The American Acupuncture Council (AAC) is pleased to continue to contribute to the expansion and acceptance of traditional medicine as a first line of health care. At the recent G20 conference held in India. 3 representatives from the AAC Marilyn Allen, Sam Collins, and Brandon Hoffman were invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to represent the United States at the Global Summit for Traditional Medicine. As you may be aware ICD11 has a complete and separate coding chapter specific to traditional Chinese medicine (TM) and is referred to as TM1. Please see the video above as it is a clear message from the WHO.
TM1 is a specific coding for traditional medicine specific to disorders and patterns specific to traditional medicine. This new chapter will allow further granulation of diagnosis and not rely solely on standard Western coding. It is not meant as a replacement but an add-on to aid in differentiating specificity as to how care is managed within the TM definitions.
The WHO emphasizes Universal Health Coverage (UHC). A lack of standardized TM documentation can hinder the progress toward UHC, as TM plays a significant role as more than 50% of the world’s population (WHO Statistic) is receiving some type of traditional medicine. However, while WHO has recognized the value of TM there is a lack of data specific to TM.
The lack of standardized description, documentation, and integration means that there is a gap in understanding its prevalence, effects, and outcomes. WHO has a simple statement “For acupuncture to count we must have the ability to count it”.
Marilyn, Sam, and Brandan have worked with WHO for over a decade in developing this new chapter, and at this most recent meeting the adoption across many nations has already happened. TM practitioners in the USA are strongly encouraged to enhance their documentation and begin utilizing the language of the TM1 chapter for reporting TM disorders and patterns using the ICD 11. This means workshops, training sessions, and seminars which will be available with the AAC but also being used and taught in acupuncture schools and their clinics.
You can see the power, expansion, and acceptance of TM on a global scale with the might of the WHO support. We want to assure the profession and our members stay at the forefront and will ride the new wave of traditional medicine that is building. Note at this conference the other US representative was from the VA to report on the expanded use of TM including acupuncture, Tai Chi, Yoga, and massage.
The scientific community is encouraged to research the effectiveness, risks, and benefits of TM. This will not only bring TM into mainstream discussions but also provide evidence-based insights that can be integrated into ICD 11 coding.