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Acupuncture Now Covered Under Medicare

announcements / Amy Donofrio / 01.30.20

On January 21st, the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) released an announcement that is an important historical mark in the acupuncture profession – acupuncture is now covered under Medicare!

Dr. Jenny Yu – Dean, College of Eastern Medicine

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will now cover acupuncture for low back pain for up to 20 sessions over 12 months. A mainstream medial player agreeing to support this form of therapy is truly a wonderful moment for the field of acupuncture. Physicians and allied auxiliary personnel, including licensed acupuncturists, will be able to receive payment for acupuncture services through Medicare and Medicaid.

The Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) became involved by creating a statement highlighting the best basic and clinical research findings that support the use of acupuncture for the treatment of low back pain. The SAR document, along with statements from other supporting organizations, such as SCU, was submitted to CMS with the hopes of educating policymakers about the many advances made in acupuncture research and the benefits of acupuncture for patients suffering from back problems.

We are proud that SCU has been a long-time supporter of SAR, and our CEM faculty members are also active SAR members. In November 2019, our own Drs. Prasad, Jennifer Noborikawa, and Henry Hwang all contributed to presenting their research at the SAR conference. We want to acknowledge that the increase of acupuncture recognition in the United States did not happen overnight. It is the result of continuous effort and improvement, and at SCU, we believe it all begins with healthcare education.

This is just a small step in recognizing acupuncture as an effective treatment for patients suffering from chronic pain.” Together, we will keep advancing our education that will lead to transforming and redefining the Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine profession in the US. You can read the entire SAR announcement here.

DACM Students

Our Spring 2020 Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine students at their white coat ceremony entering into their clinical experience.


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