I’m thankful I spend my days helping people. I’m grateful I’m my own boss and that I’m able to treat every client as a unique, complex, individual, not as a diagnostic code. I could write a whole post on what I’m thankful for, but, this coming Sunday, it’s time for another AAAOM Town Hall. There are other things I’d rather be doing the evening of December 1, but I plan to participate, and I hope you will too. So, before we head off to sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, here are my questions for the AAAOM —
- Given the current political climate and the current level of involvement from the profession, what are the odds these bills will be successful within the next 5 years.
- How many LAcs intend to become participating providers in the Federal Health Programs?
- Does the small number of contributions from practitioners to the AAAOM legislative fund indicate that this effort is not a priority for the community?
- Given that there are fewer than 30K active licensees in the US, and that not all will participate, could legislative success benefit other professionals who use acupuncture more than it helps LAcs?
- Do the Medical Acupuncture and the Chiropractor communities support this legislation? Will they participate in the legislative effort?
- Many LAcs treat Medicare beneficiaries. If acupuncture becomes a covered service won’t LAcs who opt-out lose most of that portion of their clientele to providers choosing to participate?
- How many LAcs are providing acupuncture via the Medicaid system in the five states that permit it?
- Is it possible that the opt-out provisions could be stripped as part of the legislative process (related to the small number of potential providers)? Would the AAAOM be able to stop the legislation if that happened?
- Can you clarify the distinction between enrolling, participating, and opting in?
- On page 8 of the FAQ it refers to patients falling into the opt-out exceptions. Is it providers or patients who opt out?
- On page 10 of the FAQ it states that the legislation will not require LAcs to use electronic medical records. Is it true that participating providers will be penalized a percentage of their reimbursements starting in 2015 if they do not use EMR’s?
- If you opt-in, and the beneficiary reaches the limit for their number of treatments and/or wants treatment for a condition that isn’t covered, are you able to treat them and bill them for those services?
- If you opt-out could you still treat Medicare beneficiaries who have surpassed their treatment limit without impacting their future benefits?
- If opting-in, can practitioners limit the number of Medicare beneficiaries they accept as clients?
There are other things the AAAOM could focus on that would be more helpful to the average LAc and be more likely to succeed. But this Town Hall is limited to the AAAOM legislative efforts. I am thankful they are asking for input, and I will oblige.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone — and thanks for reading.
© Elaine Wolf Komarow and The Acupuncture Observer, 2013-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express written permission from Elaine Wolf Komarow is prohibited. Excerpts and links are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given with specific direction to the original content.