We were informed in Nov 2023 by an ILSA member of proposed legislation that her local legislative representative became aware of. This legislation was going to be filed to allow public training and free access to utilize the 5 Needle Ear acupuncture protocol without a license. It would also propose an amendment to the IL Acupuncture Practice Act which would include no oversight on the unlicensed person practicing NADA as they are requesting NADA to be exempt from practice act guidelines.
In layman’s terms, they are requesting that NADA acupuncture not be seen as a form of acupuncture in Illinois therefore allowing ANYONE to utilize it.
M&F (our lobbyist) was contacted and we were told that the proposed legislation would be tabled and reintroduced in the spring session. January 16th was the 1st day of the spring session and HB4487 was introduced on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. ILSA met with M&F again to coordinate this grass roots campaign, and was advised by M&F to launch on Monday, January 22, 2024 which allowed us to time to coordinate marketing and legislative efforts.
WE NEED YOU!
Below is a script and the names of members from the House Healthcare License Committee and the House Rules Committee. We need you to call every member on this list and voice your opposition against legislation for HB4487.
We have included a script in this email. Please utilize the script to make sure the message is consistent.
Statement of Intent:
1. ILSA’s mission is to support, protect, and expand our scope of practice in Illinois. After careful analysis of the bill HB 4487, we learned that it will allow any unlicensed person to practice NADA in order to expand access to underserved areas. We have decided that allowing unlicensed individuals to perform NADA acupuncture on the basis of serving the underprivileged communities does not serve the public nor our profession when reflecting on public safety, healthcare risk management, and best interest. ILSA’s campaign that successfully passed acupuncture coverage in the Medicaid system was a proponent to help mitigate the issue of healthcare equity and access of care for underserved communities. We encourage the use of Medicaid to help remedy this.
Moreover, allowing unlicensed individuals to utilize NADA acupuncture without any oversight from acupuncturists who are the experts in the field, limits our perception and stance for future legislation. With scope creep and utilization of both acupuncture and dry needling affecting the financial future and stability of our profession, we propose that instead of outsourcing NADA acupuncture to anyone without a license, those industries and organizations that wish to offer it can hire an acupuncturist for community acupuncture.
2. By splitting hairs on the legal definition of acupuncture (which is the insertion of needles), this sets the standard of NADA acupuncture being separate from acupuncture on both a procedural and oversight level initiating a dangerous slippery slope from a scope of practice and legislative standpoint. We serve on behalf of our members to expand our scope and create more opportunities. This was our promise and commitment when we surveyed our members in our Membership survey. What better way to do so than to position ourselves as the Acupuncture Experts (Including NADA) in order to create more job opportunities, help stabilize and expand the profession, and maintain strict oversight and boundaries on who can practice Acupuncture
3. Last year, ILSA was faced with a situation where a student who graduated from the NADA Certificate program was allegedly practicing acupuncture without a license in Illinois. It is not a coincidence that this legislation was proposed soon after the investigation of this incident and it has shown us what can happen when the appearance of practicing ” Ear Acupuncture or NADA” leads to allegations of someone unlawfully practicing acupuncture and monetizing it.
With great power comes great responsibility, and that comes with standing in our own truth rooted in transparency on the potential pitfalls and fallouts if we allow this to occur. While we believe our position maintains the stance of the majority of our members, we welcome the ongoing conversation from those who oppose our opposition to this bill.