A Mature Profession? Part Three

I’ve heard it said that, while “The White House Petition” in and of itself can accomplish nothing, it is still a positive development for the profession — that it stirs things in the right direction.  I disagree —

1)       Many people signing it, which includes practitioners and patients, don’t realize that it is meaningless. It increases hopes which are bound to be dashed, contributing to the destructive and already prevalent feeling that we’ve been wronged.

2)      The petition reveals a profession which does not understand how the system works.  It makes us look ignorant (because we are, mostly).

3)      The profession should have other priorities.  We still have six states without licensure.  If we want to have a national week of action on something, why not that?  (I’d say that’s a necessary precursor to being included in Medicare, for one thing.)

4)      We are completely unprepared to do anything with the attention this creates.  If the president called the AAAOM tomorrow and said, wow, we think this acupuncture thing is really interesting, how many practitioners are interested in becoming Medicare Providers, what answer would they get?  If they asked what sort of support we had for our last bill, do you think saying we had 37 Representatives sign on would be impressive?

A petition might be a reasonable piece of a well-thought out plan to change something that had widespread support in the profession, and for which we were on the verge of success, but as an independent statement it is a distraction, a waste of energy, and misleads rather than informs.  A triple threat!


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© Elaine Wolf Komarow and The Acupuncture Observer, 2013-2033. 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.

3 thoughts on “A Mature Profession? Part Three

  1. Regardless of the quality and wisdom of the petition, the NCCAOM should not be circulating it. They are the Certification Commission, not the Political Activism Commission. Were the entire profession unanimously united on this issue (which it certainly isn’t), circulating the petition might be acceptable, although still not appropriate.

  2. I think people should be careful what they wish for. Being recognized as a profession and having private insurers cover acupuncture treatments is fine but becoming part of medicare is something much more complex and not necessarily desirable.

    With private insurers you can opt to let the patient collect from the insurance company. You canot do that with medicare and you must accept their rate of payment. My friends who are clinical social workers have told me that they are now being paid less per patient than they were 10 years ago. Also one only has to read the newspapers to know that the way the Government is cutting the cost of Medicare is to lower payments to providers.

    Do we really want to join a system where we will see our income decreasing yearly?

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