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July 21, 2006

OK Congressman introduces bill to research limiting CAM scope

To your left is the face of evil. Though I wouldn't consider all Republicans evil (just most), a group of them have, at the behest of the AMA, written a piece of legislation to battle the "lack of transparency" in CAM practitioners practicing medicine without a license. This was born of the AMA "Scope of Practice" Cabal noted below.

If you read the actual wording of the bill: it doesn't seem that evil. However, it doesn't list what actions the FTC or Congress can take once the investigations have been made.

I wish I could give you a plan of action right now, but simply keep it in your minds and be ready to act!

Posted by Admin at July 21, 2006 06:11 PM


If this is the bill in question ( http://www.govtrack.us/data/us/bills.text/109/h5688.pdf), I fail to see how this is an attack on our scope of practice, unless some of us acupuncturists are calling ourselves doctors and performing surgery.

Not everything that the AMA does is inherently evil. In fact (and I'm sure I'll be roasted over an open flame for this), it can be argued that it is their obligation, as the top level health care providers, to ensure that the public is not misled about health care. Granted, they tend to be too conservative and their previous position papers on acupuncture (from the 1980s) are quite humorous when read in the present, but we could accomplish more by working with them then seeing them as the enemy.

As many of you might recall, acupuncture school was filled with many claims that ended up being false. In addition, our licensing boards are a joke. If we are not willing to police our own in order to make sure that all of us are highly qualified, then we can expect someone else to do it for us.

Now I realize a possible rebuttal would be that the danger to patients comes from those with little or no training doing acupuncture, such as medical acupuncturists and chiropractic 100-hour programs, and this may be true. But we need to address the factors that we can definitely impact, and then we can focus on those other areas.

But back to the original article. I readily admit that my legalese and political-fu is weak, so if there is a hidden threat in this piece of legislation, please let me know.

Posted by: Josh Leet at August 1, 2006 10:55 AM

No Josh, your political-fu is actually quite fine :). The legislation itself simply give the AMA, or the FTC I believe in this case the power to start doing research. The bill itself is benign in its effects.

My worries stem from reports from doc's who attended the meeting that got this ball rolling who say that the end game of this 'investigation' is to limit us to very small scopes of practice.

Don't get me wrong...I yell at every Acupuncturist I know who uses their "doctor of oriental medicine" in my state which doesn't recognize the DOM as a valid degree. I respect the MD's who truly value patient safety. However, this is not where I think the AMA is going with this.

Here's my theory. The docs want us to stay in our very small corner of just doing Acupuncture. No herbs, no massage, no ability to branch out. Each one of us gets delegated one CPT code and that's it. We become technicians essentially. I think they're pissed that chiropractors are considered 'doctors' and they don't want that to happen with anyone else. Though I don't think this is an 'evil' stance, it is definitely not one I'd like to fit into.

any other thoughts out there on this??

Posted by: Steve at August 2, 2006 12:44 AM

That is my thoughts exactly. As it stands it would not be in anyone's interest to be blatant about attacking complementary care, even if in the end that is their goal. But what worries me more is the general apathy i see in the profession as a whole. We are not integral, we are not unified, essentially any strong wind that wants to come in and push us around can, and this is what will happen until we at least come together with a common vision. Much of this is just inherent in the fact that most practitioners are Chinese and well, you speak out there and we know what happens. We have to take up the slack here, we are not in China, we will not be killed for speaking out...

Posted by: Tymothy at August 15, 2006 01:36 AM