Regulation of Acupuncture: A Complementary Therapy Framework

Report #175, September 2004
Regulation of Acupuncture: A Complementary Therapy Framework

Full Report

Executive Summary

Press Release

Fact Sheet

Study Description

On the request of the Legislature, the Commission reviewed the regulation of acupuncture in California. SB 1951 and AB 1943 requested that the Commission make recommendations on specific issues by September 2004. SB 1951 (Figueroa 2002) comprised the core of the work required. Key issues included scope of practice and educational requirements for acupuncturists, the process for accrediting acupuncture schools and for examining licensees.  

Agenda

Overview

For this report, the Commission was asked by the Governor and Legislature to assess some longstanding and contentious issues regarding the state’s regulation of the acupuncture profession. Specifically SB 1951 and AB 1943 requested that the Commission review the scope of practice and educational requirements for acupuncturists, the process for accrediting acupuncture schools and for examining licensees.

During its review, the Commission identified three underlying tensions or conflicts that make it difficult to assess and reconcile the demands of the profession with the role of state government:

  1. The nexus between traditional Oriental and Western medicine is poorly defined.
     
  2. The profession has sought to elevate its standing through the regulatory process.
     
  3. Acupuncturists and the Acupuncture Board are concerned that relying on national standards and procedures will hold back the profession in California.

The Commission concluded that the Accreditation Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine should be relied upon to validate the quality of acupuncture training schools. The Commission, however, concluded that the State should continue to use its own examination as the regulatory threshold to practice in California, rather than rely on the national exam. The Commission also identified additional opportunities for the State’s consumer protection agencies, including the Acupuncture Board, to safeguard patients against practices or products that can threaten their safety and the public health – perhaps more importantly, measures to control infections.

Print 
			Agenda
  • October 22
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    1:00 p.m.
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on Acupuncture Regulation
    Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    University of Southern California, Midtown Sacramento Campus
    1800 I Street, Sacramento, CA 


    1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.

    Opening Remarks/Introductions
    (Subcommittee Chairman David Epstein)

    1:10 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

    Review Advisory Committee Process & Meeting Goals
    (Executive Director Jim Mayer)

    1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    Explore the role of boards in consumer protection v. advocacy of the profession. 
    Initiated by comments from Julianne D’Angelo Fellmeth Administrative Director, Center for Public Interest Law

    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Explore how the scope of practice has evolved and how it should be set, including the roles of the board, the profession, the Legislature and research.
    Initiated by comments from Donald Chang Legal Counsel, California Acupuncture Board Department of Consumer Affairs

    3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Break

    3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Explore mechanisms for ensuring competency, via testing and other means.
    Initiated by comments from Tracy Ferrel Chief, Office of Examination Resources Department of Consumer Affairs

  • September 25
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    9:00 a.m., State Capitol, Room 112, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Acupuncture Regulation 
    Thursday, September 25, 2003, at 9:00 a.m. 
    State Capitol, Room 112 
    Sacramento, CA


    Opening Remarks

    Panel – Evolution of Acupuncture in U.S. & California

    1. Alan Trachtenberg, M.D., M.P.H., Former Planning Chair, NIH Consensus Conference on Acupuncture; Medical Director, Office of Pharmacologic and Alternative Therapies, U.S. Public Health Service, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
       
    2. Steven Rosenblatt, M.D., Ph.D., L.Ac., Co-founder and former Clinical Director, UCLA Acupuncture Clinic; Former Director, Complementary Medicine Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Written Testimony)


    Panel – Perspectives on Regulation

    1. Sandra Bressler, J.D., Vice President, Center for Medical and Regulatory Policy, California Medical Association (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Harley Goldberg, D.O., Director of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, The Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Norman R. Hertz, Ph.D., Former Chief, Office of Examination Resources, California Department of Consumer Affairs (Written Testimony)


    Panel – California Acupuncture Board

    1. Pei Li Zhong-Fong, L.Ac., Chair, California Acupuncture Board
       
    2. Shari Asplund, Vice Chair, California Acupuncture Board 
       
    3. Marilyn Nielsen, Executive Officer, California Acupuncture Board 
    • Members of the California Acupuncture Board submitted combined Written Testimony
    • The Board also submitted a letter to the Commission in response to written testimony from Norman Hertz:

      California Acupucture Board letter to the Commission dated October 6, 2003  (Letter)

    Public Comments

  • September 24
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    1:00 – 4:30 p.m., University of Southern California, Midtown Sacram
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on Acupuncture Regulation 
    Wednesday, September 24, 2003, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    University of Southern California, Midtown Sacramento Campus
    1800 I Street, Sacramento, CA


    Meeting Goal: Explore the legislative questions in SB 1951 and AB 1943 on education:

    1. Review and make recommendations on the education requirements for acupuncturists.
       
    2. Review increasing curriculum hours for the licensure of acupuncturists in excess of 3,000 hours up to 4,000 hours to fully and effectively provide health services under their scope of practice.
       
    3. Reviewing the competence of licensed acupuncturists who are not subject to the 3,000-hour minimum curriculum requirement, and [the] training, testing or continuing education that would be required for these individuals to meet the standards for continued licensure.
       

    1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

    Opening Remarks/Introductions (Subcommittee Chairman David Epstein)

    1:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

    Review Advisory Committee Process & Meeting Goals (Executive Director Jim Mayer)

    1:20 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

    Howard Kong, L.Ac. President, CA State Oriental Medical Association (Written Testimony)

    1:25 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

    Matthew Bauer, L.Ac. La Verne Acupuncture (Written Testimony)

    1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

    Discussion

    2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Break

    3:00 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.

    Fred Lerner, D.C., Ph.D., Chairman National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics (Written Testimony)

    3:10 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

    Donald E. (Deke) Kendall, O.M.D., Ph.D., L.Ac. National Guild for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Director for Education and Research (Written Testimony)

    3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Discussion

  • August 28
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    9:00 a.m., State Capitol, Room 4203, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Acupuncture Regulation 
    Thursday, August 28, 2003, at 9:00 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 4203 
    Sacramento, CA


    Opening Remarks

    Panel 1 – Overview 

    1. Richard G. Fong, D.C., L.Ac. (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Gary Klapman, M.D., L.Ac. (Written Testimony)
       

    Panel 2 – Perspectives on State Issues from Key Stakeholders 

    1. Michelle Lau, L.Ac., President, Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Associations (CAOMA) (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Brian C. Fennen, L.Ac., Executive Director, Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Associations (CAOMA) (Written Testimony, Attachment 1, Attachment 2)
       
    3. Lixin Huang, President, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and President of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (Written Testimony)
       

    Panel 3 – Perspectives on National Issues 

    1. Christina Herlihy, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Penelope Ward, Director of Professional Services, Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) (Written Testimony)
       

    Panel 4 – Regulatory Perspectives 
    ​​​​​​​(Please note:  due to time constraints, this panel did not give oral testimony.  The panel will testify before the Commission at the next public hearing on acupunture regulation on September 25th, 2003) 

    1. Pei Li Zhong-Fong, L.Ac., Chair, California Acupuncture Board
       
    2. Shari Asplund, Vice Chair, California Acupuncture Board
       
    3. Marilyn Nielsen, Executive Officer, California Acupuncture Board
       
    4. Norman R. Hertz, Ph.D., Former Chief, Office of Examination Resources, California Department of Consumer Affairs
      ​​​​​​​

    Public Comments

  • August 27
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    1:00 - 4:30 p.m., University of Southern California, Midtown Sacram
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on Acupuncture Regulation
    Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
    University of Southern California, Midtown Sacramento Campus
    1800 I Street, Sacramento, CA


    Meeting Goals:

    1. Review consumer protection issues.
    2. Review scope of practice questions from survey.
    • Click here to view questions from survey for reference.

    ​​​1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

    Opening Remarks and Introductions
    David Epstein, Subcommittee Chair, Little Hoover Commission 

    1:45 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.

    Advisory Committee Process & Meeting Goals
    Jim Mayer, Executive Director, Little Hoover Commission

    1:55 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    Review Scope of Study
    Hattie Rees Hanley, Project Manager, Little Hoover Commission

    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Identify & Distill Consumer Protection Issues

    3:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

    Break

    3:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Identify & Distill Scope of Practice Concerns

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the discussion. Please notify Commission staff if you would like to make a comment.

Print 
		Agenda
  • October 22
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    1:00 p.m.
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on Acupuncture Regulation
    Wednesday, October 22, 2003, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    University of Southern California, Midtown Sacramento Campus
    1800 I Street, Sacramento, CA 


    1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.

    Opening Remarks/Introductions
    (Subcommittee Chairman David Epstein)

    1:10 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

    Review Advisory Committee Process & Meeting Goals
    (Executive Director Jim Mayer)

    1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    Explore the role of boards in consumer protection v. advocacy of the profession. 
    Initiated by comments from Julianne D’Angelo Fellmeth Administrative Director, Center for Public Interest Law

    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Explore how the scope of practice has evolved and how it should be set, including the roles of the board, the profession, the Legislature and research.
    Initiated by comments from Donald Chang Legal Counsel, California Acupuncture Board Department of Consumer Affairs

    3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Break

    3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Explore mechanisms for ensuring competency, via testing and other means.
    Initiated by comments from Tracy Ferrel Chief, Office of Examination Resources Department of Consumer Affairs

  • September 25
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    9:00 a.m., State Capitol, Room 112, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Acupuncture Regulation 
    Thursday, September 25, 2003, at 9:00 a.m. 
    State Capitol, Room 112 
    Sacramento, CA


    Opening Remarks

    Panel – Evolution of Acupuncture in U.S. & California

    1. Alan Trachtenberg, M.D., M.P.H., Former Planning Chair, NIH Consensus Conference on Acupuncture; Medical Director, Office of Pharmacologic and Alternative Therapies, U.S. Public Health Service, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
       
    2. Steven Rosenblatt, M.D., Ph.D., L.Ac., Co-founder and former Clinical Director, UCLA Acupuncture Clinic; Former Director, Complementary Medicine Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Written Testimony)


    Panel – Perspectives on Regulation

    1. Sandra Bressler, J.D., Vice President, Center for Medical and Regulatory Policy, California Medical Association (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Harley Goldberg, D.O., Director of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, The Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Norman R. Hertz, Ph.D., Former Chief, Office of Examination Resources, California Department of Consumer Affairs (Written Testimony)


    Panel – California Acupuncture Board

    1. Pei Li Zhong-Fong, L.Ac., Chair, California Acupuncture Board
       
    2. Shari Asplund, Vice Chair, California Acupuncture Board 
       
    3. Marilyn Nielsen, Executive Officer, California Acupuncture Board 
    • Members of the California Acupuncture Board submitted combined Written Testimony
    • The Board also submitted a letter to the Commission in response to written testimony from Norman Hertz:

      California Acupucture Board letter to the Commission dated October 6, 2003  (Letter)

    Public Comments

  • September 24
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    1:00 – 4:30 p.m., University of Southern California, Midtown Sacram
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on Acupuncture Regulation 
    Wednesday, September 24, 2003, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    University of Southern California, Midtown Sacramento Campus
    1800 I Street, Sacramento, CA


    Meeting Goal: Explore the legislative questions in SB 1951 and AB 1943 on education:

    1. Review and make recommendations on the education requirements for acupuncturists.
       
    2. Review increasing curriculum hours for the licensure of acupuncturists in excess of 3,000 hours up to 4,000 hours to fully and effectively provide health services under their scope of practice.
       
    3. Reviewing the competence of licensed acupuncturists who are not subject to the 3,000-hour minimum curriculum requirement, and [the] training, testing or continuing education that would be required for these individuals to meet the standards for continued licensure.
       

    1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

    Opening Remarks/Introductions (Subcommittee Chairman David Epstein)

    1:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

    Review Advisory Committee Process & Meeting Goals (Executive Director Jim Mayer)

    1:20 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

    Howard Kong, L.Ac. President, CA State Oriental Medical Association (Written Testimony)

    1:25 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

    Matthew Bauer, L.Ac. La Verne Acupuncture (Written Testimony)

    1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

    Discussion

    2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Break

    3:00 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.

    Fred Lerner, D.C., Ph.D., Chairman National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics (Written Testimony)

    3:10 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

    Donald E. (Deke) Kendall, O.M.D., Ph.D., L.Ac. National Guild for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Director for Education and Research (Written Testimony)

    3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Discussion

  • August 28
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    9:00 a.m., State Capitol, Room 4203, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Acupuncture Regulation 
    Thursday, August 28, 2003, at 9:00 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 4203 
    Sacramento, CA


    Opening Remarks

    Panel 1 – Overview 

    1. Richard G. Fong, D.C., L.Ac. (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Gary Klapman, M.D., L.Ac. (Written Testimony)
       

    Panel 2 – Perspectives on State Issues from Key Stakeholders 

    1. Michelle Lau, L.Ac., President, Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Associations (CAOMA) (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Brian C. Fennen, L.Ac., Executive Director, Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Associations (CAOMA) (Written Testimony, Attachment 1, Attachment 2)
       
    3. Lixin Huang, President, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and President of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (Written Testimony)
       

    Panel 3 – Perspectives on National Issues 

    1. Christina Herlihy, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Penelope Ward, Director of Professional Services, Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) (Written Testimony)
       

    Panel 4 – Regulatory Perspectives 
    ​​​​​​​(Please note:  due to time constraints, this panel did not give oral testimony.  The panel will testify before the Commission at the next public hearing on acupunture regulation on September 25th, 2003) 

    1. Pei Li Zhong-Fong, L.Ac., Chair, California Acupuncture Board
       
    2. Shari Asplund, Vice Chair, California Acupuncture Board
       
    3. Marilyn Nielsen, Executive Officer, California Acupuncture Board
       
    4. Norman R. Hertz, Ph.D., Former Chief, Office of Examination Resources, California Department of Consumer Affairs
      ​​​​​​​

    Public Comments

  • August 27
    2003
    Acupuncture Regulation
    1:00 - 4:30 p.m., University of Southern California, Midtown Sacram
    Advisory Committee Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Advisory Committee Meeting on Acupuncture Regulation
    Wednesday, August 27, 2003, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
    University of Southern California, Midtown Sacramento Campus
    1800 I Street, Sacramento, CA


    Meeting Goals:

    1. Review consumer protection issues.
    2. Review scope of practice questions from survey.
    • Click here to view questions from survey for reference.

    ​​​1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

    Opening Remarks and Introductions
    David Epstein, Subcommittee Chair, Little Hoover Commission 

    1:45 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.

    Advisory Committee Process & Meeting Goals
    Jim Mayer, Executive Director, Little Hoover Commission

    1:55 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    Review Scope of Study
    Hattie Rees Hanley, Project Manager, Little Hoover Commission

    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Identify & Distill Consumer Protection Issues

    3:00 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

    Break

    3:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Identify & Distill Scope of Practice Concerns

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the discussion. Please notify Commission staff if you would like to make a comment.