PA 12-39—sSB 276

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR ACUPUNCTURISTS

SUMMARY: This act increases required didactic and clinical training for acupuncturist licensure applicants from 1,350 hours to 1,905 hours. It also increases required clinical training from 500 hours to 660 hours, as part of the total 1,905 required training hours. These increased requirements apply to applicants who complete their course of study on or after October 1, 2012.

Prior law required someone seeking acupuncturist licensure to pass a Department of Public Health (DPH)-prescribed examination. The act alternatively allows applicants to pass all portions of the acupuncture certification examination required by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). In practice, DPH already requires applicants to pass the NCCAOM exam.

Under the act, for registration periods beginning on and after October 1, 2014, acupuncturists seeking license renewal, after the first renewal, must (1) have NCCAOM certification or (2) have earned at least 30 contact hours of NCCAOM-approved continuing education within the preceding 24 months. The act sets related recordkeeping requirements. It also allows the DPH commissioner to grant extensions or waivers of these requirements for medical reasons.

Finally, the act requires anyone whose acupuncturist license became void due to failure to renew it within 90 days after its expiration, and who applies to DPH for license reinstatement, to submit evidence documenting (1) valid NCCAOM acupuncture certification or (2) successful completion of 15 contact hours of continuing education within the year before applying for reinstatement.

The act also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

CERTIFICATION OR CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR LICENSE RENEWAL

Attestation and Recordkeeping

By law, acupuncturist licenses must be renewed every two years. Under the act, someone applying to renew his or her acupuncturist license, except for a first license renewal, must sign a statement, on a DPH-prescribed form, attesting that he or she has satisfied the act's certification or continuing education requirements. Presumably, this requirement does not apply before the certification or continuing education requirements take effect (i. e. , for registration periods that begin on or after October 1, 2014).

The act also requires acupuncturist licensees to:

1. keep their attendance records or certificates of completion showing compliance with the continuing education or certification requirements for at least five years after completing the continuing education or renewing their certification and

2. submit these records to DPH for inspection within 45 days after DPH's request.

Waiver or Extension

The act allows the DPH commissioner to grant a waiver of, or extension for, completing these continuing education or certification requirements for reasons of medical disability or illness. A licensee seeking such a waiver or extension must submit to DPH (1) an application, on a form the commissioner prescribes; (2) a licensed physician's certification of the disability or illness; and (3) any other documentation DPH may require.

The act allows the commissioner to grant a waiver or extension for up to one registration period (two years). She can grant additional waivers or extensions if the disability or illness continues beyond this period and the licensee reapplies to DPH.

BACKGROUND

Related Act

Section 43 of PA 12-197 makes identical changes.

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