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Frequently Asked Questions about SB 683

30 Oct 2018 7:30 AM | Henry Buchtel (Administrator)


Acupuncture Licensure Bill

SB 683

Frequently Asked Questions


(Updated 10/30/18, replaces 4/25/18 version)


MAAOM_SB683_FAQ_18_10_30.pdf


List of Questions and Answers (see below for details)


Q: Is acupuncture licensed in other states?

                A: Yes, a license is required to practice acupuncture in 46 out of 50 states.


Q: If I am practicing acupuncture in Michigan, but do not meet the national standards for licensure, will SB 683 stop me from practicing acupuncture?

              A: You may be qualified to apply through the state-licensure candidate route, to be established by the Board of Acupuncture.


Q: Will SB 683 prevent me from doing acupressure, cupping, homeopathy, dietary counseling, and other un-regulated activities?

              A: No, it will not affect previously un-regulated activities.


Q: Will SB 683 allow ADS’s to continue performing the NADA protocol?

A: Yes, certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists (ADS) can continue to perform the NADA protocol for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorder.


Q: Will acupuncture be covered by insurance after SB 683 passes?

A: SB 683 will remove barriers to insurance, but does not require it.


Q&A with explanations and references


Q: Is acupuncture licensed in other states?


A: Yes, a license is required to practice acupuncture in 46 out of 50 states.

Nevada was the first state to legalize acupuncture in 1974, and Kansas was the most recent state, passing legislation in 2017. The only states that still do not require a license to practice acupuncture are Oklahoma, South Dakota, Alabama, and Michigan.


Q: If I am practicing acupuncture in Michigan but do not meet the national standards for licensure, will SB 683 stop me from practicing acupuncture?


A: You may be qualified to apply for licensure through the Michigan state-licensure candidate route.

The Senate Health Policy Committee (SHPC) determined that the grandfathering section of SB 683 as originally written would not do enough to ensure that all Licensed Acupuncturists were fully qualified to practice. The intent of that section was to include qualified individuals who have been practicing legally in the state, but whom did not graduate from an ACAOM-accredited program and thus could not sit the NCCAOM national board exams.


The SHPC required that a new route to licensure, the “NCCAOM state-licensure candidate” route, be created.


In this route, which has been used by many state regulatory departments, the Michigan Board of Acupuncture will set standards according to Section 16151(2)(B) to pre-qualify individuals to allow them to sit the national board exams administered by National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). These will include the acupuncture and point location exam, foundations of oriental medicine exam, and biomedicine exam. The results of the exam will be sent directly to the Board, who will determine eligibility for licensure.


These individuals will have a 12-month window to apply to the state board and demonstrate to the board that they have the necessary education, training, and experience. These standards will be determined by the Board of Acupuncture, as required in Section 16525 of the bill.


The intent of this section is to allow individuals meeting these requirements to demonstrate their qualification for licensure by taking and passing the national board exams.


NOTE: The 12-month window for application is anticipated to begin in 2020. This assumes that SB 683 is signed into law before the end of 2018.

See Sections 16515(2)(B) and 16525.


Q: Will SB 683 prevent me from doing acupressure, cupping, homeopathy, dietary counseling, and other un-regulated activities?


A: No, it will not affect previously un-regulated activities.

Although many of these activities will be included in the scope of a licensed acupuncturist, the intent of SB 683 is to create broad exemptions for the performance of previously un-regulated procedures, and will not affect the ability of unregulated professions such as life coaches, dieticians, nutritionists, naturopaths, homeopaths, and herbal medicine practitioners to continue doing their jobs. SB 683 will only restrict the performance of acupuncture and moxibustion to licensed acupuncturists.

See Section 16513(2)(D)


Q: Will SB 683 allow ADS’s to continue performing the NADA protocol?


A: Yes, ADS’s can continue to perform NADA.

SB 683 creates a specific exemption for certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists (ADS) to continue performing the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorder.

See Section 16513(C)


Q: Will acupuncture be covered by insurance after SB 683 passes?


A: SB 683 will remove barriers to insurance, but does not require it.

This bill does not require 3rd party or workers comp. reimbursement, but its passage will remove some of the barriers to insurance coverage for acupuncture.

Insurance companies in most other states include some degree of coverage for acupuncture. In Michigan, some insurance companies cover acupuncture when performed by a physician, but not when performed by an acupuncturist. Licensure will remove the barriers that contribute to this situation and bring Michigan up to the level of other states in the Great Lakes region.


If you have further questions please contact the MAAOM Legislative Committee members below:


Henry Buchtel, Chair

Email: henry.buchtel@gmail.com; cell: 734-845-8550

Gigi Cristache, Vice-chair

Email: 5acupuncturewellness@gmail.com; cell: 248-790-4061

Kristin Whitfield, Member

Email: kvwhitfield@gmail.com; cell: 774-722-3218



The outdated FAQ below is offered for reference only:


MAAOM_SB683_FAQ_18_04_25.pdf



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