In February 2013, over 25,000 Americans have signed the White House petition to recognize acupuncturists as a healthcare providers and for acupuncture treatments to be eligible for reimbursement under Medicare.
The petition was created on Jan. 11, 2013 and gained fast momentum in the last few weeks with thousands of acupuncturists, students, and community members nationwide logging on to sign the petition. To garner support, the petition notes studies that show significant patient outcomes in pain management and other issues. These patients tend to recover more quickly with less medication and side-effects. This is widely supported by many prestigious acupuncture organizations nationwide, including the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM).
Although a formal response is pending from the White House, many states such as California, Maryland, New Mexico and Washington have already made major strides by including acupuncture for treating pain, nausea and other ailments in their state’s essential health benefit packages. Acupuncture is also likely to be an essential benefit in Alaska and Nevada, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Acupuncturists nationwide currently await a response to have acupuncture finds its place in the mainstream Medicare system.