No, acupuncture is generally very relaxing. Even kids enjoy their acupuncture!
With adequate training, acupuncture is very safe. Our acupuncturists have over 3300 hours of training and are nationally certified. All needles are sterile single-use surgical steel. Acupuncture is very safe, but it is important to remember that the World Health Organization defines acupuncture as a surgical procedure and considers any technique using solid filiform acupuncture needles to be acupuncture. If someone offers to do “dry needling” or “medical acupuncture” it is important to ask about their training and experience. It is possible to hurt someone with these needles and to cause infection (by needling through clothing), organ punctures (needling too deeply in the wrong place) or nerve trauma (needling too aggressively seeking a “twitch response”) without appropriate training. Most states require 300-500 hours of training including supervised hands on needle technique instruction and clean needle technique training before any health practitioner can use acupuncture needles for safety reasons.
Surprise – nope, we don’t have to use needles. Acupuncture is part of a larger system of healing and we can work through different pathways with pressure, magnets and more. Healing generally progresses faster with the needles, but they are optional.
Yes, we do! In fact, the needling techniques used in Dry Needling are among the first we learn in school. Dry Needling is an Acupuncture technique and as such should be performed only by professionals with an appropriate level of training such as a licensed acupuncturist or medical acupuncturist. Knowledge of anatomy and physiology is only one portion of the required skill set to safely and effectively use needles as a therapeutic tool.
No. We assist with a wide variety of conditions with an average success rate of 85% (we define success as a long-term reduction in the chief complaint of 70% or more). Some of the more common conditions we see include:
- Athletic injuries
- Fertility/Menstrual disorders
- Chronic Fatigue
- Plantar fasciitis
- Digestive Disorders
- Dizziness/Balance issues
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Your appointment time is reserved just for you. A late cancellation or missed visit leaves a hole in the therapists’ day that could have been filled by another patient. As such, we require 24 hours notice for any cancellations or changes to weekday appointments and 48 hours for weekend appointments. Patients who provide less than 24 hours notice, or miss their appointment, will be charged a cancellation fee of $75 or the full cost of the scheduled appointment (whichever is less) for weekday appointments. For weekend appointments, we require either a credit card on file and permission to charge the card for the full visit amount if our cancellation policy is violated or pre-payment in full for the appointment. After 2 or more no-shows or late cancels, the office reserves the right to either request same day scheduling based on availability or pre-payment in full for any appointments at the time of booking with no refund. SAAT follow-up appointments are paid for at the time of SAAT and late cancel or missed visits are non-refundable. SAAT follow-up appointments must be pre-paid if the original follow-up appointment was cancelled due to no-show or late cancelling.
Navigating insurance can be complicated. Hopefully, this information will help you get an accurate answer from your insurance provider.
There are a couple of cases where the answer is almost always YES:
- Were you recently in an automobile accident and haven’t used all of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage? Kentucky requires a minimum of $10,000 in PIP for all auto insurance and this can be used for acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic in addition to other regular medical expenses. If so, we can bill your insurance or you pay cash and submit the receipts for reimbursement in most cases.
- Are you a federal employee who was injured on the job? If so, federal workman’s compensation coverage may include acupuncture. Contact us for more information.
- Are you an employee with an open workman’s compensation claim? If so, you may be able to get acupuncture coverage with a referral from your primary workman’s compensation doctor.
There are also cases you the answer just might be YES:
- Are you a federal or state employee? If yes, your plan may include acupuncture coverage.
- Are you a veteran under the care of the VA for a service-connected disability? We just might be able to get you a referral through the VA which will cover 100% of your approved treatments for acupuncture and massage.
- Are you an employee of a health insurance company? Many of these companies have plans that cover acupuncture for their employees even if they don’t provide it to their customers.
There are several cases where the answer will generally be NO:
- Tricare, Medicare, and Medicaid do not cover acupuncture and due to the abysmally low reimbursement rates, we do not accept any Medicare supplement plans at this time.
*Note regarding recent Medicare changes*
While Medicare does cover Acupuncture for chronic low back pain only, we are limited to being an out of network provider until Congress amends the law to include licensed Acupuncturists as providers. We are happy to guide you to the necessary paperwork for you to submit for reimbursement but have no control over Medicare's ultimate decision. In addition, we cannot accept Medicare supplement insurance plans due to the restrictive nature of their reimbursement criteria.
We need your help getting Congress to help make Medicare available to all patients who need our treatment services. Please see the links below to find out what you can do to help.
For further information regarding Medicare Coverage:
Medicare & Acupuncture – Raja Wellness
Judy Chu’s bill HR1183 which is a good example of the kind of legislation that will be needed for Medicare to be covered by acupuncturists:
Do you have a Health Saving Account, Flex Spending Account or similar?
If so, in most cases you can use these to pay for acupuncture.
In order to help make sure you get the coverage you pay for there are some additional questions you need to ask your insurance company:
- Do you cover acupuncture? ______________ If yes: Are there any specific diagnosis codes required for coverage or excluded from coverage? __________________________________It is important to get the ICD codes, not just condition name!
- Do you cover CPT codes 97810, 97811, 97813, 97814? These are acupuncture specific codes—some insurance will say they cover acupuncture but in reality, they only cover the office visits and not the acupuncture itself.
- How many visits do you cover? ___________________
- Does my deductible have to be met prior to my coverage being effective?______________
- How much is my deductible and how far away am I from meeting it this year?____________
- Do you require an MD referral? _________________________________
- Some will say they only cover in-network providers or that they cover a higher percentage for in-network providers. Currently no insurance contracts with acupuncturists in the state of Kentucky so they are required to give you an exemption if you request it and treat us as if we were in network. It is not uncommon for them to “not be aware” of this but if you mention that you will “contact the state insurance board about their inability to provide an exemption” and they generally remember.
Do you bill my insurance?
With private insurance, we recommend you pay cash to get our Time of Service discount since most insurance covers a percentage of an allowed amount—which by law until they pay the bill they are not required to disclose (some do, some don’t). Since the allowed amount is often less than our billed amount and in some cases, even our time of service discounted amount you get the most money for your coverage by submitting your receipt to your insurance and letting them reimburse you for the amount they cover. By law, we cannot reduce our billed amount after the time of service and you will be responsible for any amount not covered by your insurance if we do the billing—even if that is more than you would have paid at our time of service.