Survey, Part Two

I want to get back to the ASVA survey I mentioned in the “Know Before You Go” post. Again, I’m glad ASVA wants member feedback. And I don’t want to be that annoying critic sitting back and complaining. And, we need to analyze our options if we want to work smarter.

Imo, surveys are often worse than useless. Many issues are too complex for a simple yes or no, and without background it is all too easy come up with a knee-jerk answer that, when allowed to drive policy, can take us where we don’t want to go. (Definitely a problem not limited to the acupuncture world.)

Here are the other questions on the ASVA survey, and my commentary —

  1. Should ASVA support efforts to have “Acupuncturists” included as a provider in the Social Security Act?  (What efforts? Is some group preparing to introduce a bill? Have practitioners received any more information about what it would mean for us if we were succesful? What happened with past efforts and why would it be different now?)
  2. Should ASVA support the national effort to include acupuncture as a federally mandated essential benefit (EHB) through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)? (What national effort? Who is working on this? Wasn’t it determined that the states would determine their own EHB, and if they didn’t the Feds would rely on plans within a state?  What is ASVA talking about?)
  3. Should ASVA consider fundraising for the purposes of introducing state legislation to update the scope of practice for licensed acupuncturists in Virginia? (Is there a problem with the current scope? Does ASVA have particular changes in mind?)
  4. (The one I wrote about in the other post.)
  5. Should ASVA explore fundraising for legislative avenues to restrict other professions from practicing acupuncture in Virginia? (Really?!?!?!! Is there any chance that a majority of legislators would vote for a bill like this given the relative numbers of other professionals? What would our reasoning be — we want to maintain a monopoly? Do we think other professions will accept this? Might there be blowback?)
  6. Will you serve on a committee? (Well, good for them for asking.)

I suppose I’ll find out on Sunday whether members gave a knee-jerk yes, yes, yes (except for #6 of course). I won’t be surprised if they did.

Legislative battles are often messy and expensive and can take years of ongoing commitment. Last minute changes to legislation can be harmful. Could we use our limited resources in ways that would bring a more immediate and direct benefit? How about asking what sort of business support members could use? I often get questions about the legality of various billing arrangements, could the state association focus on finding answers? How about educating members about existing state regulations?


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