Medicare is now covering acupuncture for certain conditions.
Guidelines for coverage:
12 visits in 90 days for chronic low back pain.
Chronic low back pain is defined as ~
Lasting 12 weeks or longer
Having no identifiable systemic cause (not associated with metastatic, inflammatory, or infectious disease)
Pain that’s not associated with surgery or pregnancy
An additional 8 sessions will be covered if no improvement made within the first 12 visits.
No more than 20 acupuncture treatments can be given yearly. If chronic low back pain isn’t improving or is getting worse, then treatments won’t be covered.
Physician assistants, nurse practitioners/clinical nurse specialists and auxiliary personnel may furnish acupuncture if they meet all applicable state requirements and have:
A masters or doctoral-level degree in acupuncture or Oriental Medicine from a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM); and
Current, full, active, and unrestricted license to practice acupuncture in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth (i.e. Puerto Rico) of the United States, or District of Columbia.
Medicare has created coverage for acupuncture services, in part, due to the overuse and misuse of opioids. The hope is acupuncture treatments will alleviate pain associated with chronic low back pain while minimizing prescriptions for opioids.
As always, contact us with questions!