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Substitute Senate Bill No. 276

Public Act No. 12-39

AN ACT CONCERNING LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR ACUPUNCTURISTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 20-206bb of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) No person shall engage in the practice of acupuncture without a license as an acupuncturist issued pursuant to this section.

(b) Each person seeking licensure as an acupuncturist shall make application on forms prescribed by the department, pay an application fee of two hundred dollars and present to the department satisfactory evidence that the applicant (1) has completed sixty semester hours, or its equivalent, of postsecondary study in an institution of postsecondary education that, if in the United States or its territories, was accredited by a recognized regional accrediting body or, if outside the United States or its territories, was legally chartered to grant postsecondary degrees in the country in which located, (2) has successfully completed a course of study in acupuncture in a program that, at the time of graduation, was in candidate status with or accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and included (A) for a person who completed such course of study before October 1, 2012, a minimum of one thousand three hundred fifty hours of didactic and clinical training, five hundred of which were clinical, or (B) for a person who completed such course of study on or after October 1, 2012, a minimum of one thousand nine hundred five hours of didactic and clinical training, six hundred sixty of which were clinical, (3) has passed all portions of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine examination required for acupuncture certification or an examination prescribed by the department, and (4) has successfully completed a course in clean needle technique prescribed by the department. Any person successfully completing the education, examination or training requirements of this section in a language other than English shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirement completed in that language.

(c) An applicant for licensure as an acupuncturist by endorsement shall present evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of licensure or certification as an acupuncturist, or as a person entitled to perform similar services under a different designation, in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are equivalent to or higher than those of this state and that there are no disciplinary actions or unresolved complaints pending. Any person completing the requirements of this section in a language other than English shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of this section.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the department shall, prior to September 1, 2005, issue a license to any applicant who presents to the department satisfactory evidence that the applicant has (1) earned, or successfully completed requirements for, a master's degree in acupuncture from a program that includes a minimum of one thousand three hundred fifty hours of didactic and clinical training, five hundred of which are clinical, from an institution of higher education accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education at the time of the applicant's graduation, (2) passed all portions of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine acupuncture examination, including the acupuncture portion of the comprehensive written examination in acupuncture, the clean needle technique portion of the comprehensive written examination in acupuncture and the practical examination of point location skills, and (3) successfully completed a course in clean needle technique offered by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

(e) Licenses shall be renewed once every two years in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e) of section 19a-88. The fee for renewal shall be two hundred fifty dollars.

(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, for registration periods beginning on and after October 1, 2014, a licensee applying for license renewal shall (A) maintain a certification by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, or (B) earn not less than thirty contact hours of continuing education approved by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine within the preceding twenty-four month period.

(2) Each licensee applying for license renewal pursuant to section 19a-88, except a licensee applying for a license renewal for the first time, shall sign a statement attesting that he or she has satisfied the certification or continuing education requirements described in subdivision (1) of this subsection on a form prescribed by the department. Each licensee shall retain records of attendance or certificates of completion that demonstrate compliance with the continuing education or certification requirements described in subdivision (1) of this subsection for not less than five years following the date on which the continuing education was completed or the certification was renewed. Each licensee shall submit such records to the department for inspection not later than forty-five days after a request by the department for such records.

(3) In individual cases involving medical disability or illness, the commissioner may grant a waiver of the continuing education or certification requirements or an extension of time within which to fulfill such requirements of this subsection to any licensee, provided the licensee submits to the department an application for waiver or extension of time on a form prescribed by the commissioner, along with a certification by a licensed physician of the disability or illness and such other documentation as may be required by the department. The commissioner may grant a waiver or extension for a period not to exceed one registration period, except that the commissioner may grant additional waivers or extensions if the medical disability or illness upon which a waiver or extension is granted continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension and the licensee applies for an additional waiver or extension.

(4) A licensee whose license has become void pursuant to section 19a-88 and who applies to the department for reinstatement of such license, shall submit evidence documenting valid acupuncture certification by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or successful completion of fifteen contact hours of continuing education within the one-year period immediately preceding application for reinstatement.

(f) No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint in this or any other state or territory of the United States.

(g) Nothing in section [19a-89c,] 20-206aa or 20-206cc or this section shall be construed to prevent licensed practitioners of the healing arts, as defined in [sections 20-1 and 20-196] section 20-1, physical therapists or dentists from providing care or performing services consistent with accepted standards within their respective professions.

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any person certified by an organization approved by the Commissioner of Public Health may practice auricular acupuncture for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse, provided the treatment is performed under the supervision of a physician licensed under chapter 370 and is performed in either (1) a private free-standing facility licensed by the Department of Public Health for the care or treatment of substance abusive or dependent persons, or (2) a setting operated by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The Commissioner of Public Health shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to ensure the safe provision of auricular acupuncture within private free-standing facilities licensed by the Department of Public Health for the care or treatment of substance abusive or dependent persons.

(i) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, no license to engage in the practice of acupuncture is required of: (1) Students enrolled in a college or program of acupuncture if (A) the college or program is recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or licensed or accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education, and (B) the practice that would otherwise require a license is pursuant to a course of instruction or assignments from a licensed instructor and under the supervision of the instructor; or (2) faculty members providing the didactic and clinical training necessary to meet the accreditation standards of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at a college or program recognized by the commission or licensed or accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education. For purposes of this subsection, "licensed instructor" means a faculty member or instructor licensed under this section or otherwise authorized to engage in the practice of acupuncture in this state.

(j) No person shall use the title "acupuncturist", or use in connection with his or her name, any letters, words or insignia indicating or implying that such person is a licensed acupuncturist or advertise services as an acupuncturist, unless such person holds a license as an acupuncturist issued pursuant to this section. No person shall represent himself or herself as being certified to practice auricular acupuncture for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse, or use in connection with his or her name the term "acupuncture detoxification specialist", or the letters "A. D. S. " or any letters, words or insignia indicating or implying that such person is certified to practice auricular acupuncture for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse unless such person is certified in accordance with subsection (h) of this section. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent a person from providing care, or performing or advertising services within the scope of such person's license or as otherwise authorized in this section.

Approved May 31, 2012