senior Citizen” – Senior Citizen Campaign
    • “Acupuncture Ally” – Ally Campaign

The Patient Testimonial Portal

Patients’ voices are a key part of advancing H.R. 4803. The NCCAOM/ASA Patient Testimonial Portal enables patients to tell Congress how acupuncture has helped them. The Patient Testimonial Portal information is available in English and Chinese and provides guidance on talking with your patients about this opportunity, privacy compliance, and instructions for collecting and submitting patient testimonials.

The NCCAOM/ASA H.R. 4803 Fact Sheet

H.R. 4803 Fact Sheet: This resource (in English and Chinese) provides information about the bill for all audiences.

Acupuncture Today Contributions

Each edition of Acupuncture Today features a column from the NCCAOM/ASA advocacy team and ASA/NCCAOM advocates about H.R. 4803, Medicare recognition, and the ways acupuncturists and allies can support this effort. Want to contribute an article to Acupuncture Today on what H.R. 4803 means to you? Contact [email protected].

Medicare-Recognition (H.R. 4803) Background

As many of you know, CMS covers acupuncture services for chronic lower back pain (cLBP) but does not recognize acupuncturists as providers. This lack of recognition prevents a significant number of the profession from readily providing cLBP services to Medicare beneficiaries. The resulting barrier prevents those with the most expertise and training in acupuncture from providing these services.

Obtaining provider status under Medicare would enable acupuncturists to directly bill Medicare for the covered services that they provide to Medicare beneficiaries (generally those 65 and older). This recognition is critical to advancing the acupuncture profession, as it would grant more individuals access to qualified acupuncturists—and more qualified acupuncturists access to those over 65 years of age. Medicare recognition would also help the profession collect and generate data on acupuncture benefits, particularly with regard to quality and cost.

The NCCAOM and ASA continue to maintain a series of resources to help educate the profession on Medicare recognition and the steps required for Medicare provider status. Read more about how Medicare provider status would affect the profession by visiting the NCCAOM’s Advocacy Page.

Stay tuned for more updates on efforts to obtain Medicare recognition. Contact the NCCAOM Advocacy team with any Medicare-related questions at [email protected].

The NCCAOM Advocacy Team Represents You

The NCCAOM advocacy team works tirelessly to advocate for our Board Certified Acupuncturists. If there is an issue, challenge, or opportunity you would like to convey to the team, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Read more about the NCCAOM’s advocacy efforts on the NCCAOM Advocacy Page. Please contact the NCCAOM Advocacy team with any questions regarding the NCCAOM’s Advocacy efforts and ways to get involved.

The NCCAOM Advocacy Team

The Importance of a Job Analysis Study for Creating National Exam Content

Person working at desk with many files and papers.

Current events have emphasized the importance of creating and adhering to national standards whether it is the need for protocols for administering vaccines or COVID-19 testing, adhering to national standards to help bring consistency, stability, and greater efficiencies.

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)® offers ‘national’ certification for Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology and Oriental Medicine. Each NCCAOM examination, Acupuncture with Point Location, Biomedicine, Chinese Herbology and Foundations of Oriental Medicine, are created and validated via a national Job Analysis (JA) study. The goal of the JA is to ensure that NCCAOM entry-level certification exam content reflects what is going on nationally in current practice.

So, what exactly is a Job Analysis and how does it affect the content outlines and what candidates should know?

The purpose of a Job Analysis (JA) study is ultimately to establish the link between test scores achieved on certification/licensing exams and the competencies tested; therefore, pass or fail decisions correlate/relate to competent performance. When evidence of validity based on examination content is presented for a specific professional role, it is critical to consider the importance of the competencies being tested. NCCAOM is bound by external accreditation standards. It does not create the blueprint for the content outlines on its own. It does so to confirm the exam relevancy to current entry-level practice. The Joint Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, and NCME, 1999) state(s):

Standard 14.10

“When evidence of validity based on test content is presented, the rationale for defining and describing a specific job content domain in a particular way (e.g., in terms of tasks to be performed or knowledge, skills, abilities, or other personal characteristics) should be stated clearly”.

Standard 14.14

“The content domain to be covered by a credentialing test should be defined clearly and justified in terms of the importance of the content for the credential-worthy performance in an occupation or profession. A rationale should be provided to support a claim that the knowledge or skills being assessed are required for credential-worthy performance in an occupation and are consistent with the purpose for which the licensing or certification program was instituted.”

The above standards are used by the NCCAOM and are included in the National Commission of Certifying Agencies’ (NCCA) Standards for Accreditation of Certification Programs, the agency which accredits each of the NCCAOM certification programs.

It is necessary for ongoing certification and licensure programs to hold JA studies every several years to review the expectations and practices of the industry, as well as to update the content assessed within their examination programs.

This process allows for the inclusion of newly emerging practices to potentially be included on the examination, as well as the removal of outdated practices. Periodic JA studies ensures the continued validity of content, and help programs avoid becoming out of line with current day-to-day practice. The survey is sent to licensed acupuncturists throughout the United States. Based on the results of the JA survey, changes are indicated and made to the newly created content outline(s) and dictates what type of questions are to be written. This is to ensure that the NCCAOM examination modules reflect ongoing changes that occur in nationwide practice (i.e., common knowledge, national laws, OSHA, HIPAA, GMP practices, scope of practice, etc.).

Beginning in November 2016, the NCCAOM undertook their most recent full-scale nationally conducted Job Analysis study, creating four individual surveys of the knowledge elements required for competent, entry-level practice; one for each of the four certification exams offered by NCCAOM. The results of these surveys provide support for the ongoing relevance, validity, and legal defensibility of the NCCAOM national examination programs, establishing the link between what acupuncturists do on-the-job and the content of the NCCAOM® Foundations of Oriental Medicine (FOM), Biomedicine (BIO), Acupuncture with Point Location (ACPL), and Chinese Herbology (CH) examinations.

The surveys were developed based on results from a comprehensive literature review of the professional role of acupuncturists (e.g., curricula for training programs, and job descriptions), phone interviews of practicing licensed acupuncturists, and feedback from a panel of subject matter experts (SMEs). The members of the Job Analysis (JA) Panel were NCCAOM Diplomates and licensed acupuncturists recruited by NCCAOM leadership to represent national diversity of practice, experience, geographic location, education, ethnic backgrounds, and high-level professional expertise.

Invitations to complete this national survey, as well as reminders, were sent via email to all known licensed acupuncturists and NCCAOM constituent groups, numbering approximately 33,000 practitioners. During that time, the survey was advertised via social media and in an article published in the July 2017 edition of Acupuncture Today. There were 3,285 unique logins to the survey, representing a response rate of approximately 10%, which is excellent for an unsolicited online survey. Over 95% of respondents indicated that the survey either completely or adequately described the critical knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) required for nationally competent, entry-level practice as an acupuncturist. This supports a high degree of confidence that the depth and breadth of the survey content was reflective of practice across geographic settings and among various work-practice settings.

A second JA Panel meeting was held to consider and review the results of the survey data analyses, and to finalize the new content outlines for the NCCAOM® Foundations of Oriental Medicine (FOM), Biomedicine (BIO), Acupuncture with Point Location (ACPL), and Chinese Herbology (CH) examinations.

Among the results presented by the NCCAOM’s psychometrician were mean importance and frequency performed data for each KSA. This allowed the Panel to understand which KSAs were deemed by the survey respondents to be important and frequently performed, thus essential for inclusion in the content outline. During the meeting, the Panel agreed to minor additional editing, resulting in final approved content outlines for the FOM, BIO, ACPL, and CH examinations. NCCAOM content outlines for each examination module (FOM, BIO, ACPL, CH) are validated through the national JA report. The resulting content outlines provide the detail on the major areas of responsibility for each domain in a given content outline. Each examination question is then linked to a specific domain, task, and knowledge statement. For more information, please refer to the NCCAOM Job Analysis Report.

National certification exams measure the competency of candidates for current practice and not what schools are teaching. It would be very difficult to exactly match the curriculum of 50 plus schools along with individual local state laws and local regulations. Further, a national certification exam is not synonymous with a specific academic program’s comprehensive exam content. Therefore, it is important for school programs to inform their students of the NCCAOM examination content outlines. The content outline lays out what would be on each examination module. NCCAOM receives many inquiries regarding exam content, for example, many students contact NCCAOM and say they were not taught Guasha in their program, but Guasha is listed on the content outline(s). A recommendation would be for the schools to offer their students guidance and direct them to study and review the NCCAOM examination content outlines.

The profession, like most healthcare professions, require standardization across the board (consistency, processes, and procedures) on a national level. The process of standardization would improve the level of competency and safety, not just statewide or local, but nationally. Not everyone may agree what a standard practice is, but all can agree on core knowledge, skills, and abilities that will translate nationally and possibly on an international level. A candidate who has passed a ‘national certification exam’ has demonstrated these core competencies as determined by the Job Analysis process detailed above. If one agrees or disagrees with the JA survey and results, the community must be proactive and participate in future JA surveys for your voices to be heard. It is important to recognize that it is the duty of a healthcare practitioner to protect the community and the people served, and to be recognized for their credentials and qualifications. It is with this reliance that the federal government through the Bureau of Labor Statistics created a standard occupational classification code and job description for acupuncturists as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs is now employing acupuncturists. The NCCAOM will be starting on the next Job Analysis process in 2023 and it is important that we receive full participation from all of our valued NCCAOM Diplomates by completing the Job Analysis survey.

We look forward to our continued partnership with other national and state organizations and schools to further and advance the profession.

Benefits of Being an NCCAOM Board-Certified Diplomate

Diplomate Benefits Hero Image

A question that the NCCAOM staff receive from our Diplomates and candidates is what is the value of NCCAOM certification and what does it do for me? There are many reasons to become NCCAOM certified, such as the requirement of NCCAOM exams/certification by 46 states. However, the value of national board certification is beyond licensure portability.

The NCCAOM, as a non-profit 501(c)(6) certification services agency, must adapt and evolve by listening to its constituents’ needs.  In an increasingly online world, we need to prioritize digital transformation and create new ways to engage and interact with all constituent groups. In short, we need to pivot to a customer-centric strategy to stay relevant.

The basic principle focuses on putting the needs and goals of our valued Diplomates and candidates ahead of the organization. That is why, since 2019, we at NCCAOM have listened to feedback and worked tirelessly in multiple areas to remove unnecessary restrictions and at the same time optimized all certification/recertification and volunteer management processes. The following benefits are currently available to our valued NCCAOM Diplomates. Click here for instructions on accessing the Diplomate Benefits section.

Recertification Process:

  • The directory of PDA Approved Courses (PDA Search Engine) is available on the NCCAOM website and provides access to over 3,000 courses. In addition to the PDA Search Engine, the following initiatives are implemented to deliver various approved courses to certified Diplomates:
    • A digital issue of the “PDA Course Spotlight” (listing of up to 10 PDA courses) is distributed via email to all certified Diplomates on a monthly basis. Click here for the latest issues.
    • A scrolling display of approved courses “PDA Course Highlights” is available on the NCCAOM website in the Certification renewal (Recertification) section. Click here for the current display.
    • NCCAOM Social Media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn) now feature PDA-approved courses for different audience groups.
  • The certification Renewal (Recertification) process is completed 100% online. Click here for application submission instructions. This has resulted in a more streamlined process with faster approval of your recertification applications.
  • CEU Points for PDA-approved courses are reported directly to Diplomate’s NCCAOM Recertification Transcript, saving time, and reducing recertification application processing time.
  • A manual reporting option for courses that are not directly NCCAOM approved is still available to all Diplomates. Click here for instruction on manual reporting.
  • My Learning section is a repository of PDA-approved courses and houses certificates of completion for courses taken by a Diplomate. Certificates in the My Learning section can be downloaded and used for state licensing purposes. Click here for instructions on accessing the “My Learning” section.

Federal Advocacy

The NCCAOM® is working closely with ASA to ensure that National Board Certified and Licensed Acupuncturists are being represented in the federal arena. This includes working with and providing information to agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Bureau of Labor and Statistics as well as other federal agencies to advance our profession.  For details, see the latest Advocacy update in this issue, here.

Click here for the National Advocacy timeline.

NCCAOM Emeritus-Retired Designation

The NCCAOM is indebted to its long-standing Diplomates who have devoted many years to the practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine and contributed immensely to the NCCAOM and the profession. The Emeritus-Retired designation allows Diplomates to stay involved with the AHM profession and continue their affiliation with NCCAOM.

General eligibility requirements for Emeritus-retired Designation: The following criteria must be met by the Diplomate to be awarded the Emeritus-Retired Designation status. The Diplomate:

  1. Must have held active NCCAOM certification for a minimum if eight (8) years OR has become disabled and can no longer perform AHM tasks.
  2. Is currently at active or inactive NCCAOM certification status;
    an NCCAOM Diplomate who has become disabled and was certified active or holding inactive status with the NCCAOM at the time of their disability.
  3. Is no longer providing direct clinical care including acupuncture services, herbal treatments, or Asian Bodywork treatments; and
  4. Is free and clear of all disciplinary actions.

An application for Emeritus-Retired Designation is now available and is located in the NCCAOM certification account.

For questions, contact [email protected].

Marketing of NCCAOM Credentials

NCCAOM promotes its Board-Certified Acupuncturists to build awareness of acupuncture and herbal medicine as a mainstream, evidence-based methodology accepted by government agencies, third-party payors, employers, and hospitals throughout the U.S. The focus to expand patient access to the 20,000 Board-Certified Acupuncturists nationwide is a priority. For this reason, we have created the marketing tools below for our actively certified Diplomates to help inform patients and the public of the national standards in the AHM profession.

  • Digital Issue of the newsletter “Diplomate E-News You Can Use”, a quarterly newsletter informing Diplomates of the most recent developments at NCCAOM and in the AHM profession is distributed to all Diplomates. Click here for newsletter archives.
  • Free website with Chi Online. A basic website that includes a choice of design templates and up to 9 acupuncture business-related webpages is available to all certified Diplomates free of charge. Click here to create your own website with Chi Online.
  • Digital Badging. A Digital Badge is a digitalized record of an individual’s knowledge and achievements. Each badge holds integrated data and when clicked upon, displays that data showcasing the credential earning criteria, endorsements, and evidence of mastery in a profession. The NCCAOM is proud to offer Digital Badges for all active NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturists™ as well as for our active PDA Providers. Click here for details on Digital Badge installation.
  • NCCAOM Advocacy Tool Kit – this informative toolkit package is designed to support both NCCAOM’s state and federal advocacy efforts. Diplomates, candidates, schools, and others can use this toolkit to be the go-to resource when educating and informing their patients, policymakers, and the media on national standards. To access the toolkit, please go to

Find A Practitioner Directory (FAP)

A national directory listing is available to all active NCCAOM-certified Diplomates. This benefit is optional, but we recommend all of our Diplomates to promote their practice and their credentials through the directory. The FAP Directory contains listings of all NCCAOM certified Diplomates who opted in and chose to be listed and is used by patients, employers, insurance companies, and third-party payors to locate a Board-Certified acupuncturist. The directory is undergoing a series of enhancements like multiple business locations, practice descriptions, and business photos. To access FAP settings, click here.

Volunteering Opportunities

Committees, Taskforces, and Panels are established by the NCCAOM Board of Commissioners (BOC) to assist in governing the organization more efficiently. Committees assist the Board by investigating, deliberating, and analyzing special issues on behalf of the Board. To serve on NCCAOM committees, one must be actively certified by the NCCAOM or in Retired status.

  • All volunteer applications are now online for those who would like to serve on NCCAOM committees and task forces. Recruitment for the 2023 service year is now closed, stay tuned for an announcement for the opportunity to apply for 2024 volunteer positions. If you would like to put your name on the list to be considered for future recruitment, you can do that by going to the volunteer portal and filling out a short form. Click here for guidance.
  • For Diplomates who are already serving on the NCCAOM committees and task forces, the volunteer portal offers functionality to browse volunteer forms for electronic signature, a list of committees served, and volunteer communications.

To access the Volunteer Portal as well as other Diplomate Benefits, click here.

We have highlighted some of the primary areas of value proposition for NCCAOM Board-Certified Diplomates. For a complete list of all NCCAOM benefits, please go to Diplomate Benefits | NCCAOM . The increased value of NCCAOM certification will continue to grow and evolve as the NCCAOM continues to work closely with its national and state partners to advance the profession while always listening to our valued constituents.

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day 2022

AHM Day header 2022 article

Each October 24th, the Acupuncture and herbal medicine profession celebrates Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day, paying homage to the remarkable history, effects, and impact of acupuncture and herbal medicine on countless people worldwide.

This year marks two special occasions: the 40th anniversary of the NCCAOM, ACAHM, and NCCAOM in the United States and the 20th anniversary of AHM Day. To celebrate this milestone the NCCAOM has partnered with the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA), Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM), and Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (CCAHM) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the AHM profession. These four pillar organizations in the AHM profession are combining forces to honor our profession’s founding practitioners this Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day 2022.

Celebrating Our Past & Present
This year we are looking to you, our practitioners, for help celebrating our past and embracing our future with a wide array of celebrations. It is ever more important to encourage research and educate the public about what the acupuncture and herbal medicine profession can do to treat the millions of Americans suffering from pain, addiction, and many other ailments,  As acupuncturists, you must also be willing to look within so that you may speak and teach and heal from a place of compassion and understanding; to increase access so that anyone seeking treatment shall be able to do so.

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day is a vehicle by which all acupuncture practitioners have a powerful voice. Through creativity, you can show the world your strength, resiliency, and healing power. Through the events of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day, YOU can celebrate our past and embrace our future. This year’s theme is inspirational stories of advocacy for our profession.  We will be hosting a 1-hour webinar highlighting the work of our senior practitioners and teachers who paved the way for the growth of this medicine and the profession in the U.S.

How You Can Get Involved
The NCCAOM and ASA have provided marketing platforms to boost exposure and shed light on your efforts to be part of this historic milestone. To encourage your participation in this year’s Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day celebration, our organizations have planned the following events:

  • 40th Anniversary Celebration and Reflection Campaign
  • NCCAOM-ASA Joint Townhall meeting
  • New! NCCAOM Code of Ethics Unveil

40th Anniversary Celebration and Reflection Photo Drive
The 40th Anniversary Reflection Photo Drive platform (stay tuned for a separate announcement) will allow participants to upload a photo of a founding father/mother in the profession, along with a tagline for their achievements and a 250 – 500 words essay about that founding father/mother who has championed one or more of the below categories. The purpose of this celebratory event is to honor those who have led the way in our profession.

  1. Regulation & Acupuncture Licensure in the United States
  2. Foundational Institutional Organizations
  3. Working in Underserved Communities
  4. Significant Impact on the Promotion of our Profession

This is not a contest, but rather a means to showcase inspiring members of our profession.

These entree submissions will be accepted until October 15, 2022. The qualified entries will be compiled and promoted in multiple ways and featured on the NCCAOM and ASA and AHM Day websites and social media channels.

Participants may submit more than one entry. Photos must be at high resolution (300dpi) and no smaller than 1080 x 1080 pixels. Each participant with an approved entry will receive 2 NCCAOM PDA points for their time and effort. To enter your submission, please click here.

NCCAOM-ASA Joint Townhall meeting
The NCCAOM and ASA will co-host a virtual Town Hall meeting as a 40th Anniversary tribute to the AHM profession. 2 PDA Points will be awarded for attendance of the live event. Stay tuned for a separate invitation for this event.

NCCAOM Updated Code of Ethics Unveil 
Also, the NCCAOM will host a separate Town Hall to unveil an updated NCCAOM Code of Ethics and Grounds for Professional Discipline. Chair of the NCCAOM Professional Ethics and Disciplinary Review Committee, Michael Taromina, Esq. will host a discussion about the reasons, processes, and results of the long-term project that resulted in an updated  Code of Ethics and Grounds for Professional Discipline. Guest speaker Olivia Hsu Friedman, Chair of the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA), and the Chief Executive Officer of the NCCAOM, Mina Larson will be participating in the discussion. 2 PDA Points in the Ethics category will be awarded for attendance of the live event. Stay tuned for a separate invitation for this event.

Call for PDA Courses

Call for PDA Courses Hero Image

As more employers, hospitals and third-party payors require NCCAOM Certification, the NCCAOM has created a process for former Diplomates to return to active status. The Reinstatement to Active NCCAOM® Certification process is now available for all former Diplomates in terminated status.

All applicants for reinstatement will need to

  • Complete the Reinstatement Safety Evaluation consisting of 50 questions.
  • Those who do not reach the minimum Safety Evaluation score will have to take an additional 5 PDA points per each failed domain area.

Applicants for reinstatement who are terminated 8 years or longer will need to:

  • Complete the Reinstatement Final Assessment.
  • Those who do not reach the minimum Final Assessment score will have to complete an additional 5 PDA points in each failed domain area.

This is where we need your help! As a result of our research, specific courses are needed for those reinstatement applicants who do not pass the Reinstatement Safety Evaluation and/or Final Assessment.

To meet requirements, each course must be:

  1. A minimum of five hours in length
  2. Keywords must be included in the title for increased search exposure
  3. All Course Descriptions should thoroughly outline the specific topics

The following course categories are in demand! Courses with these topics will be approved under the Safety and/or Ethics Recertification category:

  1. Vitamins: deficiencies and contraindications
  2. Pharmaceuticals: deficiencies and precautions
  3. OSHA: exposure control plan
  4. HIPAA: definition
  5. Informed Consent: components, authorization
  6. Social Competency: benefits, skill development, social determinants of health
  7. Cultural Competency: benefits, skill development
  8. Patient communication: core clinical skills, benefits, miscommunication, consequences
  9. Adverse and severe events: needling, adverse reactions to Western drugs (Lisinopril, Acetaminophen, Hydrocodone, Fluoxetine)
  10. Mandatory Reporting: child abuse, suicide, sexual harassment, confidentiality, and record keeping
  11. Referrals: emergencies and to other healthcare providers
  12. Chinese herbs: storage, compounding, FDA restrictions, labeling and documentation, incompatibilities, contraindications and adverse events, toxicity

Are you a subject matter expert skilled in the topics mentioned above?

Not a PDA Provider? Contact [email protected] and we will assist you in submitting your application.

PDA Providers with NCCAOM, thank you for considering adding the above topics to your course catalog and your continued service to the AHM profession!

NCCAOM Diplomate Spotlight: Featuring Christine Kaiser, Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM)®

The NCCAOM is proud to feature prominent Board-Certified Diplomates who have achieved exceptional recognition from academic institutions, hospitals or government agencies and/or have contributed to the advancement of our profession in our newsletter.

In this issue, we are delighted to put the spotlight on Dr. Christine Kasier, MS, DACM, Dipl. OM (NCCAOM), FABORM, LAc., LCH, who serves as the Director of Reproductive Well-being and Clinical Manager of Acupuncture and Quality at University Hospitals Connor Whole Health, one of the leading academic, hospital-based integrative medicine programs in the United States. Dr. Kaiser first became interested in acupuncture and herbal medicine as a young child when her father was diagnosed with a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis. She spent some of her childhood visiting the Chinese medicine doctor who treated her father realizing that she also wanted to help other patients like the practitioner who helped her father. As an AHM practitioner, Dr. Kaiser specializes in women’s health with a focus on fertility and pregnancy. She finds it rewarding to support women during the “beautiful, but sometimes difficult, journey to motherhood”. In addition to being a successful practitioner.  Christine is also the President, and former Vice-President, of the Ohio Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Read more about Christine’s impressive journey and background through our conversation with her featured in our NCCAOM Diplomate Spotlight below.

It is wonderful that you are an NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturist practicing at University Hospitals - Connor Integrative Health Network Connor Whole Health, in Cleveland, Ohio. Tell us a little about Connor Integrative Health Network Connor Whole Health?

Dr. Kaiser Answer: University Hospitals Connor Whole Health is one of the leading academic, hospital-based integrative medicine programs in the United States. We strive to weave integrative medicine throughout our hospital system in order to impact every patient and every caregiver. We offer acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, integrative medicine consultations, expressive therapies, and a variety of classes including mindfulness meditation, yoga, and stress management. Our music therapy program is one of the largest in the nation. Connor Whole Health also has an amazing research team who helps us to share about the benefits of integrative medicine through data and metrics, and the team is helping to push our profession into new territories. We are currently working on a $2 million dollar NIH grant to study acupuncture in the Emergency Department. Another mission for Connor Whole Health is to support and serve the employees of our hospital system.

With the NCCAOM’s focus on Diversity Equity and Inclusion, do you have any experiences or efforts in treating underserved communities or breaking barriers using acupuncture and herbal medicine?

Dr. Kaiser: As the President and former Vice-President of the Ohio Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, I worked with our board to increase accessibility of acupuncture within our state by advocating for Ohio Medicaid to cover acupuncture.  In 2017, we achieved our goal! At University Hospitals, it has always been our hospital mission to care for the underserved, and as the Clinical Manager for Acupuncture, it has been my priority to bill Ohio Medicaid and Medicare to ensure that acupuncture was accessible.

What do you specialize in as an NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturist? Is integrative medicine a major part of your practice?

Dr. Kaiser: My specialty is women’s health with a focus on fertility and pregnancy.  I have been blessed to be integrated into the University Hospitals’ Fertility Center for the past 6 years sharing most of my patients with the Fertility Center team and attending embryo transfers onsite for pre/post acupuncture. A major focus of my work with fertility patients includes integrative medicine, such as nutrition, herbs and supplements, sleep, movement, and stress management.  We work to optimize their health during the pre-conception time in order to support better outcomes in their fertility journey.

Is there an experience within your specialty which stands out? If so, could you briefly share what made that experience significant to you?

Dr. Kaiser: A highlight in my profession and specialty happened this May when I was appointed the inaugural Connor Endowed Director of Reproductive Well-being at University Hospitals. Our hospital believes this is the first endowed position nationally held by an acupuncturist.  It is exciting to see our profession recognized at this level and elevated within mainstream healthcare.  Within the specialty of Reproductive Medicine, this gives University Hospitals the opportunity to launch a unique program that not only treats patients with high quality medical treatments used to help achieve conception but also values the patient’s mental and emotional well-being throughout the journey.

How were you initially attracted to the field of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine?

Dr. Kaiser: I became interested in acupuncture and herbal medicine as a young child.  My father was diagnosed with a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis when I was just 5 years old, and he was wheelchair bound by the time I was 12 years old.  Western Medicine did not have many options for him and the ones that he tried were not helping his chronic pain, but acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine did help him.  I spent my childhood visiting the Chinese medicine doctor with him and wanting to help people like he did.  Helping to care for my father taught me compassion and revealed my love for helping others. I couldn’t wait to study Chinese Medicine as soon as I was able.

Could you share a little about why this specialization is important to you?

Dr. Kaiser: Supporting women during the beautiful, but sometimes difficult, journey to motherhood fills my heart and soul.  I love coming to work every day to be there for my patients and help them feel less alone, guide them, and support them with all of the tools I have learned over my 16 years of practice. They are so appreciative and motivated to make the changes that lead to better health.  Plus, seeing those cute babies as a product of our work together is beyond words!  I feel that our work together is not only leading to a healthier mother, but also healthier future generations.

What do you think are the most beneficial aspects and challenging aspects of practicing acupuncture and herbal medicine?

Dr. Kaiser: One of the most beneficial aspects of practicing acupuncture and herbal medicine is the holistic approach that our medicine takes when looking at the body.  We are able to weave together so many aspects of a patient’s health that often times go overlooked or they need to see multiple providers to address.  One of the challenging aspects of practicing acupuncture is working to gain understanding and acceptance of our profession in mainstream medicine and insurance coverage.  I am passionate about policy work to elevate our profession and increase access to our services, but this is also a very slow and challenging area that needs to be approached with patience.

Do you think NCCAOM certification is important? Why have you maintained your NCCAOM certification?

Dr. Kaiser: Absolutely, NCCAOM certification is an important aspect of gaining respect, maintaining validity, and upholding standards in our profession as we make progress to integrate into the western healthcare system. National board certification is the norm across medical professions and is an important way for the public and other professionals to understand our training and to make sure that an acupuncturist is appropriately trained and practicing safely.  I am proud to share that I am NCCAOM certified, and I value the opportunity to better myself through PDAs to maintain my certification so that I can better serve my patients and profession. I also value the NCCAOM’s advocacy efforts and work to unite our profession and I want to support that by maintaining my certification.

As an acupuncturist, what trends do you see happening in the future for our profession?

Dr. Kaiser: As an acupuncturist working in a hospital system, I have a vision of an acupuncturist on staff in every hospital. Acupuncture is an amazing, yet underutilized, tool for pre/post surgery to help with pain and recovery. Acupuncture can be used to help patients with unmanaged pain, anxiety, nausea/vomiting, and more.

Additionally, in an inpatient setting, an acupuncturist could provide regular group acupuncture sessions to staff to help address burnout and improve employee retention, which is a huge issue in hospitals currently.

Thank you for sharing so much about the incredible work you do. Please let us know a little about yourself. What are some activities you enjoy outside of work? Do you have any hobbies or talents you’d like to share?

Dr. Kaiser: My husband, two kiddos, and I love the outdoors.  This summer we have taken up standup paddleboarding as a family and hunt down new lakes and rivers to explore regularly.  We also love hiking with our Chocolate Lab.  I also enjoy gardening and cooking up new recipes from scratch to accommodate my many food intolerances.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of the
NCCAOM Diplomate E-News You Can Use!