Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter 112 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following fifteen sections:-
Section 148. As used in sections 149 to 162, inclusive of this chapter, section one of chapter one hundred and fifty-six A, section forty-seven D of chapter one hundred and seventy-five, section sixty B of chapter two hundred and thirty-one, the following words shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-
"Acupuncture", the practice of medicine based on Traditional Oriental Medical Theories; primarily the insertion of metal needles through the skin at certain points on the body, with or without the application of electric current, and with or without the application of heat to the needles, skin, or both, in an attempt to relieve pain or improve body function. Electroacupuncture, whether utilizing electrodes on the surface of the skin or current applied to inserted needles will be considered the practice of acupuncture.
"Board", the board of registration in medicine, established under the provisions of section one hundred and ten of chapter thirteen.
"Committee", the committee on acupuncture of the board of registration in medicine, established under the provisions of section one hundred and forty-nine.
"Acupuncturist", a person licensed under the provisions of sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, to practice acupuncture.
"Acupuncture intern", an acupuncture student engaged in practical training including needle insertion on human subjects in an acupuncture internship program approved by the committee on acupuncture.
Section 149. The board of registration in medicine shall form a committee on acupuncture. Committee members will be appointed by the board with the following qualifications: one member shall be a licensed physician member of the board, one member shall be a licensed physician who has been actively involved with the practice of Acupuncture for at least two years, one member shall be from the general public and shall not be engaged in or have a financial interest in the delivery of health services, and four members shall be acupuncture practitioners, chosen from a list of recommended individuals submitted by the Massachusetts Acupuncture Society, the New England School of Acupuncture, the Acupuncture Practitioners Association, the Oriental Traditional Medical Association, and any other professional Acupuncture organization or institution engaged in teaching acupuncture under the provisions of chapter seventy-five D.
The board shall appoint four of the initial members to terms of three years, and three of the initial members to terms of two years. Thereafter, all appointees shall serve for terms of three years. Vacancies shall be filled by the board with persons who possess the qualification required of the original appointees. Those members appointed to the initial committee as acupuncturists need not be licensed as acupuncturists. Such members so appointed after the initial committee is appointed shall be licensed under the provisions of sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, prior to such appointment.
Section 150. The committee may adopt reasonable rules to carry into effect sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, and may amend and revoke such rules at its discretion. The committee shall keep a record of its proceedings under said sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, and a register of all persons registered and licensed by it. The register shall contain the name of every living registrant, his last known place of business and last known place of residence, and the date and number of his registration and certificate as a licensed acupuncturist. The committee shall during the month of May in every year in which the renewal of registration is required, compile a list of the name and address of every licensed acupuncturist in the commonwealth.
The committee shall meet not less than four times per calendar year. At the first meeting of each year, the committee shall elect a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary.
Committee members will receive the same compensation as members of the board of registration in medicine as set forth in section ten of chapter thirteen.
All monies received by the committee shall be paid monthly to the General Fund. All expenses and compensation of the committee shall be paid by the commonwealth, but said expenses and compensation shall not be in excess of the amounts received by the commonwealth for any license application, license renewal, or examination fee collected by the committee under the authority of this chapter.
Section 151. A person who desires to be licensed and registered as an acupuncturist shall apply to the committee in writing on an application form prescribed and furnished by the committee. He shall include in his application statements under oath satisfactory to the committee, showing that he possess the qualifications preliminary to examination required by section one hundred and fifty-two. He shall pay to the committee at the time of his filing such application a fee which shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provisions of section three B of chapter seven.
Section 152. To be eligible for registration and licensure by the committee as an acupuncturist an applicant shall:
(a) Be at least eighteen years of age,
(b) be of good moral character,
(c) demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language so that he may understand and be understood by patients and physicians, or have a translator available to communicate with patients and physicians,
(d) fulfill one of the following criteria:
(1) the applicant has successfully completed the equivalent of two academic years at an accredited university or college, including courses in anatomy, physiology, and biology, or has taken courses at a facility which is approved by the department of education to offer such courses, and has successfully completed a committee approved course of training in acupuncture of not less than two academic years, and one year of a committee approved acupuncture internship which may run concurrently with the two year academic course in acupuncture; and passes to the satisfaction of the Committee an examination conducted by it to determine his fitness to engage in the practice of acupuncture, or
(2) the applicant may possess a current, valid acupuncture license or certificate from another state or foreign nation that is equivalent in its requirements to clauses (a), (b), and (d), or has equivalent training and experience as determined by the committee, and passes the examination administered by the committee as in clause (d).
(3) the applicant has legally practiced acupuncture as his primary activity since January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-three and has legally practiced acupuncture in the commonwealth for the twelve months immediately preceding the date of his application; and the applicant files his application within sixty days from the time the committee first accepts applications for the license to practice Acupuncture; or
(4) the applicant is a legally practicing Acupuncturist in the commonwealth on January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-six and the applicant files his application within sixty days from the time the committee first accepts applications for the license to practice acupuncture; and passes the examination administered by the committee as in clause (d). If any person so practicing acupuncture fails to pass the first announced examination, he may continue to practice acupuncture under the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner, as defined by the board of registration in medicine until the applicant takes the second announced examination. If any person so practicing acupuncture fails to pass the first and second announced examination, they must cease the practice of acupuncture upon due notice to the applicant of such failure.
Section 153. The committee may enter into agreements with medical or acupuncture examination boards of other states and territories of the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, having qualifications and standards at least as high as those of the commonwealth, providing for reciprocal licensing in this state, without further examination, of persons who hold a valid license granted by written examination in the other state or territory, and who apply and remit fees as indicated in section one hundred and fifty-one.
Section 154. The committee shall examine applicants for licensure as Acupuncturists at such times and places as it may determine, and shall conduct at least two examinations in each calendar year. The examination shall test the applicants competency in and knowledge of the theory and practice of acupuncture, medical ethics, medical terminology, and sufficient knowledge of anatomy and physiology so that safe practice could be expected. The type of examination shall be determined by the committee. Any applicant who fails to pass such examination may take a second examination upon the payment of an additional application fee which shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration and finance under the provisions of section three B of chapter seven, and must be so re-examined at the next scheduled examination. Upon failure of an applicant to pass a second examination, the committee may require him to complete additional courses of study as designated by the committee, in which case he shall be required, before taking another examination, to present to the committee satisfactory evidence of having completed the required additional courses, and shall pay the re-examination fee as noted above.
Section 155. The committee shall register and license as an acupuncturist each applicant who proves to the satisfaction of the committee his fitness for licensure under the provisions of sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive. It shall issue to each person registered a Certificate of Registration, which shall be prima facie evidence of the right of such person to represent himself as a licensed acupuncturist and authorized to use the initials L.Ac.
Section 156. Every licensed acupuncturist shall, during January of every year, apply to the committee for a renewal of his license and pay a fee which shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provisions of section three B of chapter seven. Any license not so renewed prior to April 1st in any such year shall automatically lapse on said date. The committee may in its discretion revive and extend a lapsed license on the payment of all unpaid renewal fees.
Section 157. A student of Acupuncture who has creditably completed not less than one year of study in a committee approved acupuncture school, may practice acupuncture, but only in a committee approved internship program. Said internship program will require the supervision of interns by an instructor; which instructor shall be a registered and licensed acupuncturist in the commonwealth and a duly appointed field faculty member of a committee approved school of acupuncture. Said intern shall be identified as an acupuncture intern when in a clinical setting.
Section 158. The committee, after due notice and hearing, may refuse to issue a license to an acupuncturist, or may suspend or revoke said license if such acupuncturist has:
(a) practiced acupuncture other than upon the referral or receipt of written diagnosis of a physician or dentist duly licensed in the commonwealth;
(b) used drugs or intoxicants to an extent which adversely affects his professional competence; (c) been convicted of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude;
(d) obtained or attempted to obtain licensure as an Acupuncturist by fraud or deception;
(e) been grossly negligent in his practice as an Acupuncturist;
(f) been adjudged insane by a court of competent jurisdiction and has not thereafter been legally declared sane;
(g) acted in a manner which is professionally unethical according to ethical standards of the professions of acupuncture.
Section 159. The committee shall investigate every alleged violation of sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, coming to its notice. If as a result of such an investigation the committee has reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, it shall forthwith report such violation to a appropriate law enforcement agency.
Any person who violates any provisions of sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, or who makes a willfully false oath or affirmation in any case in which an oath or affirmation is required under said sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, or who obtains or attempts to obtain licensure by any fraudulent representation shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than three months, or both.
The committee may maintain in any court of competent jurisdiction a suit for an injunction against any person or persons practicing acupuncture or any branch thereof without a license. Such an injunction may be issued without proof of actual damage sustained by any person, this provision being understood to be a preventive as well as a punitive measure. An injunction shall not relieve such person from criminal prosecution for practicing without a license. The committee may seek and obtain adequate legal counsel.
Section 160. A person who does not possess a valid license and existing and current certificate of registration as an Acupuncturist pursuant to the provisions of sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, shall not in any manner represent himself as an acupuncturist nor use in connection with his name the words or letters "Acupuncturist", "Licensed Acupuncturist", "Doctor of Acupuncture", "Acupuncture Therapist", "L.Ac.", "R.Ac.", or any other letter, words, abbreviations, or insignia indicating or implying that he is an acupuncturist. Whoever, not being lawfully authorized to practice acupuncture within the commonwealth and Registered under section one hundred and fifty-five, holds himself out as a practitioner of Acupuncture or practices or attempts to practice acupuncture, or whoever practices Acupuncture under a false or assumed name or under a name other than that by which he is registered, or whoever impersonates another practitioner, or whoever practices or attempts to practice any fraud in connection with the filing of an application, or whoever files an application under a false or assumed name or under a name other than his own, or whoever impersonates or attempts to impersonate another applicant for registration during an examination, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not less than one month nor more than one year, or both. A person rendering acupuncture services in violation of this section shall recover no compensation therefore.
Section 161. A licensed and registered acupuncturist may commence acupuncture treatments on a patient only after the acupuncturist has on file a written letter of referral or a written diagnosis from a physician, doctor of osteopathy, or dentist, duly registered in the commonwealth.
Section 162. Nothing contained in sections one hundred and forty-nine to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, shall prohibit any person employed as an acupuncturist by an agency of the federal government from practicing acupuncture while discharging his official duties as such employee. Nothing contained herein shall prevent physical therapists from practicing transcutaneous nerve stimulation, the stimulation of muscle contractions for the purpose of diagnosis or rehabilitation, or other techniques in the context of standard Western Medical Procedure and neither defined as nor held out to be acupuncture. Nothing contained herein shall prevent licensed physicians, according to the laws set forth by the board of registry in medicine from practicing Acupuncture.
SECTION 2. Section 1 of chapter 156A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1984 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out paragraph (b) and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
(b) "Professional service", the personal service performed by registered physicians and surgeons, chiropractors, podiatrists, engineers, electrologists, physical therapists, psychologists, certified public accountants, public accountants, dentists, veterinarians, optometrists and acupuncturists, all of whom are registered under chapter one hundred and twelve, and by attorneys-at-law admitted to practice in the courts of the commonwealth under the provisions of chapter two hundred and twenty-one.
SECTION 3. Section 60B of chapter 231 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the seventh paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
For the purposes of this section, a provider of health care shall mean a person, corporation, facility or institution licensed by the commonwealth to provide health care or professional services as a Physician, hospital, clinical or nursing home, dentist, registered or licensed nurse, optometrist, podiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, Psychologist, or acupuncturist, or an officer, employee or agent thereof acting in the course and scope of his employment.