Recently, the U.S. government’s Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a call for public comment related to the government’s exploration of inclusion of acupuncture and licensed acupuncturists in federal payment schemes. The Society for Acupuncture Research* have responded by publishing a report “Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain: Recommendations to Medicare/Medicaid”
The report highlights the biological mechanism of acupuncture and the clinical evidence for acupuncture along with recommendations for educational requirements for acupuncture providers and support for Medicare’s evaluation of evidence of acupuncture specifically for chronic low back pain.
With population expansion and aging, 78 million Americans will be 65 years or older by 2035. Opioid therapy has limited efficacy for chronic musculoskeletal pain and can increase risk of over-sedation and falls that threaten the functional independence of older persons. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have gastrointestinal and renal side effects, and increase cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, the leading cause of death in the United States. Acupuncture’s biological mechanism, combined with growing clinical evidence, makes it a potential treatment to be considered as part of comprehensive pain management for millions of older Americans. This option will ensure that older Americans have safe and effective treatments to manage chronic low back pain and improve their function and quality of life
For more information about how acupuncture can help treat a variety of conditions take a look at the Acupuncture page on our website https://www.yorkclinic.com/therapies/acupuncture/ or visit our Acupuncture Resources page https://www.yorkclinic.com/news/acupuncture-resources/
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*(Established in 1993 The Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) is a premier international research organization that is dedicated to rigorous scientific investigation and evidence-based practice of acupuncture. Its membership spans 28 countries and includes basic and translational scientists, clinical epidemiologists and trialists, and practicing acupuncturists who engage in research and education. York Clinic Director and acupuncturist Hugh MacPherson serves as a member of SAR’s Board)