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Poll Results for the following Question:

What is the most important issue facing the acupuncture/Oriental medicine profession in 2004?

Results:

Passage of acupuncture licensing laws in all 50 states
10.4%
Implementation of a doctoral program in more acupuncture schools
3.6%
Improved cooperation between the national organizations
62.6%
Increasing scope of practice for practitioners
3.3%
Greater inclusion in managed care and insurance plans
16.1%
Heightened awareness of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day
2.8%
Other
1.1%

Total Respondents: 634

Comments:

Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.


Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations 

Beansoup@sprynet.com
Greater inclusion in managed care and insurance plans We need inclusion in the federal health plans (Medicare, Mail Handlers Etc.) This is what will establish acupuncture firmly in the American medical model. Many plans are pushing acupuncture into the catagory of massage therepy and offering only a discount plan. A huge new Medicare bill was passed and the big phamaceutical companies got what they wanted. The insurance companies and the Chiropractors and Podiatrists and everyone else got in but we did not. Why is this the case? Never before has congress been up for sale so cheap and acupuncturists are missing the boat. Our representatives need to focus on this issue before it's too late and we miss our chance. Find out though lobbyists who and where to make the appropriate donations, get the money together and pay them. The investment will be worth while. If you don't agree with the politics of this administration that I can understand but the survival of our profession is at stake. Thank you

Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations The national and state organizations waste so much time fighting amongst themselves -- like a bunch of 7th graders in sutdent council! PATHETIC!! We have got to STOP our support of these activities by withdrawing our financial support. BOYCOTT ALL ORIENTAL MEDICINE ORGANIZATIONS!

Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations I agree with all the comments regarding the need for improved cooperation particularly between the national and state associations.

robthomasjr2000@hotmail.com
Other I see the greatest issue facing the industry being the lack of know-how in reaching new patients. I also see an issue regarding educating the patient in a way that they will commit to care, pay YOUR RATE not theirs, and refer to your practice.

Anonymous
Passage of acupuncture licensing laws in all 50 states This is a good issue upon which to focus for 2004 because it is possible. Setting our sights on this goal and devoting the necessary resources would lead to a successful outcome. There is no disagreement here. It would be a meaningful step toward creation of educational and professional standards nationally. Part of our problem professionally is the lack of unity, but the Visioning Task Force is making progress in this area, but it is a long process. Every licensed practitioner in every state should be contacted and encouraged to participate in these processes.

robthomasjr2000@hotmail.com
Other I see the greatest issue facing the industry being the lack of know-how in reaching new patients. I also see an issue regarding educating the patient in a way that they will commit to care, pay YOUR RATE not theirs, and refer to your practice.

Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations By far the most important issue facing the profession in 2004 is the need for improved cooperation between the various professional organizations (both state and national). If cooperation is not forthcoming, all the other goals of the profession, including licensure in all states, doctoral education, increasing the scope of practice, etc... will be much more difficult to achieve.

Anonymous
Greater inclusion in managed care and insurance plans I was able to quite smoking by acupuncture--I has lost my mother and was unable to sleep --so I was smoking 4 packs a day that was 15 years ago. I would like to go and have it done to my back I have pain every day--it is too expensive and my insurance won't pay a dime on it.

shenmen@earthlink.net
Passage of acupuncture licensing laws in all 50 states The state laws need to be uniform--delete those that only allow mds to practice acupuncture, allow detox specialists/technicians,eliminate disparity with insurane coverage, and so on.

all the other issues will follow after the laws are modified and updated--1 step at a time

susan1289@earthlink.net
Passage of acupuncture licensing laws in all 50 states Universal laws through out the United States.

donacain@erols.com
Greater inclusion in managed care and insurance plans Our society has grown up with the idea of using insurance to pay for medical treatment. Until such time as Oriental medicine practitioners are reimbursed by HMOs, insurance plans and Medicare, we will not be fully utilized by the people who need us most.

Anonymous
Other Increasing the standards in our profession. The schools are a joke. NCCAOM is a joke.

Anonymous
Heightened awareness of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day higher awarness of acupuncture and orential medicine
will solve all the other issues. If we all were seeing
100% increase in patients the rest would fall in place
TCM is still in the closet in the US.

phil J.

Anonymous
 All of these are equally important.

Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations Yes, the state orgs and nationals (particularly regarding the fights between the California associations and some of the nationals) need to reach common ground, and stop all the bickering which has damaged the profession.

Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations I agree with all the comments on the need for improved cooperation. As the saying goes "United Stand, Divided We Fall"

Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations Many within the profession are sick and tired of the constant battles between the nationals and a few of the state associations over everything from educational standards to scope of practice issues. Ours is a "house divided" which has wasted the profession's limited resources, and has without a doubt undermined the profession's interests nationally.

Some state associations like CAOMA have been publishing all sorts of material attacking education and colleges, and our national accrediting and certifying bodies to promote their efforts to increase educational requirements for licensure to justify a Dr. title. I am sure that Joe Helms reads this information with glee -- and I know for a fact that the Medical Acupuncture folks have taken some of this information to certain states to fight good bills that would get practitioners out from under the MD supervision and referral requirements in some states arguing that even those within OUR profession are stating that education in our field has been found "wanting." They have also used this information to push for bills that would allow MD's, Chiros, etc to practice acupuncture with their bogus 100-200 hour training programs, using this information to discredit the profession when we try to point out the inadequacy of MD's/Chiro's educational requirements to practice acupuncture.

It is particularly problematic when some state associations attack our national certification and accreditation systems when the existence of these agencies is a key reason why our profession has gained acceptance and credibility in the US. If you disagree with this, just read the NIH Consensus Conferenece materials on Acupuncture which specifically mentions our certification and accreditation systems.

Lets stop all this nonsense by having the national and state associations work together without acrimony to promote the profession's interests. If the nationals and state groups work together, there is little that can't be achieved for our profession.


Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations we must be able to work together in order to move forward together. one large coordinated step, can more effectively move our whole body of acupuncture than several uncoordinated baby steps. that is how all large organizations make progress, by coming together and moving together... i think our future is dependent upon this because there are those out there that would love for us to stay small. this is so they may take and use all they want from traditional chinese medicine and not allow true practitioners to gain any credit as a true physician.

Acukare@aol.com
 Actually, several of these have the same weight as far as import. Passing legislation is very important yet many states have passed poorly written legislation with problems. Many have thought that passing any legilstion now and then amend it later was a good strategy but this has not been the case for many of us practicing in the midwest. Too frequently other practitioners have added their names to the list providing our sevices with little or no training resulting in poor results. This type of diplomacy hurts us and harms the public.
The inclusion or better education or changing from Master's to Doctorate is also very important as we are the only primarycare givers that have less than Dr level education. We collectively suffer from a lack of identity and are identified as a technician aka, L Ac.
The issue of organizational focus is huge and without it we will never achieve the status that other practitioners have as serious medical care providers. Even though many of us may be correct in saying that current entry level is safe and that educational standards are good why limit ourselves and future opportunities?
We need better organization and cooperation to push for higher standards in education and greater scope of practice in all states. The cost for lobbying is high and yet we need this as well as public support. For too long there has been little to no grassroots campaign educating the public to our existence nor what we have to offer the public. It is time to stop trying to educate the bought-and-paid for legislators and the medical community they do not really care as a group. When it all comes down to it we are in a fight for market share and we better start telling our patients to talk with their politicians so these issues are placed back up in the political realms. Remember that money talks and so do people!

Anonymous
Improved cooperation between the national organizations Without cooperation between the various organizations in our field (national and state), most of the other elements of this survey will be impossible, or at least much more difficult, to achieve.

The field needs to work together if we are to fully advance the profession's interests.


acuhousecalls@mac.com
Greater inclusion in managed care and insurance plans As long as Acupuncturists are out of the Healthcare arena (i.e.
out of the mainstream that pays for care), patients will continue
to follow their copayments - eventhough TCM is more effective
(cost and healthwise) for the majority of patients' complaints.
TCM practitioners may have credentials and titles and special
days galore, but when people are already paying huge premiums
for their health insurance, the last thing they want to do is pay
again for something for which they feel they're already paying.

Greg Shim L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., Dipl. C.H., Certificated in TCM Sports
Medicine, Certificated in Ayurvedic Medicine, CMT, M.Ed. - and
still not being paid by insurance companies

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