One of our dear Acupuncturists came in the other day so very excited about this…check out what she has to say about KY getting Licensure!
The Passing of Senate Bill 29
Acupuncturists are now LICENSED in the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Some great news in the acupuncture world today! In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, acupuncturists shall henceforth be referred to as Licensed Acupuncturists (LAc), instead of Certified Acupuncturists (CAc). I (Andrea) just returned from the Governor’s Office and was able to witness the signing of this important bill.
In 2005, a small group of committed acupuncturists came together to form the Kentucky State Acupuncture Association (KSAA) | https://www.facebook.com/KentuckyAcuAssociation | It was through their efforts that acupuncture was passed as a “certified” healthcare profession under the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and legally available to the public in 2006. However, this was just the first step. To be fully immersed in the healthcare profession, especially in the eyes of health insurance companies, licensure would be required.
Starting in 2009, efforts were led by the KSAA to initiate change from certification to licensure. The necessary bills were introduced through the House of Representatives and passed in 2013, however they never made it to the Senate. In January 2014, the KSAA and our committed lobbyist, Bob Rowland, found a new avenue to travel down. Senator Tom Buford (R) offered to carry a new version of our bill, entitled Senate Bill 29. This bill was introduced into the Senate on January 7, 2014 where it was favorably received and would be voted on January 30, 2014. In hopes of encouraging a favorable vote, a small contingent of acupuncturists (myself included) went to the Capitol to provide education and acupuncture treatments to the KY Legislators. The day was an incredible success as all the participating legislators enjoyed their treatments and the bill was passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. On March 24, 2014 the bill was signed by each presiding officer in the Senate and delivered to KY Governor Steve Beshear. Today, the official signing ceremony took place in the Govenor’s office, and I was honored to be present during this short but important moment.
So what does this all mean? Well, having “LAc” after our names instead of “CAc” won’t really affect our day-to-day life, since we’ve been committed healthcare professionals from the beginning. Where changes will be felt is in the professional arena. With “LAc” after our names, we will be considered a more reputable healthcare profession, which will finally open the door to pursuing health insurance contracts. This is obviously great news for patients eager to use their insurance to pay for their acupuncture visits! It’s still going to be a journey to achieve insurance contracts, but the biggest road-block has been removed! Additionally, this will most likely allow us to be better received by traditional medical practitioners, who also prefer to see “licensure” instead of “certification”. Hopefully, they will open their eyes and minds to integrative forms of healthcare like acupuncture and realize that we are more than just a bunch of “feel good pseudo doctors”. We are professional healthcare practitioners offering true methods of healing, and we are here to stay!
Andrea Johnston, Dipl OM, LAc