- Write a letter to the Delaware Acupuncture Advisory Council, and mail it by
this Frida y, August 23rd. Here is a new, improved template! Do this now! (Please cc Gayle MacAfee at the board and send a copy to email@example.com. Thanks!)
- Share this post on facebook.
- Tune in. Subscribing to this blog is a good start but I can’t keep track of everything. Check in at websites for the AAAOM, NCCAOM, ACAOM, your state association, POCA, etc. A few current issues (which I’ll be posting more about soon) — AAAOM is calling for public comment by August 31st on draft legislation, NCCAOM wants public comment on proposed changes by September 30th, ASVA (Acupuncture Society of Virginia) is having a town hall October 19th to discuss possible changes to scope, and the IHPC wants us to stay involved regarding implementation of section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act. Any one of these issues could impact your ability to practice.
- Question Authority. Is X really the biggest problem facing the profession? Is the public better off in a state that requires the OM certification rather than the AC certification? Is an independent board better for acupuncturists? Will an FPD degree lead to greater respect? Does scope mean what you think?
- Know the system. For example, boards can only regulate their own licensees. And the executive branch doesn’t determine what Medicare covers, regardless of how many signatures are on a petition.
- Avoid us/them thinking. In Our Worst Enemy I wrote about the practitioners in focused on increasing standards as a “them.” That was a mistake.
- Remember, we are all in this together. What happens in another state or a change that seems to impact only new students or new licensees might end up affecting you in unforeseen ways.
- Assume good intentions. Assuming bad intentions (the PT’s want to do dry needling to make money, for example) doesn’t lead to productive dialogue.
- Be consistent. Do we support the right of people to choose their healthcare provider? Are herbs safe? Is acupuncture safe? When we change our answers to these questions based on the circumstances we create a negative impression.
- Learn from history. Has participation in health insurance been good or bad for healthcare? For providers? Has a standardized system of Chinese Medicine led to greater effectiveness?
In the short run it is easier to ignore the big issues, to figure you’ll be okay, or to decide you can’t really make a difference. Staying involved takes time and energy you’d rather use to see clients or spend time with your family or learn that new technique. Do it anyway. Tune in, question, participate. The future you save may be your own.