Just as was the case for vaccine mandates under the VA which did not include acupuncturists or community providers the newest Federal mandate announced by President Biden on September 10, 2021, does NOT include acupuncture providers or offices.
This new mandate is for Medicare facility providers such as hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. It does not include fee-for-service providers including private offices of doctors or acupuncturists.
A CMS spokesperson has clarified, ” This regulation does not directly apply to physician’s offices as these are not regulated under the provider-specific Medicare health and safety regulatory provisions, generally referred to as “Conditions of Participation.”
Frankly, an acupuncture provider cannot enroll in Medicare and would not be subject to Medicare rules. For Medicare, an acupuncture provider can only work under the supervision of a medical provider for Medicare recipients. Even in that scenario unless the services were delivered in a facility setting it would not be mandated
While we have clarification that offices are not considered such facilities and this particular mandate does not apply there can be local rules for your state that can be different. Our legal counsel suggests always clarify your state and locality as some jurisdictions have issued vaccine mandates affecting health care providers (including acupuncturists). Always assure and check with your respective licensing board or state laws.
For example, the state of Washington has made a mandate that includes essentially all health care offices. California law has exempted acupuncture offices and you can see more in a previous news post on this site.
For that full release and language for Washington state see this link below.
Oregon is also implementing the following
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has amended its temporary rule, COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Healthcare Providers and Healthcare Staff in Healthcare Settings (OAR 333-019-1010), which requires healthcare providers and healthcare staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. There is no longer a testing option. This rule affects all acupuncture offices and staff.
Here are states we have direct information on their mandates
Illinois, Rhode Island, and Washington DC have all mandated vaccines and include acupuncture providers.
Colorado’s mandate does not include acupuncturists.