UPDATE 2/17: On Tuesday (2/14) the BAOM voted not to approve of HB232 at this time.  The bill is currently still in the House Health and Human Services Committee (HHHC).  At the time of this update it has not been scheduled for a committee hearing.

UPDATE 2/11: HB232 has been postponed in HHHC until after a special meeting of the BAOM, scheduled for Tuesday 2/14 at 8am.  The meeting will be at the Regulation and Licensing Building located at 5500 San Antonio Dr NE Albuquerque, NM.  We encourage all interested acupuncturists to attend!

By now you have probably received several emails about House Bill 232 Acupuncture Practice and Prescriptions, or HB232 for short. If you haven’t, you might want to check your spam folders! NMSAAM was not consulted in the drafting or proposing this bill; however, please see our analysis below for your information.

What You Need To Know

  • HB 232 is a bill proposed during the 2017 legislative session that seeks to amend the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Practice Act.
  • It is currently before the House Health and Human Services Committee (scheduled for hearing Saturday February 11th).
  • It was proposed without detailed consultation with the profession, though a few acupuncturist did help with writing it. It will probably be amended in committee.
  • It makes significant changes to the expanded practice formulary.
  • After an in person meeting and discussion the NMSAAM Board of Directors has formally opposed this bill to the HHHC; see our reasoning below.

Bill Summary

HB 232 would increase the number of substances available for prescription and administration by those DOMs certified in expanded practice. Notably lidocane, ropivacaine, and “substances used for detoxification” are added to the expanded practice prescriptive authority. Other changes to the expanded practice scope are made, including the use of substances for compounding and manufacture the substances in the prescriptive authority.

Full information on the bill, including the current text and fiscal impact report, can be obtained from the NM Legislature site here

History and NMSAAM Position

The Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Practice Act was last amended in 2007. At that time there was much discussion and consensus building done, and experts outside of acupuncture were consulted on the expanded practice formulary. This is critical because the safety considerations with injection therapy and IV therapy are very different than they are with filiform needling. While not everyone agreed %100, the law passed in 2007 represents a consensus of acupuncture professionals, pharmacists, legislators, and the public.

Since 2007 the Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (BAOM) has worked with the Board of Pharmacy (BOP), and a joint committee formed by both boards, to adopt rules that implement the 2007 law. This process is in its final stages, and has taken the full 10 years since to accomplish. The reason it has taken so long is that at every step the BAOM, BOP, and joint committee have sought input from the profession, other health care experts, and the public regarding the rules. NMSAAM has worked closely with the above groups to ensure that adopted rules are in the best interest of the profession.

In light of the history regarding the statute and rules for expanded practice DOMs:

It is the position of the NMSAAM Board of Directors that there is no compelling reason to amend the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Practice Act at this time. We therefore oppose passage of HB232.

New Mexico has one of the broadest scope of practice for acupuncturists in the country. Our expanded practice law and rules are being used as a model for other states across the nation. It is imperative that we ensure they are also the safest laws and rules for injection therapy. The only way to do this is to ensure input from as much of the profession and other medical experts before any changes are made. This was clearly not done in this case!

See the statement NMSAAM sent to the HHHC this Friday Here.

Moving Forward

Uniting the profession and building consensus through polite and respectful debate has been, and continues to be, a cornerstone of NMSAAM’s mission. The NMSAAM Board of Directors invites your comments either here, or directly to our email info@nmsaam.org