• 13 Oct 2015 1:20 PM | Candace Sarges

    After carefully evaluating the situation with the State Health Benefits Plan, we have been advised that pursuing legal action is not the best use of our resources. The union reps and the state reps who comprise the State Health Benefits Planning Design Committee negotiated a contract and came to an agreement which was done within their legal purview. 

    We are currently engaged with the PT/dry needling issue for which we think our resources will be used to much greater effect.

     Please remember that the Benefits Planning Design Committee renegotiates their contract annually. We can and will make an impact next year.  At this point, acupuncture is still covered out of network for pain management at $60 per visit or 75% of the in-network reimbursement rate, whichever is lower.  

    Our understanding is that the union reps agreed to this because there were other benefits they wanted more and they had to give up something.  Further, this Planning Design Committee, has, historically, made decisions without the members input and in the past, no decision has been reversed due to the dissatisfaction of the members with the outcome.  

     Our Plan:

     1) In order to prevent any further harm, we are addressing the teacher’s health plan coverage to prevent this same thing from happening with them.  We will be distributing a petition that the NJAAOM members can distribute to their patients who are teacher, superintendents and principals.  Each town has a different time frame for when their contracts come up for renegotiation so this could be a lengthy process.

     2) We will continue to monitor the State Health Benefits Planning Design Committee and communicate with them as possible.  We hope to make an impact at next's year's negotiations, but bear in mind, the State of NJ is trying to cut costs to balance the budget.  

    Please click the link for the Horizon BCBS NJDirect15 State Health Benefits Updated health plan coverage.  It is already being offered and open enrollment in this plan is occurring now until November 2nd. 

    NJDirect15 - State Health Benefits PlanUpdated health benefit plan coverage.pdf

    We hope this clarifies the issue and our position.


  • 09 Mar 2015 2:04 PM | Candace Sarges

    On Monday, March 9, 2015, NJAAOM represented by Candace Sarges M.Ac, L.Ac, Dipl. O.M., President, and Jason Sargis DAOM, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., Director; Attorney Terence Camp Esq., of Budd Larner P.C., Short Hills, NJ; and Paul Bent, Pathways Government Relations LLC, (our lobbyist), met with the Governor’s Assistant Counsel for Health Policy in Trenton discuss the dry needling issue.  

    The document below lists the history of action taken by NJAAOM since 2009 and where we stand now.  

    Stay tuned for updates!

    Dry Needling Unlicensed Acupuncture in NJ.pdf

  • 21 Jan 2015 3:04 PM | Candace Sarges

    Thanks to everyone's support, the American Health Front program featuring dry needling has been pulled.  It will not air on Jan.25th as originally planned.  All calls can cease.  Thanks!

  • 02 Jul 2014 4:31 PM | Candace Sarges

    As our members know, the updated acupuncture practice act went into effect in 2009 in New Jersey.  Among other things, it now includes the practice of herbology with certification criteria.  People who were licensed prior to 2009, or who graduated school prior to 2009 were given certain grandfathering exemptions (these do not apply to people who were licensed after 2009 or who graduated school after 2009). 

    Just a few months ago, in April 2014 the rules and regulations administering the 2009 statute were finalized which started the official grandfathering process.

    Recently the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board sent an affidavit related to the grandfathering process for herbology as set forth in the 2009 statute and 2014 rules adoption. The affidavit received has nothing to do with any new regulations or laws.  This does not pertain to any licensed acupuncturist who does not use herbs in their clinical practice.

    Members have called with some confusion over the affidavit since instructions were vague. Here are some explanations for commonly asked questions we have received so far:

    If you were licensed before 2009 you may apply for grandfathering under:

    #1 “I received my license to practice acupuncture in New Jersey on or before November 2, 2009 and I…”. 

    a) Successfully completed an herbology program form a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).

    This means that as long as you were licensed to practice prior to November 2, 2009, it is okay to have completed an ACAOM accredited herbology program either before or after that date without having taken the NCCAOM herbal exam or module.

    b) Passed the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) herbology examination.

    This refers to the examination given prior to NCCAOM offering the exam in a modular format.  If you passed this exam, you can still be grandfathered even if you do not maintain your CH or OM certification from NCCAOM.

    c) Was certified in Chinese herbology or Oriental Medicine by NCCAOM 

    This means if you were ever certified by NCCAOM for CH or OM, you automatically qualify for grandfathering, even if you do not maintain certification.  This covers people who were certified by NCCAOM in either CH or OM who did not sit for any exam, or who let their certification lapse. 

     d) Passed the NCCAOM herbology examination module.  

    This option refers to the current herbology examination module, which is different than the herbology exam that used to be given.

    2) “I graduated from _______________________, a school accredited by ACAOM, on or before November 2, 2009 and, as part of my course of study, I completed a program in Chinese herbal medicine. “

    This is for people who were licensed in NJ after 2009 but graduated prior to 2009 and had completed an ACAOM accredited herbology program.   For example, anyone who relocated to NJ and obtained a license after November 2, 2009, but had graduated prior to that date.

    3) “I am currently certified by the NCCAOM in Chinese Herbology or Oriental Medicine.”

    For all licensees who were licensed after 2009 and graduated after 2009 then there is no grandfathering. They will have to demonstrate current certification in Chinese Herbology or in Oriental Medicine. 

    Anyone who does not apply for the grandfathering by October 21, 2014 will also have to have current NCCAOM certification in Chinese Herbology or in Oriental Medicine if they want to use herbs in their practice.

    Again, if you do not use herbology in your practice you do not need to do anything.  

    Please bear in mind, that if you make use of Chinese patent medicine, that is considered the practice of herbology and you must go through the grandfathering process or sit for the NCCAOM Chinese Herbology Module.

    There are other possible scenarios, which were not addressed on the affidavit.  We are trying to get clarification on this and other questions that are coming up. NJAAOM members may also contact us with questions and we will try to answer as best as possible. 

    The NJAAOM offer is offering free notary services to NJAAOM members (this service is only open to current members). Any member who would like their affidavit notarized (it has to be notarized) can come to our Madison office to have that done. Notarization can only be done in person. 

    Update as of 7/7/14 - addressing recent questions

    1) If you were licensed prior to Nov. 2, 2009, you MUST have COMPLETED an ACAOM accredited herbology program.  If you did not complete one but it was available, you must complete an ACAOM accredited Herbology program and sit for the NCCAOM Herbology module.  

    2) If your education was completed outside of the US, and included herbology, the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board is in the process of determining the procedure for your situation.  Information should be available by next week.

    3) If you have not yet received an affidavit from the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board, then you should contact the board to verify that they have your updated mailing address.

    4) Even if you have recently submitted your NCCAOM scores or certification (for another reason), you will still have to submit them again.

    Update 7/29/14


    L.Acs who:
    - had their training overseas:
    need to contact the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board. You may need to provide transcripts from your school. Please contact the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board at the phone number listed below.

    - do not fit into any other category of the grandfathering process: For those L.Acs who have been practicing herbs for a long time and have taken some training have but never been certified, the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board has arranged a special herbal exam provided by the NCCAOM. This is exam will not certify you in herbs, but it will be used to test competency and safety. This is a one time exam that will be used only for the State of NJ for this particular grandfathering process.

    If you wish to sign up for this exam you must contact the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board, Renee Clark, Executive Director or Tanya, Administrative Assistant, by calling (973) 273- 8092.

  • 04 Jun 2014 1:42 PM | Candace Sarges

    The physical therapists bill A1648 that was scheduled to be heard at the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee hearing on Thursday, June 5, 2014, has been put on hold and will not be voted on.  

    Phone calls, and email or fax petitions should also be put on hold for the time being.

  • 02 Jun 2014 3:36 PM | Candace Sarges

    The physical therapists have initiated legislation to include dry needling or "intramuscular techniques" into their scope of practice.  Bill A1648 is scheduled to be heard at the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee hearing Thursday, June 5, 2014.  Please email, fax, or call the Committee members to inform them of your opposition to this bill.  There is a template letter below to use or adapt.

    Committee members are listed below:

    Assemblyman Thomas Giblin (D-34), Committee Chairman and Bill Sponsor
    Phone: 973-779-3125
    Fax: 973-779-3156

    Assemblywoman Angelica M. Jimenez (D-32), Committee Vice Chairwoman
    Phone: 201-223-4247
    Fax: 201-223-4624

    Assemblyman Jack M. Ciattarelli (R-16)
    Phone: 908-450-7064
    Fax: 908-450-7067

    Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D-18)
    Phone: 908-757-1677
    Fax: 908-757-6841

    Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin (R-13)
    Phone: 732-383-7820
    Fax: 732-787-0356

    Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (D-2)
    Phone: 609-383-1388

    Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty (D-4)
    Phone: 856-232-6700
    Fax: 856-232-6844

    Assemblywoman Celeste M. Riley (D-3)
    Phone: 856-339-0808
    Fax: 856-339-9626

    Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf (R-9)
    Phone: 609-693-6700
    Fax: 609-693-2469

    A1648 - PT Assembly Bill letter.pdf

  • 07 May 2014 10:26 AM | Candace Sarges
    The instructions and nomination forms for the upcoming elections are posted in the Members Only section of this website.  

    You must be a member to sign in and be nominated.

    Deadline for nominations has been extended to Friday, May 16, 2014 at 5 PM.
  • 21 Apr 2014 8:46 PM | Robert Balko
    A major milestone has been achieved for NJ Acupuncturists!  Here are the changes to the Rules and Regulations...

    1) Now refer to Licensed Acupuncturists and not Certified Acupuncturists;
    2) No longer references the tutorial program, which was eliminated many years ago;
    3) No longer references a required physician referral or diagnosis;
    4) Requires medical malpractice insurance in the amounts of $1M/occurrence and $3M/year;
    5) Requires a signed informed consent referencing the importance of the patient consulting with a physician, and with a duplicate provided to the patient (in lieu of the more restrictive requirement of the referral or diagnosis);
    6) Now includes the practice of herbology and the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board should be announcing procedures for the grandfathering process to begin; 
    7) Immediately allow for all Licensed Acupuncturists, in addition to therapies specified in our statute, within our scope of practice, the use of:
    a) Diagnostic and assessment techniques taught in ACAOM approved schools and NCCAOM approved CEU classes;
    b) Biofeedback 
    c) therapeutic exercises and techniques
    d) other techniques (full text will be posted as soon as it is available); 
    8) Allow L.Acs to recommend homeopathic medicines, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, glandulars, amino acids, nonprescription substances, and nutritional or dietary supplements.
    9) Defines Tui Na as "a form of massage therapy…using or incorporating, traction, manipulation of acupressure points, acupoint stimulation, and joint mobilization for therapeutic purposes."  (This definition was a particular point of objection by several other groups.)

    Any questions regarding the rules and regulations should be addressed to the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board.  The link can be found on the Links page of this website.  This is breaking news and the rules and regulations are not yet posted on the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board website, but when they are we will notify you.

    Congratulations to all of us!
  • 01 Oct 2012 9:32 AM | Candace Sarges
    We have obtained just over 1000 signatures on the petition to stop the Physical Therapists from doing dry needling.  This petition has made an impact on the Division of Consumer Affairs.  So thanks to everyone who signed it and passed it along!  

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