A Comprehensive Guide to Establishing and Managing an Acupuncture Practice

Originally presented in webinar format by David Bibbey, LAc. The webinar is available to all FSOMA members here. Log into your membership account to gain access.

Starting and managing an acupuncture practice involves more than just clinical skills. Acupuncturists must navigate various administrative and regulatory requirements. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the steps required to set up an acupuncture practice; including: obtaining a business license, managing tangible property taxes, and understanding the complexities of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.

Let's discuss 3 important aspects of establishing and managing your Acupuncture Clinic.

Part 1: Applying for a Business License:

  • Contact your local city or town hall to initiate the process.

  • Provide necessary documentation, including a copy of your professional license and proof of general liability insurance.

  • Prepare for inspections by local authorities, such as building code enforcement and the fire department, to ensure your office complies with safety standards.

Part 2: County Tangible Personal Property Inventory and Tax Filing:

  • Create an inventory list of clinic assets, including furniture and equipment.

  • Update this list annually to reflect changes.

  • Work with your accountant to benefit from depreciation on office equipment.

Part 3: Understanding Medicare and Medicaid for Acupuncturists:

  • Medicare Advantage (Part C).

  • Medicare Coverage for Acupuncture.

  • Medicaid in Florida.

  • CAQH ProView, simplifying the credentialing process.

  • OptumHealth Credentialing.

The Details 

Part 1: Applying for Business License

Before you can start treating patients, you need to ensure that your acupuncture practice complies with local regulations and safety standards. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Contact City or Town Hall:

Begin by reaching out to the local city or town hall's business office. Inform them that you intend to apply for a business license. They will guide you through the necessary steps.

Provide Required Documentation:

Prepare to submit an application and any requested documentation, such as a copy of your professional license, proof of general liability insurance, and, in some cases, a fire plan for the office layout.

Inspection Process by local authorities:

Local building code enforcement and the fire department may conduct inspections of your office space before issuing a business permit or tax license. Ensure that your space complies with safety standards to avoid delays and additional costs.

Consult with Building Inspector:

If you're unsure about local building codes or safety requirements, consider asking the building inspector for a walkthrough. They can provide guidance on necessary improvements.

Correct Any Violations:

Address any identified code violations or safety concerns promptly to pass the inspection smoothly.

Post-Inspection Steps:

If you pass the inspection, you'll be issued a business license. However, if you fail, you'll need to make the necessary changes and schedule a follow-up inspection.

Part 2: County Tangible Personal Property Inventory and Tax Filing

Managing tangible personal property taxes involves creating and updating an inventory list of clinic assets. Here's how to navigate this process:

Inventory List:

Create a comprehensive list of fixed assets not for sale, including desks, equipment, carpets, and durable equipment.

Update Annually:

Maintain and update this list annually to reflect any changes, additions, or removals of assets from your office.

Exemption Threshold:

Many locations offer an exemption if the total value of your assets remains below a certain threshold.

Work with Your Accountant:

Provide this list to your accountant along with your business ledger to benefit from depreciation on your office equipment over time.

Part 3: Understanding Medicare and Medicaid for Acupuncturists

To expand your patient base and navigate insurance reimbursements effectively, you must understand how Medicare and Medicaid work. Medicare is a federal health program primarily for individuals over the age of 65 and those with long-term disabilities.

Medicare Advantage (Part C):

Part C is managed by private insurance companies, allowing acupuncturists to contract with them to provide services without direct medical supervision.

Medicare Coverage for Acupuncture:

In 2022, Medicare approved coverage for acupuncture with some limitations, such as a maximum of 20 units per year.

Medicaid in Florida:

In Florida, Medicaid is administered through Medicaid Managed Care plans, many of which include acupuncture as a covered benefit.

CAQH ProView:

Create a CAQH profile to store and update your professional information, simplifying the credentialing process for healthcare providers.

OptumHealth Credentialing:

OptumHealth handles credentialing for various insurance plans, including Medicaid Managed Care and Medicare Advantage, streamlining the process for acupuncturists.


Establishing and managing an acupuncture practice requires careful attention to administrative and regulatory requirements. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying informed about the latest updates and guidelines, acupuncturists can ensure their clinic's financial sustainability, compliance with regulations, and accessibility to a broader patient base through insurance reimbursement.

Share this post:

Comments on "A Comprehensive Guide to Establishing and Managing an Acupuncture Practice"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment