HB 145 - Acupuncturists; registration by Department of Human Resources

First Reader Summary

A BILL to amend Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, so as to provide for the registration of acupuncturists; and for other purposes.

McKinney, J. E (51st) Maddox, George (72nd) Hegstrom, June (66th)
Heckstall, Joe (55th) Jones, Vernon A (71st) Brooks, Tyrone (54th)
Status Summary HC: H&E SC: LA: 01/16/97 H - Read 2nd Time
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7
Code Sections - 31-43-1/ 31-43-2/ 31-43-3/ 31-43-4/ 31-43-5/ 31-43-6/ 31-43-7/ 31-43-8/ 31-43-9/ 31-43-10/ 31-43-11
House Action Senate
1/15/97 Read 1st Time
1/16/97 Read 2nd Time

HB 145                                           LC 11 9052/3 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
  1- 1  To amend Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 
  1- 2  relating to health, so as to provide for the registration of 
  1- 3  acupuncturists; to provide for legislative purpose; to 
  1- 4  provide for definitions; to prohibit certain unregistered 
  1- 5  practice and provide for penalties; to provide for powers 
  1- 6  and duties of the Department of Human Resources; to provide 
  1- 7  for an advisory committee; to provide for qualifications for 
  1- 8  registration and renewal; to provide for disciplinary 
  1- 9  sanctions; to provide for fees and refunds; to provide for 
  1-10  registration display and use of titles; to provide for 
  1-11  registration for auricular acupuncture; to provide for 
  1-12  registration by endorsement; to provide for medical and 
  1-13  other evaluations; to provide an effective date; to repeal 
  1-14  conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 
  1-16                           SECTION 1. 
  1-17  Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 
  1-18  to health, is amended by adding at the end a new chapter to 
  1-19  read as follows: 
  1-20    31-43-1. 
  1-21    It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the health, 
  1-22    safety, and welfare of the people of this state by 
  1-23    establishing an orderly system of acupuncture registration 
  1-24    and to provide a valid, effective means of establishing 
  1-25    registration requirements without undue financial burden 
  1-26    to the people of this state. 
  1-27    31-43-2. 
  1-28    As used in this chapter, the term: 
  1-29      (1) 'Acupuncture' means a form of health care evolved 
  1-30      from ancient oriental medical concepts that employs an 
  1-31      empirical knowledge approach to health and disease based 
  2- 1      upon the universal principle of balance.  Clinical 
  2- 2      techniques would involve traditional and modern 
  2- 3      modalities relevant to acupuncture in the promotion, 
  2- 4      maintenance, and restoration of health and the 
  2- 5      detoxification of drugs, alcohol, and other addictions. 
  2- 6      (2) 'CAMA' means the Complementary/Alternative Medical 
  2- 7      Association. 
  2- 8      (3) 'Department' means the Department of Human 
  2- 9      Resources. 
  2-10      (4) 'NADA' means the National Acupuncture Detoxification 
  2-11      Association. 
  2-12      (5) 'Practice of acupuncture' means the insertion of 
  2-13      acupuncture needles and the application of moxibustion 
  2-14      to specific areas of the human body based upon oriental 
  2-15      medical evaluation as a primary mode of therapy. 
  2-16      Adjunctive therapies within the scope of acupuncture may 
  2-17      include traditional and modern modalities relevant to 
  2-18      acupuncture and the recommendation of dietary 
  2-19      guidelines, herbal teas, and therapeutic exercise based 
  2-20      on natural medicine concepts. 
  2-21      (6) 'Primary care provider' means a person licensed to 
  2-22      practice any profession licensed under Chapter 9 of 
  2-23      Title 43, Article 2 of Chapter 11 of Title 43, or 
  2-24      Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43. 
  2-25    31-43-3. 
  2-26    (a) It is unlawful to practice acupuncture without 
  2-27    registration issued pursuant to this chapter.  This 
  2-28    restriction does not apply, however, to the following: 
  2-29      (1) Other health care professionals practicing within 
  2-30      the scope of their licenses; or 
  2-31      (2) A student practicing acupuncture under the direct 
  2-32      supervision of a registered acupuncturist as part of a 
  2-33      course of study approved by the department. 
  2-34    (b) A violation of this Code section is a misdemeanor. 
  2-35    31-43-4. 
  2-36    The department is authorized to: 
  2-37      (1) Issue, suspend, and revoke registration, collect 
  2-38      fees, investigate violations of this chapter, and 
  2-39      otherwise administer the provisions of this chapter; 
  3- 1      (2) Adopt rules to implement the provisions of this 
  3- 2      chapter; 
  3- 3      (3) Sue to enjoin violations of this chapter.  An 
  3- 4      injunction may be issued even though no person has yet 
  3- 5      been injured as a result of the unauthorized practice; 
  3- 6      (4) Adopt and use a seal to authenticate official 
  3- 7      documents of the department; 
  3- 8      (5) Employ such personnel as may be needed to carry out 
  3- 9      its functions and purchase, lease, rent, sell, or 
  3-10      otherwise dispose of personal and real property for the 
  3-11      operations of the department; 
  3-12      (6) Expend funds as necessary to carry out the 
  3-13      provisions of this chapter; 
  3-14      (7) Issue advisory opinions interpreting this chapter; 
  3-15      and 
  3-16      (8) Establish a noncompensated acupuncture advisory 
  3-17      committee with members appointed by the commissioner, 
  3-18      consisting of one member of the public at large, two 
  3-19      medical doctors approved by the Composite Board of 
  3-20      Medical Examiners to practice acupuncture, one 
  3-21      individual as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 
  3-22      31-43-10, and four acupuncturists registered as such in 
  3-23      this state or otherwise meeting the requirements for 
  3-24      such registration.  CAMA may recommend candidates for 
  3-25      appointment on the committee.  Members shall serve 
  3-26      two-year or three-year terms, as specified in their 
  3-27      appointments.  The committee may: 
  3-28        (A) Recommend approval of reciprocity for licensure 
  3-29        with other states; 
  3-30        (B) Recommend approval for acceptance of certain 
  3-31        training programs and examination on a case-by-case 
  3-32        basis; and 
  3-33        (C) Recommend approval for a resident applicant who 
  3-34        presents evidence satisfactory to the committee by 
  3-35        July 1, 1998, of successful completion of an 
  3-36        acupuncture program or apprenticeship and proof of two 
  3-37        years current practice in this state. 
  3-38    31-43-5. 
  3-39    To be registered to practice acupuncture, a person must: 
  4- 1      (1) Use only presterilized, disposable needles in such 
  4- 2      person's administration of acupuncture treatment; 
  4- 3      (2) Be at least 21 years of age; 
  4- 4      (3) Be a citizen of the U.S. or a legal resident; 
  4- 5      (4) Be trained in Oriental medical principles, 
  4- 6      practices, techniques, and diagnosis with hygiene, 
  4- 7      sanitation, and sterilization techniques; and 
  4- 8      (5) Be approved by the department, and the department 
  4- 9      may adopt recommendations from the acupuncture advisory 
  4-10      committee as a basis for approval. 
  4-11    31-43-6. 
  4-12    The registration to practice acupuncture must be renewed 
  4-13    every two years.  To renew a registration, a person must 
  4-14    submit proof of current active status and show proof of 
  4-15    completing 20 department approved continuing education 
  4-16    hours per two-year period. 
  4-17    31-43-7. 
  4-18    The department may deny, suspend, or revoke registration, 
  4-19    require remedial education, or issue a letter of reprimand 
  4-20    if an applicant or registered acupuncturist: 
  4-21      (1) Engages in false or fraudulent conduct which 
  4-22      demonstrates an unfitness to practice acupuncture, 
  4-23      including: 
  4-24        (A) Misrepresentation in connection with an 
  4-25        application for registration for an investigation by 
  4-26        the department; 
  4-27        (B) Attempting to collect fees for services which were 
  4-28        not performed; 
  4-29        (C) False advertising, including guaranteeing that a 
  4-30        cure will result from an acupuncture treatment; or 
  4-31        (D) Dividing or agreeing to divide a fee for 
  4-32        acupuncture services with anyone for referring the 
  4-33        patient; 
  4-34      (2) Fails to exercise proper control over one's practice 
  4-35      by: 
  4-36        (A) Aiding an unregistered person in practicing 
  4-37        acupuncture; 
  5- 1        (B) Delegating professional responsibilities to a 
  5- 2        person the acupuncturist knows or should know is not 
  5- 3        qualified to perform; or 
  5- 4        (C) Failing to exercise proper control over registered 
  5- 5        personnel working with the acupuncturist in the 
  5- 6        practice; 
  5- 7      (3) Fails to maintain records in a proper manner by: 
  5- 8        (A) Failing to keep written records describing the 
  5- 9        course of treatment for each patient; 
  5-10        (B) Refusing to provide a patient, upon request, 
  5-11        records that have been prepared for or paid for by the 
  5-12        patient; or 
  5-13        (C) Revealing personally identifiable information 
  5-14        about a patient without consent unless otherwise 
  5-15        allowed by law; 
  5-16      (4) Fails to exercise proper care for a patient, 
  5-17      including: 
  5-18        (A) Abandoning or neglecting a patient without making 
  5-19        reasonable arrangements for the continuation of care; 
  5-20        or 
  5-21        (B) Exercising or attempting to exercise undue 
  5-22        influence within the practitioner-patient relationship 
  5-23        by making sexual advances or requests for sexual 
  5-24        activity or by making submission to such conduct a 
  5-25        condition of treatment; 
  5-26      (5) Displays habitual substance abuse or mental 
  5-27      impairment to such a degree as to interfere with the 
  5-28      ability to provide safe and effective treatment; 
  5-29      (6) Is convicted or pleads guilty or no contest to any 
  5-30      crime which demonstrates an unfitness to practice 
  5-31      acupuncture; 
  5-32      (7) Negligently fails to practice acupuncture with the 
  5-33      level of skill recognized within the profession as 
  5-34      acceptable under such circumstances; 
  5-35      (8) Willfully violates any provision of this chapter or 
  5-36      rule of the department; or 
  5-37      (9) Has had a license denied, suspended, or revoked in 
  5-38      another jurisdiction for any reason which would be 
  5-39      grounds for such action in this state. 
  6- 1    31-43-8. 
  6- 2    The department is authorized to charge an application fee, 
  6- 3    examination fee, registration fee, registration renewal 
  6- 4    fee, or similar fee and may establish the amount of the 
  6- 5    fee to be charged.  Each fee so established shall be 
  6- 6    determined in such a manner that the total amount of fees 
  6- 7    charged by the department pursuant to this chapter shall 
  6- 8    approximate the total of the direct and indirect costs to 
  6- 9    the state of the operations of the department pursuant to 
  6-10    this chapter.  Fees may be refunded for good cause, as 
  6-11    determined by the department. 
  6-12    31-43-9. 
  6-13    (a) The titles 'Registered Acupuncturist' and 
  6-14    'Acupuncturist' may be used by, and only by, persons 
  6-15    registered under this chapter or by those practitioners 
  6-16    granted reciprocity by the department to practice 
  6-17    acupuncture under their own state licenses.  Possession of 
  6-18    a registration under this chapter does not by itself 
  6-19    entitle a person to identify himself or herself as a 
  6-20    doctor or physician.  The title 'Registered Acupuncturist' 
  6-21    shall be equivalent to 'Licensed Acupuncturist' in all 
  6-22    definitions regarding acupuncture. 
  6-23    (b) Each person registered to practice acupuncture shall 
  6-24    post the registration in a conspicuous location at the 
  6-25    person's place of practice. 
  6-26    31-43-10. 
  6-27    (a) Individuals who do not otherwise possess the 
  6-28    credentials required for the practice of acupuncture 
  6-29    prescribed by this chapter or the regulations promulgated 
  6-30    under this chapter may practice auricular acupuncture for 
  6-31    the purpose of the treatment of alcoholism, substance 
  6-32    abuse, or chemical dependency if they provide 
  6-33    documentation of successful completion of a training 
  6-34    program in acupuncture for the treatment of alcoholism, 
  6-35    substance abuse, or chemical dependency which meets or 
  6-36    exceeds standards of training set by NADA.  The scope of 
  6-37    conditions the specialist may treat is limited to chemical 
  6-38    dependency, which includes detoxification, withdrawal, 
  6-39    drug cravings, problems related to stress, relapse 
  6-40    prevention, maintenance and rehabilitation, chronic mental 
  6-41    illness with substance abuse risk, and auricular 
  6-42    treatments of persons with such conditions. 
  7- 1    (b) Treatment under this Code section may only take place 
  7- 2    in a city, county, state, federal, private, or nonprofit 
  7- 3    agency or a state approved alcohol, substance abuse, or 
  7- 4    chemical dependency program under the supervision of a 
  7- 5    medical doctor approved by the Composite Board of Medical 
  7- 6    Examiners to practice acupuncture or an acupuncturist. 
  7- 7    (c) Persons practicing under this Code section are held to 
  7- 8    all appropriate ethical standards as provided in Code 
  7- 9    Section 31-43-7. 
  7-10    (d) Persons practicing under this Code section who do 
  7-11    nonauricular acupuncture points shall be subject to 
  7-12    sanctions for practicing acupuncture without registration 
  7-13    as specified in Code Section 31-43-3. 
  7-14    31-43-11. 
  7-15    (a) Persons on whom acupuncture is performed must have 
  7-16    been evaluated by a primary care provider, as appropriate, 
  7-17    for the condition being treated within the preceding six 
  7-18    months.  The patient shall provide the name, address, and 
  7-19    phone number of such primary care provider for further 
  7-20    consultation.  If the patient does not have a primary care 
  7-21    provider, the acupuncturist will refer the patient to a 
  7-22    primary care provider for evaluation prior to performing 
  7-23    acupuncture on that patient. 
  7-24    (b) An acupuncturist may, without evaluation by a primary 
  7-25    care provider, perform acupuncture on a person for smoking 
  7-26    addiction, stress management, or weight loss." 
  7-27                           SECTION 2. 
  7-28  This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1997. 
  7-29                           SECTION 3. 
  7-30  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
  7-31  repealed. 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98