In mid-May, the Ohio state senate passed S.B.245, allowing the state medical board to issue certificates to practice acupuncture rather than the previously accepted certificates of registration.This change in the language now permits an acupuncturist holding the board's certificate to use the title "Licensed Acupuncturist."
The bill, introduced by Republican Sens. Kirk Schuring and Robert Spada and Democratic Sen. Dale Miller, was signed by Gov. Ted Strickland after passing through both state legislative bodies. According to its legislative summary, highlights of the bill include:
- Permitting an acupuncturist who has completed an initial supervisory period to perform acupuncture for a patient without receiving a referral or prescription for acupuncture and without being supervised by the patient's physician or chiropractor.
- Provides for an acupuncturist's supervisory period to end one year after receiving an initial certificate to practice, unless the board has taken disciplinary action during that year, in which case the supervisory period is extended to two years.
- Requires an acupuncturist who has completed the supervisory period to confirm whether a patient has undergone a relevant diagnostic examination by a physician or chiropractor within the past six months and, if the patient has not undergone the examination, to provide the patient with a written recommendation to obtain the examination.
- Requires a student in an acupuncture training program to be supervised by an acupuncturist who has completed the required supervisory period.
- Adds another method by which a person may qualify for licensure as an acupuncturist by requiring the board to accept an applicant who has obtained national certification by studying Oriental medicine.
- Requires an acupuncturist to have professional liability insurance coverage in an amount that is at least $500,000.
The bill does make a distinction between those with a diplomate in Oriental medicine and those with a diplomate in acupuncture. The bill, "removes the provision of the bill that would have allowed an applicant seeking to practice as an acupuncturist to submit evidence to the State Medical Board, as part of the acupuncturist application, that the applicant has been designated by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) as a 'diplomate in Oriental medicine,' and retains current law that requires an applicant to be designated by the NCCAOM as a 'diplomate in acupuncture.'"
For more information about S.B.245 and its requirements, visit www.legislature.state.oh.us.