Sound like some new wave Wild West character.
In reality it’s a reflection of the diversity of practices offered by the existing landscape of Acupuncturists and TCM doctors.
(This is one of those fun articles where I ended up having much more to say in the written form than the video form, so, if you like to read, you’re good).
It is only since 1972 that there was established a legal clinic to perform Acupuncture in the United States (ref: aboveandbeyondacupuncture.com) and that coincides with President Nixon’s entourage’s travels to China when journalist James Reston experienced first hand the use of Acupuncture anesthesia in conjunction with his appendectomy.
The adoption of Acupuncture into the mainstream since then has been a slow and laborious process as for many years its reputation among most Americans probably has ranked somewhere along the lines of tea leaf readers and an extraterrestrial cult (yes, that was a bit tongue and cheek, but didn’t intend to besmirch the reputation of either). Now there are many resistances to the mainstreaming of Acupuncture, but that’s a rant for another article.
One of the local TCM legends, Dr. Miriam Lee was one of the first Licensed acupuncturists in California in 1976. She had been arrested before in 1974 for practicing without a license (Wikipedia).
With this kind of colorful background, it’s no wonder there is no specific standard amongst the Acupuncture community for billing.
In the old culture, many patients still pay their doctor with fresh fruit and food stuff, and on the other hand, there are those who would consider the fee of an Acupuncturist not on the same obligatory level as they may feel at their MD’s office.
I don’t necessarily advise you to go shopping at Trader Joe’s (but I do like grass-fed steak with a lot of fat interspersed) before your next Acupuncture treatment, but at some point you’ll be concerned about how to pay for your health care, so there’s many possibilities across the Acupuncture landscape. One of your considerations may be to match yourself with the payment receivable capabilities of your provider.
The Acupuncture practice as a whole is still embedded in time when there was no such thing as insurance coverage, however, you do have many more opportunities now than before from the largest to smallest clinics that both accept and is covered by an ever increasing amount of health care insurance and programs.
One type of billing opportunity that did not mention in the video is the “superbill”, that’s when an acupuncturist gives you the info so that you can bill your own insurance coverage after paying your acupuncturists.
So that’s the story of ACUPUNCTURE BILL.
Thanks for reading!
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