To The Point!

AOMAM's March Newsletter

In This Issue

Scroll through our newsletter for information on:
  • 2016 Legislative Action Items
  • General Membership Meeting
  • AOMAM in MN Monthly Article
  • Call for Volunteers & Board Members
  • Monthly Membership Options
  • Support GoFundMe campaign
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Letter To Your Rep's

Sending a letter to your district representative is an effective method for communicating our professions goals - along with introducing yourself as an active member in their district.

Not only does this allow you to send them information on your own acupuncture business, but it also opens the door to inviting your patients to also send letters regarding greater access to acupuncture care/coverage/use within our MN healthcare systems.

Go to our website at to download our 2016 Legislative Materials and draft letter and customize it to your own business and voice within our MN L.Ac community!

1. Acupuncture Bill To Follow - Coverage For Services - HF.3244 , SF 3033

A bill for an act relating to health; insurance; modifying continuing education requirements for certain health professionals; providing coverage for certain acupuncture services; amending Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 214.12, by adding a subdivision; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 62Q.



All health plans must cover acupuncture services for the treatment of pain and ongoing pain management when those services are performed by an individual who is licensed as an acupuncture practitioner under chapter 147B.

EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective January 1, 2017, and applies to health plans offered, issued, or renewed to a Minnesota resident on or after that date.

Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 214.12, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 6. Opioid alternatives. The Board of Medical Practice, the Board of Nursing, and the Board of Dentistry shall require that licensees with the authority to prescribe opioid medicines receive two hours of continuing education on nonpharmocological alternatives for treatment of pain and ongoing pain management.

EFFECTIVE DATE. This section is effective January 1, 2017.

2. Acupuncture Bill To Follow - Nondiscrimination

A bill for an act relating to health insurers; requiring nondiscrimination policies in providing health care services; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 62Q.




Subdivision 1. Covered providers. A health plan company as defined in section

62Q.01, subdivision 4, or regulated under section 60A.23 and Minnesota Rules, chapter

2767; managed care organizations offering group or individual health insurance; third-party administrators that manage benefits for self-insured plans; workers' compensation;

Minnesota health care programs including MA, MNsure, and SEGIP; and automobile insurers must not discriminate against health care providers who are licensed or registered by a health-related licensing board or the commissioner of health, in providing covered services to plan enrollees as long as the provider is acting within the scope of the provider's license, registration, or certification. Health plan companies must maintain network adequacy by ensuring a sufficient number of health care providers to serve the number of enrollees. Co-payments, deductible structures, conversion factors, and covered essential health benefits under health plans, workers' compensation, and public health programs must apply equally to all covered providers and not differ based solely on category or professional title of the provider or by licensure, registration, or certification of the provider.

Subd. 2. Prohibited practice. (a) Health plan companies, self-insured plans, third-party administrators, workers' compensation, Minnesota health care programs, and automobile insurers shall not engage in the following practices in order to limit the implementation of nondiscrimination policies:

  1. Lower reimbursement rates for certain categories of providers who are delivering the same services as other provider types, as defined by procedural codes
  2. Apply limits to the number of allowable visits to some categories of providers and not others
  3. Limit the amount of payment for a service provided by a licensed, registered, or certified provider acting within the provider's scope of practice
  4. Limit the number of providers in the health plan's network
  5. Eliminate or restrict covered services that are otherwise within the provider's scope of practice
  6. Restrict CPT codes by provider type
  7. Exclude coverage for diagnosis and treatment of a condition or illness by a provider licensed or registered by a health-related licensing board or the commissioner of health who is acting within the provider's scope of practice if the health plan covers diagnosis and treatment of the condition or illness by a licensed physician or osteopath
  8. Make access to providers difficult by implementing cumbersome approval processes
  9. Implement exclusionary language that references "not medically necessary," "not clinically efficacious," or "experimental," solely to deny services. (b) The provisions in paragraph (a) do not prohibit plans from offering variable reimbursement based on quality and performance measures so long as the standard measures used are applied uniformly across provider types.(c) Prior to meeting any deductible threshold, if applicable, the expense of any service paid by the policy holder which is rendered by a provider who is licensed or registered by the state shall be applied to the deductible. When attributing the expense of services paid for by the policy holder to the deductible, there shall be no differentiation between in-network and out-of-network providers until the point at which the deductible is met.

Subd. 3. Requirements if service deemed not medically necessary or experimental. (a) A health plan company or a self-insured plan that limits coverage of experimental treatment, or treatment determined to be not medically necessary, shall define the limitation and disclose the limits in any agreement, policy, or certificate of coverage. The disclosure must include the following:

(1) who is authorized to make the determination on limiting coverage

(2) the criteria the plan uses to determine whether a treatment, procedure, drug, or device is experimental. (b) A health plan company or a self-insured plan that includes all of the required information upon which to make a decision must, within five business days after receiving the request, issue a coverage decision. The coverage decision must provide the insured a denial letter that includes:

  1. A statement of the specific medical and scientific factors considered in making a decision
  2. A notice of the insured's right to appeal and an explanation of the appeal process.

Subd. 4. Conformity with federal law. Each insurance company, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical services corporation, and health care center licensed to do business in the state shall comply with: (1) sections 1251, 1252, and 1304 of the Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148; (2) sections 2701 to 2709, United States Code, title 42, section 300gg et seq.; (3) sections 2711 to 2719A, inclusive, United States Code, title 42, section 300gg-11 et seq.; and (4) section 2794, United States Code, title 42,section 300gg-94.

Subd. 5. Enforcement. Noncompliance with this section shall result in suspension of a plan participating in any state public health program under sections 43A.317; 471.6161; 471.617; and chapter 256B for up to two years.

Steps to Take Action!

Introducing you to your Legislators

-Minnesota State vs U.S. Congress

-We will focus more on State Legislators but be aware we do have issues coming up that will need to go to your US Reps and Senators.

Who Represents Me?

Making contact:

1. Set up an appointment, even if you have to pull them out of a meeting.

2. Are you a constituent?

3. Can you vote for this person in the coming election?

4. Follow instructions in our book page 4-5

How to Communicate:

1. Content of your messages? Brevity is the key!!!

- i.e. People are overdosing on heroine and opioids, we can help stop this by offering non drug therapy like Acupuncture at the very beginning!

2. START BY introducing yourself and say ACUPUNCTURE IS AMAZING!!!!

3. Keep it positive, professional and to the point

4. Focus on solving the problem

- Start by saying: “ We need this to happen!”

- Then ask: “What do you need from me to make this happen?”

  • Research?
  • Statics?
  • Demographic info?
  • Case study examples? Include facts in your statements

What to Avoid:

1. Do not engage in anger statements

  • Stick to the facts and keep the conversation professional

2. Do not give them a yes or no question

  • Engage your representative in what they can do for you – focus on next steps and what you can assist them with (facts, research)

Writing letters:

- Only use one issue at a time in your letters.

Sending Emails:

- If including multiple topics in email, keep it concise and easy to read

- Link to your references, other websites

- Attach supporting documents and research if available

Effective Phone Campaigns:

- Leave detailed messages with their Legal Aides

- Call often (once per week)

Meet with them FACE TO FACE:

- The best way to tell your story, and for the legislator to remember you when they have more questions

- Hand them paper copies of your letter(s) and supporting documents

- Keep it friendly, professional and to the point

Protecting your professional interests through political activity is in your best interest.

- Lobby Day - Friday April 1st - 9:00am - 1:00pm

- Target specific committees that make decisions that impact our profession

  • Health and Human Services Finance, Chairman, Matt Dean
  • Health and Human Services Reform-(Policy) Tara Mack

Session Starts noon Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

1st deadline - April 1, 2016 at midnight
2nd deadline - April 8, 2016 at midnight
3rd deadline - April 21, 2016 at midnight

"The first deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin."

"The second deadline is for committees to act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house."

"The third deadline is for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills."

Essential Healthcare Last Summer meetings with the Department of Human Services , Health and Human Services Advisory Council lead to expanding coverage to chronic pain to acute pain, migraines, nausea, stroke recovery and about 15 other categories.

This year we want to continue meetings with DHS for more expansion.

Key Legislators to educate/introduce to acupuncture, talk about opioids.

House Member







vice chair of health finance



Elk River

health, finance



Columbia Heights

health finance




health finance








health finance



Cottage Grove

health finance



Prior Lake














Senate Member





Brooklyn Center









health, finance







St. Paul

commerce, finance

Offensive: Talk about opioids and drug problems how we can help, ask for insurance coverage.

Defensive: If PTs introduce bills we might want to stop them or add more to their bills, you need to know who represents you!

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Abbott pioneers acupuncture in the ER

A pioneer with acupuncture in the emergency room, Abbott Northwestern seeks better care and alternatives to opioids.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital is reporting success using acupuncture in its emergency room to treat everything from car accident injuries to migraines to kidney stones, and hoping to prove that the traditional Chinese treatment can reduce doctors’ reliance on addictive opioids to manage patients’ pain.

The Minneapolis hospital was the first in the nation to staff its ER with an acupuncturist two years ago, as part of a broader campaign to promote Eastern remedies as complements to Western mainstream medicine.

After tracking 182 patients, it reported this month that pain scores in those who received acupuncture alone dropped by the same amount as those who also received analgesic painkillers.

“No matter what I’m treating them for, many patients report feeling calmer, more relaxed, less anxious,” said Adam Reinstein, the acupuncturist in Abbott’s ER.

Coordinating with doctors and nurses on weekdays, Reinstein finds patients willing to receive acupuncture. He then places needles strategically in their skin to provide overall pain relief and relaxation, or to target pain in specific body parts.

The free service is designed to supplement whatever other care patients receive, but Reinstein said there have been cases when it pre-empted the need for prescription painkillers and shortened patients’ ER stays. Now the goal is to measure just how much acupuncture in and of itself makes a difference.

Click here to read more

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General Membership Meeting

Saturday, March 19th, 11am-1pm

2501 West 84th Street

Bloomington, MN

Please join us, March 19th, for our AOMAM's General Membership Meeting.

Room L2

Lunch and beverages provided

We will have handouts, updated marketing materials and packets of infomation for upcoming legislative campaigns and lobby days.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Civic Involvement Opportunities

Add yourself to the list of acupuncturists that offer free/complimentary treatment to Veterans and caregivers. The association is looking for acupuncturists who provide free or complimentary treatments to Veterans an their families/caregivers.

  • This list will be given to Veteran and military health advocates to offer referral options for those seeking care
  • We will also use this list at educational events specifically for Veterans

You can determine your own limits or number of treatments. The association will provide the means for members to jointly promote and inform the public about these services.

Email to be added to the list.

Also, if you would like to collect items for the active military, you can check out the Mission Project website for donations or if you would also like to work with the Mission Project directly.

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GoFundMe - Help Us Fundraise!

Help us heal you. Acupuncture for all.
Donate Here:

Licensed acupuncturists in Minnesota are nationally board certified medical practitioners, licensed by the Board of Medical Practice.

  • Acupuncture is the insertion of any solid core needle into the body that is intended to elicit a therapeutic response.
  • No other professional is as highly trained in all strategies for using acupuncture than a Licensed Acupuncturist.
  • Acupuncture has been proven to effectively treat acute and chronic health conditions and diseases. It is less expensive and less invasive than many other standards of care.
  • Acupuncturists are one of the only medical professionals trained in true preventive care including nutrition and lifestyle practices.
  • The expertise of acupuncturists is highly recognized and they are being integrated by the top medical facilities in the country including serving our troops in our military hospitals.
  • The Joint Commission recognizes acupuncture as a more effective resource for pain management than drug therapy.

The Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Association of Minnesota (AOMAM) is a non-profit, professional organization of Licensed Acupuncturists who are dedicated to promoting the benefits of Acupuncture to all Minnesotans. We are educating our representatives and advocating for safe and affordable holistic healthcare via acupuncture.

HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN! Your donation will help AOMAM do the following:

  • Educate the public on the distinct benefits that only acupuncturists are trained to provide
  • Ensure that patients are treated safely and effectively by Licensed Acupuncturists.
  • Ensure acupuncture is covered by insurance companies to make it affordable for all acute and chronic conditions.
  • Enable state representatives and professional colleagues to better understand that qualified integrative medical resources are available for better patient care today!

Make healthcare more accessible for you and your family! Make a donation today to help us reach our goal! Thank you.

Donate Here:

**Donations to this campaign are not eligible for tax deductions.