First electronic issue of AAMA Newsletter debuts exciting changes
The Academy is proud to bring members the first electronic issue of the AAMA Newsletter, which is offering some exciting technological advances. These changes mean members will receive the newsletter more frequently and in a modern format available via e-mail and on the Internet.
With this issue, the Academy launches the AAMA e-Newsletter, which is available to members via e-mail and online. The new e-Newsletter means that the Academy can communicate with members faster and with greater frequency as developments and news are available, such as new CPT Acupuncture Codes (see related article in this issue).
The e-Newsletter permits a more complete listing of all educational programs available that are relevant to members and permits us to link members to more complete and thorough resources and information offered not only from the Academy, but from a variety of other sources, as well.
The AAMA Newsletter is no longer printed and mailed. So electronically challenged members, or those who would simply prefer a print version, can download and print the e-Newsletter directly from the Academy website.
REGISTER E-MAIL ADDRESS
Members should make sure that the Academy has your current, correct e-mail address so that you do not miss out on the AAMA e-Newsletter. Check the e-mail address we have for you by going to the online Membership Directory available in the Member Only section of the Academy website. Or, if you prefer, simply send an e-mail to Webmaster Stephen Chan (email@example.com, 323/937-5514, x19) requesting that he update your e-mail address.
AAMA is excited about this innovative change. We believe it will materially increase the value of this communication tool for all members.
AAMA WANTS YOUR NEWS
Also, the Academy wants to hear from members with news related to medical acupuncture for the AAMA Newsletter. If you've lectured at a meeting, led a workshop, presented at a conference, had an article published, etc., please send the details to Editor Barton Ortberg via e-mail or fax (323/937-0959).
Incidentally, past issues of the AAMA Newsletter are posted online.
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What's happening re the New CPT Codes---
By C. James Dowden
Executive Administrator, AAMA
By all reports, the implementation of the new CPT codes for acupuncture has been accompanied by confusion and frustration. That has not been true in every instance that we have heard of, but in many. Some confusion can be expected when things change, but in this instance the confusion has been compounded by several missteps and errors in the information put out by the various entities involved and in articles appearing in various trade press. Let's review.
What was intended with the New Acupuncture Codes
After nearly a year-long effort of a special task force of national acupuncture professional societies and related organizations, a new time-based system of acupuncture codes was proposed to the AMA's CPT Editorial Committee. Representatives of this task force, including Dr. Marshall Sager on behalf of the AAMA, met with the CPT Editorial Committee for a final review of the proposed codes and to answer questions. Though the members of the Committee were not themselves intimately familiar with acupuncture, by the end of that meeting, there was a positive consensus on the new codes and the language to be included in the new 2005 CPT Code Book. There were a few more steps for the document to go through before final publication, but we were comfortable that everyone was on the same page.
What was agreed to was a system that changed from the old codes which were procedure based...(the practitioner billed for acupuncture or electro-acupuncture with a single code for each, regardless of the time spent or the effort involved and without regard to the number of treatments in a session)...to a new process where a code was to be used for each timed treatment in a session.
New Code 97810 was to be used for the initial acupuncture treatment in a session, involving one or more needles, without electrical stimulation. That treatment, including the time for patient prep, insertion, and removal of needles, was presumed to involve up to 15 minutes of one-on-one or face-to-face time with the practitioner. Face-to-face time is the time the practitioner is physically present and performing activities necessary to the procedure, not necessarily the time the patient is in the room. It was expected that the "initial period code" would eventually be valued somewhat higher than the codes for subsequent periods since the initial period involved pre-service and post-service time including getting the patient prepared for treatment and the time associated with concluding the session (updating your notes and chart, etc.).
New Code 97811 was to be used for subsequent treatments during the same session, involving one or more needles, without electrical stimulation. This is not an additional 15 minutes of the original or initial treatment. This code is for a new treatment, during the same session. There is awkward language in the CPT Code book referring to "re-insertion of needles" when using this code. This does not mean re-using needles! What is intended is that the subsequent period code will be used when you are doing an additional treatment during the same session, in the case of 97811, not involving electrical stimulation. The exact language reads..."each additional 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient, with re-insertion of needle(s). (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure.)"
New Code 97813 was to be used for the initial acupuncture treatment in a session involving one or more needles, with electrical stimulation. The same concepts apply as described above for 97810 except that electrical stimulation is utilized. Then, new Code 97814 was to be used for subsequent treatments during the same session, involving one or more needles, with electrical stimulation. The presumption of the Task Force was that these electrical stimulation codes would ultimately be valued somewhat higher than the codes for acupuncture without electrical stimulation because of the higher complexity and skill involved.
Evaluation and Management Explicitly Permitted
Given the challenge many practitioners have faced over the years obtaining reimbursement for E&M service when associated with an acupuncture treatment, the Academy and, in turn, the Task Force, argued for language that made it clear that an E&M service in the same session as an acupuncture treatment was permitted. We were successful in obtaining a statement regarding that issue. The 2005 CPT Code book contains the following language:
"Evaluation and Management services may be reported separately, using modifer 25, if the patient's condition requires a significant separately identifiable E&M service above the usual pre-service and post-service work associated with the acupuncture services. The time of the E & M service is not included in the time of the acupuncture service."
While it can be argued that a physician is ethically bound to perform some level of E&M on the occasion of every visit, some insurers routinely denied reimbursement for such services when performed at the same session or even on the same day as an acupuncture treatment. This explicit language gives direction to both the practitioner and the 3rd party payers as to this issue. The physician following the stated procedures may report the E&M service and be able to sustain an argument for reimbursement. The key is documenting the need and extent of the service.
Mix and Matching Codes
The Task Force understood that in any given session, a practitioner may include both a non electrical stimulation treatment and an electrical stimulation treatment in the same session. From the standpoint of the Codes, this mixing and matching was supposed to be possible by using the correct "initial period code" for the first treatment, and the correct "subsequent code" for each additional treatment. Thus, if the practitioner started the session with a non electrical stimulation procedure, the code to use would be 97810. If an additional treatment involved electrical stimulation, then the code to use would be 97814 for that subsequent treatment.
Unfortunately, some conflicting language showed up in the final 2005 CPT Code book when it was published. There is language that states that the practitioner cannot mix and match electrical and non-electrical codes in the same session. This was not the intent of the AAMA nor of the Task Force. Moreover, we do not believe it was the intent of the CPT Editorial committee to prevent such mixing of treatments. We have brought this issue to the attention of the key AMA staff in hopes of having the error corrected as soon as possible. Marshall Sager has met with the Editorial Committee and has had several discussions with the AMA staff. He is hopeful that some steps will be taken in the near future to redress this problem. He will report on this issue and any progress at the upcoming Symposium.
With the exception of the issue of not currently being able to mix electrical stimulation and non electrical stimulation treatments in the same session... the practitioner now should be utilizing the new codes, with one initial period treatment code and as many subsequent period treatment codes as necessary to report the number of treatments in a session and may also report any E&M Service using the -25 modifer to so.
What is the Relative Value of these New Codes?
Several years ago when the first acupuncture codes were published by the AMA, there were no adopted or agreed upon relative values for those codes. The problem at that time was that the various practitioner groups, including the Academy, could not reach agreement on the values and absent a consensus recommendation, the new codes were published with zero values attributed to them.
Relative values, or RVUs, are the weight assigned to each CPT code that 3rd party payers may then use to determine appropriate reimbursement levels. If the payment of a carrier for a procedure code with an RVU of 0.8 is $50 then the reimbursement for a code with an RVU of 0.4 would be expected to be $25. Such relative values have been developed for almost every CPT code in use. The values are developed through a statistical analysis of a survey conducted of a random sample of practitioners experienced in performing the procedure. The survey endeavors to ascertain the practitioners' assessment of the relative value of a proposed new code, compared to established values of selected existing codes with which the practitioner has experience.
This time around, representatives of the AAMA and other acupuncture related professional groups, got together immediately after the CPT Committee adopted the new codes. It was agreed that a common survey would be developed to be used by each group. Appropriate samples were drawn and the surveys were conducted with the selected members. The responses were compiled and analysis performed by a professional with significant credentials in doing such work. At the end, Relative Work Values for each of the four new acupuncture codes were derived.
Representatives of the four organizations appeared at a meeting of the appropriate RUC Committee to review the research methodology and to report the results of the survey effort. The four organizations put forth a consensus recommendation for the Relative Value for each of the four new codes. Though the final discussion and deliberations of the Committee were held in private, it was subsequently learned that the Task Force recommendations regarding work values for the new acupuncture codes was accepted.
The process then involves the addition of two other values to the work value---one for malpractice expense and one for office expense to reflect the relative portion of those expenses that should properly be attributed to this work. These two values are determined by the Committee and apply broadly across various codes. The combination of the three values should result in a final RVU to be used by payers to determine the appropriate rate of payment for each code. CMS annually publishes a compilation of the relative values assigned to all CPT codes developed in this manner. This is the "bible" used by payers to determine their payment schedules. That is where the next big snafu occurred.
When CMS published the values for the 2005 CPT Codes, they only published the Work and Malpractice Values for the new acupuncture codes; they reported zero value for the office expense component---reporting only two of the three elements of what make up a proper and complete RVU. Any 3rd party payer looking at what was published might well conclude that the partial value reported was the complete value and thus any payment based on the published values would be an underpayment.
Marshall Sager, on behalf of the Academy, has been aggressively pursuing a correction to what CMS published. Initially the CMS representative indicated it was an error to have published any values for the acupuncture codes since, it was argued, Medicare does not cover acupuncture. It has been documented, however, that CMS does, in fact, publish the full values of other, non covered services. Accordingly, the Academy representatives have continued efforts to get CMS to issue a correction report publishing the full RVUs for each of the new acupuncture codes. Though there has been some indication that such a correction may be published as early as this July, there is no written statement from CMS committing to doing so. We will have to await further action to see.
What are the carriers doing?
All we have it this point is anecdotal information...what we learn when a member calls in to ask a question or to complain about the new fees. What we hear a lot of is that the reimbursements are less than before from the same carrier, but it is unclear as to why that is. Are the carriers just lowering the fees paid or is there some logic to their process? For instance, one potential explanation is that since the previous system was procedure based and now it is time based, it might be that the carriers now value each treatment under the new code at a lesser value, than the procedure was valued under the old system. But if so, then two treatments in the same session likely result in a higher payment under the new approach than one procedure under the previous system. Combine that with the assured right to charge for E&M service and the end result could be as good as or better than the previous system. At least one member has called to report exactly that result in a Workers Comp claim in New York.... a modest increase over what the same insurer was paying under the previous codes.
On the other hand, there is no clear understanding of what impact the publication of incomplete relative values for these codes is having. One is forced to conclude that the only possible impact is to cause carriers to reimburse at a lower level than they should because it was not clear that one component of the RVU was excluded from the published summary.
What is also clear is that many practitioners have a relatively low level of understanding of the CPT code system, the impact of RVUs, and the importance of following correct procedures to assure appropriate payments. The practitioner and his or her staff must understand and then observe the requirements imposed by the CPT code system to assure appropriate reimbursement. When the procedures have been observed, and the services properly documented, then it is important to challenge any failure to properly reimburse. Too often we hear that reimbursement for E&M service is still being denied...don't accept that conclusion...there is legitimate support in the 2005 CPT Code book declaring that service to be proper when medically indicated and when properly reported.
There is no indication that carriers are doing anything to deliberately lower payment levels for acupuncture services. It is a new system. New comfort levels and payment systems are in the process of emerging from these first few months of usage. They will learn better what your needs and expectations are if you will stand up and protest adverse rulings lower than expected reimbursements ---- you have more backup support than ever before with the work that has taken place over the last two years and with the new language in the CPT code book. Use it to your advantage.
This process is far from over. Even after the language of the CPT code book regarding mixing of codes is fixed, there will still be confusion on how to properly list the codes for each treatment ...what we need is consistency...on the part of practitioners, insurers and the organizations responsible for promulgating and publishing these procedures. Practitioners are advised to carefully follow the procedures and guidelines set forth in the CPT Code book...and, having done so, vigorously appeal whenever the insurer fails to do the same resulting in an incomplete or inadequate reimbursement. And, share with our office, via phone or e-mail, your problems as well, hopefully, your successes. Hopefully, we will see further improvement when CMS corrects the situation with the reporting of incomplete values.
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Dr. Sager to review new Acupuncture CPT Codes at Symposium
By Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA
As AAMA Immediate Past President, I was asked to participate on the AMA CPT Editorial Committee Workgroup. After two years of intensive negotiation, meetings and travel, the new AMA Acupuncture CPT Codes finally are official and took effect on Jan. 1, 2005. The codes are as follows:
- 97810: Acupuncture, one or more needles; without electrical stimulation, initial 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient.
- 97811: Acupuncture, one or more needles; without electrical stimulation, each additional 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient, with reinsertion of needle(s) (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure).
- 97813: Acupuncture, one or more needles; with electrical stimulation, initial 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient.
- 97814: Acupuncture, one or more needles; with electrical stimulation, each additional 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient, with reinsertion of needle(s) (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure).
These four new codes replace codes 97780 and 97781.
It is significant to note that Evaluation and Management services may be reported separately, using the modifier -25, if the patient's condition requires a significant separately identifiable E/M service, above and beyond the usual pre-service and post-service work associated with the acupuncture services. The time of the E/M service is not included in the time of the acupuncture service.
OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN MORE
It will be my pleasure to present a one-hour lecture on the use and pitfalls of the new Acupuncture CPT Codes at the Practice Management session of the Annual AAMA Symposium, Medical Acupuncture 2005: Mystique to Mainstream, in Atlanta, GA in April. I look forward to seeing you then.
An intensive, four-hour presentation on the new Codes also is being planned for the Pennsylvania AAMA Chapter in late-April. More details are available from Dr. Krause at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other Chapters are organizing informational sessions utilizing local practitioners to explore the best approaches to dealing with the new codes.
Additionally, the American Medical Association has published, CPT Professional 2005: Current Procedural Terminology (CPT/Current Procedural Terminology, Professional Edition). It's available online through Amazon.
For background information on these code changes, see the October issue of the AAMA Newsletter.
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Don't miss the 17th Annual AAMA Symposium
By Tapan K. Chaudhuri, MD, FACP, FAAMA
Chairman, Symposium Committee
I am happy to inform members that we have been able to assemble a number of renowned speakers for the 17th Annual Symposium, Medical Acupuncture 2005: Mystique to Mainstream, March 31-April 3 in Atlanta, GA.
Speakers include such stalwarts as Ted Kaptchuk, Richard Han, acclaimed speakers such as Francois Beyens, James S. Gordon, James L. Oschman, Linda Rapson, Brenda Golianu, Ming Zing Zhu, and Academy's own talents, including Drs. Roberto Jodorkovsky, Alston Lundgren, Yue-Pang Mok, James Rotchford, Marshall Sager and Nader Soliman. The Faculty is posted online.
The Symposium will present some new dimensions hitherto untouched by recent symposia (energy medicine as relevant to acupuncture by Jim Oschman, integration of acupuncture in mind-body medicine by James S. Gordon), and multiple practical workshops to satisfy participants with a wide variety of expectations, including successful treatment of macular degeneration by acupuncture (Lundgren), new information on auricular acupuncture (Soliman), establishment of acupuncture service in a hospital set up (Golianu), new scalp acupuncture (Zhu), treatment of neuropathic pain and RSD (Rapson), new acupuncture codes (Sager), French energetics (Rotchford), Hand acupuncture (Jodorkovsky), acupuncture strategies for problems including allergy ,and infertility problems (Mok), and adjunctive cancer therapy (Gordon).
Additionally, there will be Pre-Symposium workshops, concurrent sessions, opportunities for networking with your peers, Poster presentations, a Research Paper competition, an exhibit hall with companies offering products and services related to medical acupuncture and more.
The Symposium will be held at Hilton Atlanta in Georgia. Rooms were being offered at $159 night (single/double). Call 404/659-2000 or 800/HILTONS, and mention the special AAMA promotion code - MDA - to see if the discounted rate is still available. To view the amenities offered at the Hilton Atlanta, visit the property's website.
At the Academy's website, members will find registration information, Pre-Symposium workshops, the schedule, Faculty, hotel details and more. Register beforehand to take advantage of the best available registration rates. A brochure outlining all the exciting offerings at this Symposium brochure was mailed to members.
The Medical Acupuncture Review Course is being offered March 29-30, 2005, followed by Pre-Symposium workshops on March 31. The Board Certification Exam will be given to qualified candidates on April 3, 2005. For more details on the Review Course, visit the Academy's website (and see related article in this issue). For those who have completed basic acupuncture training and have not yet initiated the Board Certification process, go to http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/cme/cme/abma_form.html to download the Board Application. Those who have completed their initial training in an approved training program, must submit an application for Board Certification to be determined to be "Board Eligible" and thus eligible to sit for the Examination.
AAMA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and has designated the Symposium for up to 22 hours of CME in Category 1 of the Physician's Recognition Award of the American Medical Association. Pre-Symposium workshops have been designated for up to 7.5 hours of CME in Category 1, and the Review Course has been designated for up to 22 hours of CME in Category 1.
The 2005 Symposium is dedicated to bringing you clinical diagnostic and therapeutic information critical to your important task of providing patient care. We invite you to attend this informative Symposium and enjoy the charming hospitality of Atlanta.
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AAMA president lauds Symposium Committee for planning exciting event
By Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA
Anticipation is building as the 17th Annual AAMA Symposium, Medical Acupuncture 2005: Mystique to Mainstream, approaches. A considerable amount of time was spent by the Symposium Committee, including Chair Tapan K. Chaudhuri, MD, FACP, FAAMA, to deliver a high-quality educational experience in Atlanta in April.
In recent years, the Academy has presented numerous highly successful Symposia, and this has posed a considerable challenge for Symposium Committee members year after year. Following each of these great gatherings, the Symposium Committee had to face the challenge of not only planning for another event, but also the incredible task of maintaining - and superseding - the high degree of quality the next year. Consequently, Symposium Committee members found themselves facing an increasingly difficult job year after year. Somehow, and I certainly credit the dedication of those members, they never falter, never tire and always succeed in their mission.
The upcoming Symposium will not fail to meet - and exceed - your expectations and will not come short of fulfilling your thirst for the highest quality of education in medical acupuncture.
My sincerest thanks goes to Symposium Committee members and to our wonderful membership, who always inspire us to seek the best education in medical acupuncture to enable us to carry on our medical practice using "the best of both worlds."
Let's all applaud this year's Symposium Committee and Dr. Chaudhuri, and celebrate their success by attending the upcoming Symposium and enjoy the fruit of their hard work.
Please register today; everything you need is posted on AAMA's website. And don't miss getting a room at the Hilton Atlanta. See you in Atlanta very soon.
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Medical Acupuncture Review Course offered before AAMA Symposium
By Hiroshi Nakazawa, MD, FAAMA
The next offering of the Board Certification Examination has been scheduled for Sunday, April 3, in Atlanta, GA in conjunction with the AAMA Annual Symposium. Only those physicians who have completed the Application for Board Certification and have been notified by the ABMA that they are "Board Eligible" may sit for the Board Certification Examination. The Board Certification Application and Information Booklet were forwarded to all members of the Academy last fall. Additional copies are available by contacting the ABMA Office at 323/937-5514 or online. The next examination offering will be in the spring of 2006 at a site to be determined.
The Medical Acupuncture Review Course has been scheduled for one offering this spring, March 29-30 in Atlanta. The CME Accrediting sponsor is AAMA. This two-day review course is designed to provide a broad-based refresher on the major subject matter areas with which a well-trained physician should be familiar. The review course is especially useful as a refresher for those who obtained their acupuncture training some time ago and for those who are seeking an organized review prior to taking the Board Certification Examination.
The Review Course was developed by Dr. John Reed. He has been a preceptor in the UCLA program for a number of years and has taught the clinical portion of the Academy's introductory program at the Symposium for a number of years, as well. The review course requires some advance home-study work, and two full days in on-site sessions.
Please see the online brochure with details regarding the schedule and agenda for the Review Course and the Registration Form. The Review Course has been approved for CME credits on an hour for hour basis --- 12 CME credit hours for in-class and 10 CME credit hours for home study.
I encourage all eligible members to submit their application for Board Certification as soon as possible as we strive to advance the specialty of medical acupuncture through this program.
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Acupuncture Society of Michigan reports on legislative, other developments
By Alison Lee, MD, FAAMA
Acupuncture Society of Michigan
In November, the Acupuncture Society of Michigan welcomed Stephen M. Taylor, DO. He presented the latest research findings and clinical recommendations for use of Craig-PENS (Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). His excellent presentation was well received by a large audience of local physicians and visitors from other states.
House Bill 5205 for registration of nonphysician acupuncturists went before the House and Senate at the end of 2004. Not signed by the governor, the bill died for the 2004 session. The language of this bill excludes physicians from any jurisdiction, so physicians' right to practice acupuncture is not affected by any outcome regarding this bill.
On Jan. 13-14, I spoke at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Conference on Dietary Supplements, Coagulation and Antithrombotic Therapies in Bethesda, MD. The conference was sponsored by NIH divisions, including National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Office of Dietary Supplements, Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and Office of Rare Diseases.
The goals of the conference were to review effects of supplements on hemostasis and antithrombotic therapies, formulate a framework for developing clinical guidelines for supplement use in patients on antithrombotics, identify gaps in knowledge and formulate a research agenda.
I gave two lectures and sat on two panels. The first day's talk was on, "Dilemmas in Herbal Medicine: Clinicians Perspective." The second day's talk was on recommendations for research, and strategies to improve safety. I was the only clinician using herbal medicine to speak in a sea of researchers and hematologists. Both talks had an emphasis on Chinese herbs, but the considerations stated applied to the general topic of the meeting.
One panel discussion discussed clinical data, and the other was devoted to developing research priorities. Other members of this panel included Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, and Peter De Smet, Pharm.D., PhD.
Dr. Ernst is chairman of the Department of Complementary Medicine at Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, England. He is well known for his systematic reviews of acupuncture and many other complementary therapies. Dr. De Smet is involved in regulatory issues concerning dietary supplements in Europe.
Proceedings of the meeting will be published in a special issue of Thrombosis Research in winter 2005.
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Members earn DABMA certification
The following AAMA members recently met the stringent requirements of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) and have achieved Board Certification in medical acupuncture. They have earned the designation DABMA (Diplomate, American Board of Medical Acupuncture):
Chunbo Cai, MD, of Boston, MA; Jordan Goetz, MD, of Hamden, CT; Elizabeth A. Huntoon, MD, of Rochester, MN; William B. Holder, MD, of Parsippany, NJ; Maya K. Joshi, MD, of Lincolnwood, IL; Aena H. Payne, MD, of Ridgeland, MS; Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, of Arlington, MA; Felise S. Zollman, MD, of Chicago, IL, and Robert K. Yang, MD, of Rochester, MN.
The Academy has now posted a list of members who are Board Certified online. There is also a link to this web page on the left-hand menu bar of the home page (click on Board Certified Physicians). Diplomates (DABMA) are listed alphabetically by last name, along with their location, and dates of certification and expiration.
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Members are encouraged to register for and participate in the case sharing list serve on AAMA's website. By participating, you will be privy to hundreds of studies in the case-sharing database (searchable by keywords). Participants also can submit a case study for review, search the literature reviews database, submit a case study for publication, and submit an adverse affects form. To register for this list serve or to learn more, click on Case Sharing at www.medicalacupuncture.org/members.html (or go directly to the Member Area of the site).
Global Mission Partners: Bryan L. Frank, MD, FAAMA, will lead missions to Ecuador (June 4-18), Nepal (fall) and Mexico (Nov. 17-20). Academy members have joined these trips for many years now and served those with little or no access to healthcare. Come join to give medical care, acupuncture and yourself. Interested persons should contact Dr. Frank (405/623-7667, email@example.com) or visit www.globalmission.us.
Members participating in AAMA's referral program will be happy to hear that 290 calls came into national headquarters and 3,772 website hits to the referral page in October; 173 calls and 3,808 website referral page hits in November, and 241 calls and 4,066 website referral page hits in December from patients seeking medical acupuncturists in their area. The toll-free number that patients are calling is 800/521-2262.
Practice members (associate, full and Fellows) who are not participating in the patient referral program but would like to, need to notify AAMA by mail (4929 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 428, Los Angeles, CA 90010) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). To see if you're signed up for this program, check the referral search (Find an Acupuncturist).
Tony V. Lu, MD, FAAMA, is organizing a two-week Cultural Emersion and Study Trip, Traditional Mongolian Medicine, with Kamba Lama Dr. Natsagdorj. Participants will be exposed to Mongolian history, culture and Buddhism, study Buddha's meditation, chanting and healing, Mongolian healing oils, astrological reading, herbal medicine, tongue and pulse diagnoses, healing stones and minerals, acupuncture, moxibustion and more. The party will leave on June 30, 2005 for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and study traditional medicine, as well as enjoy social activities, through July 15. Complete itinerary has been posted on AAMA's website. Members interested in more information can contact Dr. Lu (708/485-1061, email@example.com).
AAMA's 17th Annual Symposium, Medical Acupuncture 2005: Mystique to Mainstream, will be April 1-3, 2005 at Hilton Atlanta in Georgia. A Review Course will be taught March 29-30, 2005, followed by Pre-Symposium workshops on March 31. The Board Certification Exam will be given to qualified candidates on April 3, 2005. For more details on the Review Course, visit the Academy's website.
Jan T. Hendryx, DO, FAAMA, has accepted a full-time position as clinical professor and course director of osteopathic manipulative medicine at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, PA. As part of his duties, he will also be developing an integrative medicine curriculum and clinical rotation that includes medical acupuncture.
The 2005 Women's Health and Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine Conference will be held Aug. 23-26 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Presented by the Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants and the Malaysian Herbal Corp., Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, this is the first international meeting to address the importance of Asian traditional health care approaches in women's health. The Global Initiative for Traditional Systems of Health, in Oxford, UK, is the international partner in WHAT Medicine. Visit www.whatmedicine.org.
Beginning with this issue, the Academy launches the electronic version of the AAMA Newsletter, which is available to members via e-mail and online. The new e-newsletter means that the Academy can communicate with members faster and with greater frequency as developments and news are available. This issue is the first electronic-only format of the newsletter. Members should make sure that the Academy has their current, correct e-mail address so that they do not miss out on future editions of the AAMA e-Newsletter. Check the e-mail address that AAMA has for you by going to the online Membership Directory available in the Member Only section of the Academy website. Or if you prefer, send an e-mail to AAMA Webmaster Stephen Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org, 323/937-5514, x19) requesting that he update your e-mail address.
The International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques (ICMART) World Medical Acupuncture Congress is being planned for May 20-22, 2005 at Hotel Diplomat in Prague, Czech Republic. Sponsored by Czech Medical Acupuncture Society of the Czech Medical Association in cooperation with ICMART and the Society of Acupuncture of the Slovak Medical Society, the Symposium is being organized by Guarant International. Topics include Acupuncture for Good Quality of Life, Modern Acupuncture and Traditional Acupuncture and Varia. The agenda, social program, registration, accommodations and more have been posted online. Additional details are available at AAMA's site or via e-mail to ICMART.
If you have acupuncture privileges at a hospital and have not notified AAMA, fax your name, hospital, city and state to 323/937-0959 to be added to our list. You can click on this link to check whether or not you're already listed online. If you need a hospital privileges credentialing package, call 323/937-5514 (or download it from AAMA's website). On the AAMA website home page, click on Hospital Privileges Guide. You will see a Guide for Physicians, Criteria for Privileges, List of Members with Privileges and Links of Interest.
Structural Acupuncture for Physicians is offered now through June 12, 2005 by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Anesthesia, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehab, at Harvard Medical School in Boston, which will grant up to 300 Category I CME hours for this course. Guest speakers, clinical instruction and home study are involved with the course, which also can be viewed via the Internet. Instructors are Joseph F. Audette, MA, MD; Kiiko Matsumoto, LAc and David Euler, LAc. For more information, visit http://cme.med.harvard.edu (and search by dates or topic), e-mail email@example.com or call (617) 384-8600.
Members are reminded that there are a variety of meetings, workshops and conferences (where CME and CEU credit can be earned) listed in AAMA's online calendar of events. More details on each event can be obtained by visiting the website listed or contacting the sponsoring organization.
Beginning this year, Acubriefs Newsletter will be published four times a year. Lists of recent citations will be published monthly so members can see additions to the Acubriefs Database. Currently, 230 new citations have been posted online. The Best of Both Worlds Foundation has established a nonprofit charitable foundation to promote acupuncture research. To see how you can support or benefit from the foundation, visit www.acubriefs.com/bbw or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fifth UNC Integrative Medicine Conference: Improving Outcomes Through Integrative Practice, will be held March 18-19, 2005 in Chapel Hill, NC, presented by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Experts in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) research and clinical practice will offer updates, overviews, and interactive workshops in environmental medicine, energy medicine, massage, nutrition and herbs. This program will benefit physicians practicing medical acupuncture, as well as professionals in general medicine, family practice, pediatrics, osteopathy, chiropractic, mental health, nursing, preventive medicine, public health, health promotion, nutrition, dentistry, pharmacy, botanical and herbal medicine, biofeedback, energy medicine, naturopathy, creative therapies, massage and craniosacral therapies, holistic and eco-environmental medicines. CEUs will be available. For more information, contact the Program on Integrative Medicine (919/966-8586, email@example.com, http://pim.med.unc.edu) or the Office of Continuing Medical Education (919/962-2118, www.med.unc.edu/cme).
If you've read any good books on acupuncture or related products recently, please send that information to AAMA headquarters to be shared with the membership. You can also post a review of the publications in the Academy's online bookstore. Go to: www.medicalacupuncture.org, click on AAMA Store and then on Check Out Our Comprehensive Selection. Next click on the book cover (or More Info) and then on Post a Review.
The Acupuncture Symposium on Third World Congress of the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine will be held April 10-15 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Offerings include hands-on workshops, current mechanism-based treatments, technological advances in PM&R, updates in evidence-based medicine and more. For additional details, call +(55-11) 5549-7501, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.isprm.org/brazil.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has been redesignated as a Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization through 2007. NCCAM will promote research and research training, expand communications and information exchange, and engage in international collaborative efforts with WHO centers. The National Institutes of Health NCCAM is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices such as medical acupuncture in the context of rigorous science, training CAM researchers and disseminating authoritative information to professionals and the public.
Please send news items and photos to email@example.com.
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In the January issue of Chicago magazine, 65 doctors were named "ground-breaking" doctors in the Windy City. Among the physicians, four are AAMA doctors from Loyola University Medical Center. They are Drs. Tony V. Lu, Charles Dumont, Aaron Michelfelder and Mary Pat Fitzgerald. Congratulations to these members of the Illinois Chapter of AAMA.
The Illinois AAMA Chapter, together with Loyola University/Department of Family Medicine, sponsored a lecture and seminar on "Utilize and Maximize the New CPT Codes and RVU for Acupuncture." The seminar was given by Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA, former president of AAMA, who was involved in the process and development of the new CPT codes and RVU for acupuncture. The seminar was on Feb 26 at the Loyola University/Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago.
Mary Jo Fishburn, MD, DABMA, resigned as secretary of the Maryland Society for Medical Acupuncture. Robin Cuddy, MD, MPH, has been elected as her replacement.
President Sandi Amoils, MD, is proud to announce that the Ohio AAMA Chapter recently produced their first e-mail newsletter. It outlined the group's formation and code of ethics, mission, benefits, upcoming seminars and more.
The Chapter hosted Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga Claraco for the first time in Cincinnati presenting, A New Functional Assessment and Soft Tissue Manual Treatment System for Common Musculoskeletal Problems: A Practical Introduction for Acupuncture Practitioners. It was very well received with excellent attendance. The Chapter's first Membership Meeting was held following the seminar.
From 7-9 pm Sunday, April 10, the first quarterly journal club meeting will be held at the Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine, 6400 Galbraith Road in Cincinnati, Ohio. A member will present a topic, as well as do a journal review of medical acupuncture-related articles. These meetings will be held on the second Sunday of July and October, as well.
The Pennsylvania AAMA Chapter is planning to have Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA, give a lecture to members on the new Acupuncture CPT Codes published in January. The use of these codes and their ramifications for all who practice medical acupuncture in the USA are complex.
Dr. Sager has prepared a 3-4 hour workshop discussing the evolution of the Codes, their use and the pitfalls that an uninformed practitioner can encounter. This presentation will occur in late-April. For more details, contact Dr. Krause at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does your state have a regional AAMA chapter? If not, please consider forming one. Chapters provide fellowship, professional camaraderie, education and curbside consults. Contact Regional Chapter Subcommittee Chair Martha M. Grout, MD, FAAMA (602/787-8500, email@example.com).
Chapter representatives, please send your updates for the AAMA Newsletter via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Medical acupuncture practice with 30-year patient network for sale in Berkeley, CA. Creative arrangement. HMI/UCLA graduate only. E-mail email@example.com.
- Integrative medicine center and spa seeking full- or part-time acupuncturist licensed in Maryland. Upscale wellness center with national media exposure located in Silver Spring, MD near Washington, DC. Diverse clientele and staff, and opportunities for practice buy-in. Send resume, cover letter and references to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to 301/588-7368 or visit www.penningtoninstitute.com.
- Menlo Park, CA, near Stanford University, sports chiropractor with 20 years experience seeks to share or rent space with a medical acupuncturist or orthomolecular medicine practitioner. Contact Dr. Heatley (650/322-7507, 650/322-8225 fax, email@example.com).
- Acupuncturist/Chinese medicine doctor sought for new day spa wellness center in Boca Raton, FL. Contact Gayle Wentworth, 561/414-1777, firstname.lastname@example.org.