Medi-Cal Acupuncture Still Available in California
Last month, Acupuncture Today reported on the California state budget crisis posing a threat to acupuncture for Medi-Cal patients.
On Feb. 15, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the 2008-2009 budget, which included a 10 percent across-the-board reduction in Medi-Cal reimbursements.
Despite earlier concerns, a last-minute lobbying effort on the part of the California State Oriental Medicine Association (CSOMA) saved the day and acupuncture was not included in the Medi-Cal cuts, at least for now. For the moment, the California legislature opted against the governor's proposal to cut acupuncture and other optional benefits from the Medi-Cal system.
However, Senator Ducheny (D-San Diego), Senate Budget Committee chair, indicated that elimination of these benefits may be reconsidered later in the year as legislatures continue to hash out further budget cuts between now and July, when the new budget goes into effect.
CSOMA President Greg Sperber, DAOM, BMBS, LAc, told Acupuncture Today, "CSOMA opposes any cuts in acupuncture reimbursements, and while this prevents elimination of acupuncture benefits temporarily, we are still vigilant. The possibility of a future elimination of benefits still looms. This decision is very reasonable, given acupuncture is a very small part of the Medi-Cal budget. It makes no sense to cut this as it actually saves money by preventing more expensive interventions."
AIMC Berkeley Hosts Tokyo Acupuncture Seminar
Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) Berkeley's second annual Japanese Acupuncture Tokyo Seminar will take place Aug. 5-12, 2008. This weeklong seminar will provide American acupuncturists with a rare opportunity to learn directly from well-known Japanese acupuncture masters, including Okada Akizo, Shudo Denmei, Ikeda Masakazu, Katai Shuichi, Togasaki Masao and Yamada Katsuhiro. There will be an interpreter and bilingual staff available.
The Tokyo Seminar is co-sponsored by AIMC Berkeley with Tokyo's Goto College of Arts & Sciences and the Japanese Meridian Therapy Association. Continuing-education credits will be provided for each day of the seminar.
The program fee is $1,480, excluding transportation and accommodation, with an early-bird rate of $1,350 for those registering before April 15, 2008. Participants receive a special discounted rate on accommodations at the Omori Tokyo Inn: a five-minute walk from Goto College, $130 for twin rooms ($65 per person if sharing) and $90 for single rooms.
For more information, visit Web site. To register, call Nellie Wilson at (510) 666-8234 x106 or email .
AWB Urges Support for World Health Day
Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) will be supporting fundraising events on World Health Day on April 7, 2008. Acupuncturists from around the country are encouraged to provide donation-based community acupuncture treatments during the week of April 7 in order to increase local awareness of acupuncture as a valuable tool for health and to raise money for AWB's programs.
Acupuncturists Without Borders will provide clinic materials, flyers, fundraising support and press releases to acupuncturists interested in holding events and will provide national media coverage to support those individuals who choose to participate. Please contact AWB at or call (505) 286-0111 for information about how to get involved.
New Handbooks Available From NCCAOM
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has just announced the release of two new handbooks: the NCCAOM Candidate Handbook, 2008 Edition and the Recertification Handbook, 2008 Edition. Both handbooks have been updated with the latest requirements and information. They serve as official sources for applicants and diplomates alike.
Information in the handbooks ranges from fee payments to eligibility requirements, testing information to application requirements, and professional development activity to diplomate designations. Both handbooks are available online at the NCCAOM Web site (www.nccaom.org), free of charge. For a nominal fee, a paper copy may be ordered.
Acupuncture Application Offered via iPhone and iTouch
For acupuncturists on the go, there is now a new application available via the Apple iPhone and iTouch that lists detailed information about acupuncture channels, herbs, and medicinals and formulas. The application, which is still a work in progress, can be viewed and downloaded to an iPhone or iTouch.
The data and channel pictures in the applications were taken from Appendix C of the revised 1995 edition of Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine, translated and amended by Nigel Wiseman, PhD, and Andrew Ellis, LAc, OMD.
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