Florida is a special place for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Please help us keep it that way!

Upcoming Advocacy Meeting 

Date to be announced soon

It’s True: Florida practitioners of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (“AP’s”) and Florida citizens arguably enjoy the best regulatory environment for the practice of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the entire country.

Our practice and profession is regulated and protected in Florida Statute 457 and Florida Administrative Code 64B1 (together, our “Practice Act”). Florida AP’s are considered primary care physicians. Committed FSOMA members who came before us worked with legislators to establish and maintain our strong and broad legal status codified in our Practice Act. Because of their passion and hard work, we can legally practice for the benefit of all Floridians with freedom and integrity, using a very broad range of tools.

Practitioners in most other states do not enjoy this freedom and legal protection!

How do we maintain our advantageous position in the Florida medical community as well as continue to serve Florida citizens?  

Through ongoing advocacy for the AOM profession.

FSOMA’s Advocacy Committee works on various issues related to our profession and the public to ensure both are served. See below (Advocacy Victory!) for an important victory and example of FSOMA’s Advocacy at work!

The Advocacy Committee organizes the annual Acupuncture Education Day at the Florida State Capital in Tallahassee. 

Join us this year on Tuesday, February 7, 2023!  

During this special annual event, practitioners from all over Florida travel to the State Capitol and spend the day educating our lawmakers and their staff about the benefits of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM). We provide treatments in the Capitol and introduce ourselves to our local Senators and Representatives and their aids. In this way, Florida lawmakers come to understand the benefits of AOM for Floridians and hopefully become more inclined to help us protect those benefits if challenged. As a result of the annual Acupuncture Education Days since 1997, Florida lawmakers look to FSOMA for information and advice about AOM. Some of the Capitol members look forward to their treatment every year. It’s a fun and important event and includes the chance to connect with fellow practitioners from around the state. 

The Advocacy Committee monitors current issues that impact Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

For over 15 years, FSOMA has retained Rutledge & Ecenia, an experienced advocacy firm based in Tallahassee. The firm keeps the Advocacy Committee and FSOMA leadership aware of proposed legislation and other events that do or could affect Florida AP’s and the public.

Current Initiatives:

  1. 2023 Acupuncture Education Day being held at the Florida State Capital in Tallahassee | Tuesday, February 7, 2023 

  2. Exhibiting at the 2022 Workers Compensation Institute Conference held in Orlando, Florida, August 22 & 23, 2022. Currently looking for volunteers.
  3. July is Acupuncture Awareness Month | More information to come
  4. FSOMA is developing a new outreach program to enable and support members who wish to promote the benefits of AOM and the profession at public events in their local cities. More information on how to apply to our New Outreach Program coming soon. 
  5. The Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act H.R. 4803In July 2021, U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced H.R. 4803, the Acupuncture for our Seniors Act. U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) co-sponsored this bill in 2022. H.R. 4803 would instruct the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to recognize qualified acupuncturists as Medicare providers. Medicare recognition would enable acupuncturists to provide covered services to Medicare beneficiaries (generally those 65+) without supervision and bill Medicare directly for these services. H.R. 4803 would modernize the Medicare program by granting provider status to acupuncturists, which would allow Medicare beneficiaries direct access to acupuncturists.

Please join us and help keep AOM strong in Florida! 

Join us in our next meeting | Details coming soon

National Advocacy Initiatives:
In addition to the advocacy work that FSOMA does, there are two additional national organizations that are currently active in national advocacy work. American Society of Acupuncturists and AcuCongress, are organizations that help build a powerful professional community base by organizing town-hall meetings for our professional community to have important discussions, provide trainings and build community. 

1. American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA): is made up of state associations like FSOMA. FSOMA supports the work of the ASA as a member organization, and our members are recognized as ASA members. Learn more by visiting their website: www.asacu.org

2. AcuCongress: a grassroots organization founded specifically to train the members of the Acupuncture Industry in advocacy techniques that have high-impact results. To learn more email: [email protected]

Explore additional resources:

            

FSOMA Advocacy Committee Chairperson:

 Dr. Daniel Litwin, AP
Contact: [email protected]

 

 

 

 Advocacy Committee Members:

Rev. Doc. Lisa Graham, AP


Damita Hartz, AP, LMCH

Contact coming soon





Sandra Kahn, AP, RN

Contact coming soon





Yue Wang, AP

Contact coming soon

 

 

 

Advocacy Victory!   

Florida Physical Therapists Stopped from Putting Public at Risk

Florida's Physical Therapists (PT’s) were lobbying for many years to perform “dry needling” on the public - without training anywhere near that required of APs. “Dry needling” is indistinguishable from acupuncture as defined in our Practice Act. Through the devoted work of the Advocacy Committee, FSOMA was able to hold the PT profession to educational and legal standards appropriate to protect the public. After many years of attempting to change the law, the resulting 2020 legislation contains some of the toughest standards in the country for “dry needling” by PT’s.  PT’s who want to “dry needle”  must complete 50 hours of supervised training, report adverse events to the Florida Department of Health and report the number and location of certified PT’s. 

This is well above the standards required in most other states where “dry needling” legislation has passed, and represents a hard-won FSOMA and Florida AOM victory. Note that the vast majority of states have NO required training standards for “dry needling” by non-acupuncturists.

This infographic provides a state-by-state training summary:

How can you get more involved in advocacy for your profession?

Register for the upcoming meeting: Details coming soon

  1. Educate. Inform yourself about the current policies and problems affecting your profession.
  2. Evaluate. Evaluate and examine whether current programs involve advocacy as a means to address problems or grievances in the profession.
  3. Collaborate. Join FSOMA or the ASA. Together, pooling resources, all parties involved in the collaborative efforts to take on campaigns and work for change.