Contact: Valerie Perez , Marketing and Communications, (714) 573-0899 (ext.239), [email protected]
Mina Larson, Executive Deputy Director, (703) 314-2908 [email protected]
Washington D.C. (March 1, 2018) , – The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)® is pleased to announce that NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™, who are also state licensed, now have an established qualification standard for employment positions within the VA Health Administration, according to the newly published Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Handbook. This revision establishes the Acupuncturist occupation under VA’s title 38 Hybrid excepted service employment system in accordance with the authority established under the “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010”.
Acupuncturists in the VA now have a government standard (GS) range of GS 9 -12, depending on the Acupuncturist’s level of education, training, and experience. This allows for an Acupuncturist to grow within their job title or have advanced placement within the system, depending on their experience and education; however, all Acupuncturists must be actively NCCAOM National Board-Certified. This news comes at a crucial time when the U.S. is facing a national opioid epidemic and acupuncture has emerged as a powerful, evidence-based, safe, cost-effective, and available treatment modality suitable to treat pain and has also been shown effective for reduce the use of opioids. “The opioid epidemic has significantly affected many of our veterans,” stated Dr. Kory Ward-Cook, NCCAOM Chief Executive Officer. “A report by the American Public Health Association in 2011 found that the fatal overdose rate among VA patients is nearly double the national average. This new government occupational standard will enable the most experienced and qualified acupuncturists to treat the thousands of veterans who are suffering from debilitating pain and addiction to overprescribed opioids at the many Veterans hospitals and medical centers.”