News and Press
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michigan Senate Bill 683 - TCM/TAM Acupuncturist Licensure
Practical Acupuncture Legalities in the state of Michigan
SB 683 has been introduced into the Michigan Senate including a testimony only hearing before the Senate Health Policy Committee. There will be a future hearing, to determine whether the bill will move as written to the Senate for a vote. If the bill passes in the Senate, it will then be sent to the Michigan House of Representatives for action.
This communication is the result of consultation with the Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association Board of Directors regarding their concerns over the language in SB 683.
The Board believes that SB 683 will deny it's practical acupuncture technician members the right to practice acupuncture in Michigan and that, further, the existing bill language is insufficient to provide its members with licensure via the grandfathering clause of the bill. SB 683 states:
Sec. 16525. (1) BY 12 MONTHS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF 18 THE AMENDATORY ACT THAT AMENDED THIS SECTION, THE department, in 19 consultation with the board, shall promulgate rules THAT ESTABLISH THE MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR LICENSURE AS 26 AN ACUPUNCTURIST AND IMPLEMENT THE LICENSURE PROGRAM FOR THE 27 PRACTICE OF ACUPUNCTURE. IN PROMULGATING RULES FOR PURPOSES OF 1 SECTION 16515(1), THE DEPARTMENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE BOARD, 2 MAY ADOPT BY REFERENCE THE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS ISSUED BY A 3 CERTIFIED PROGRAM THAT IS RECOGNIZED BY THE NATIONAL COMMISSION 4 FOR CERTIFYING AGENCIES. IN PROMULGATING RULES FOR PURPOSES OF 5 SECTION 16515(2), THE DEPARTMENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE BOARD, 6 SHALL CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
7 (A) WHETHER, IN THE 3 YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE 8 APPLICATION, AN APPLICANT HAS USED ACUPUNCTURE TO TREAT AN 9 AVERAGE OF 30 PATIENTS PER YEAR, HAS AVERAGED 250 PATIENT VISITS 10 PER YEAR, AND HAS USED ACUPUNCTURE TO TREAT PATIENTS WITH GENERAL 11 HEALTH CONDITIONS. 12 (B) WHETHER AN APPLICANT HAS COMPLETED SYSTEMATIC 13 ACUPUNCTURE EDUCATION THAT INCLUDES LIVE LECTURES, 14 DEMONSTRATIONS, AND SUPERVISED CLINICAL TRAINING SPECIFIC TO 15 ACUPUNCTURE.
The MMAA Board of Directors and the Advisory Board of the MMAA both concur that SB 683 as written is a direct threat to the practices of our membership and would result in the termination of the practice of medical and practical acupuncture by technicians in Michigan.
If the sponsor of this bill sincerely wants this bill process to be inclusionary they need to support the addition of specific language that protects the practice rights of all acupuncture stakeholders, including medical and practical acupuncture technicians.
It is not the Boards intention to criticize or to offend anyone, especially BHA graduates and MMAA members, but we believe that to accept SB 683 as written and additional verbal promises, is extremely naive. If the promises are sincere they need to be put into writing in the SB 683.
During the testimony phase of the Senate Health Policy Committee hearing on SB 683 there were many gross misrepresentations, some obviously intentional, regarding medical acupuncture technicians. The Senate Health Policy Committee appeared to accept the comments and statements made by the bill's sponsors and supporters regarding acupuncture accreditation, education, and testing standards without questioning the pseudoscience underlying the practice of TAM acupuncture.
We will keep the membership apprised of our activities in support of your practice rights in future communications.