CHAPTER 384c*
ACUPUNCTURISTS

      *See Sec. 19a-88b re renewal of certain professional and occupational licenses, certificates, permits or registrations which become void while the holder is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-206aa. Definitions.
Sec. 20-206bb. Licensure. Fee. Qualifications. Renewal. Exemptions. Use of title.
Sec. 20-206cc. Disciplinary actions.
Secs. 20-206dd to 20-206ii.

      Sec. 20-206aa. Definitions. As used in this section and sections 20-206bb and 20-206cc:

      (1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Health.

      (2) "Department" means the Department of Public Health.

      (3) "Acupuncture" means the treating, by means of mechanical, thermal or electrical stimulation effected by the insertion of needles or by the application of heat, pressure or electrical stimulation at a point or combination of points on the surface of the body predetermined on the basis of the theory of physiological interrelationship of body organs with an associated point or combination of points for diseases, disorders and dysfunctions of the body for the purpose of achieving a therapeutic or prophylactic effect but shall not include the practice of physical therapy.

      (4) "Recognized regional accrediting body" means one of the following regional accrediting bodies: New England Association of Schools and Colleges; Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

      (P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; 95-321, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health in 1995 public and special acts, effective July 1, 1995; (Revisor's note: In 1999 a reference in Subdiv. (4) to "North Central Association of College and Schools" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "North Central Association of Colleges and Schools").

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      Sec. 20-206bb. Licensure. Fee. Qualifications. Renewal. Exemptions. Use of title. (a) No person shall perform acupuncture without a license as an acupuncturist issued pursuant to this section.

      (b) Each person seeking licensure as an acupuncturist shall make application on forms prescribed by the department, pay an application fee of two hundred dollars and present to the department satisfactory evidence that the applicant (1) has completed sixty semester hours, or its equivalent, of postsecondary study in an institution of postsecondary education that, if in the United States or its territories, was accredited by a recognized regional accrediting body or, if outside the United States or its territories, was legally chartered to grant postsecondary degrees in the country in which located, (2) has successfully completed a course of study in acupuncture in a program that, at the time of graduation, was in candidate status with or accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and included a minimum of one thousand three hundred fifty hours of didactic and clinical training, five hundred of which were clinical, (3) has passed an examination prescribed by the department, and (4) has successfully completed a course in clean needle technique prescribed by the department. Any person successfully completing the education, examination or training requirements of this section in a language other than English shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirement completed in that language.

      (c) An applicant for licensure as an acupuncturist by endorsement shall present evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of licensure or certification as an acupuncturist, or as a person entitled to perform similar services under a different designation, in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are equivalent to or higher than those of this state and that there are no disciplinary actions or unresolved complaints pending. Any person completing the requirements of this section in a language other than English shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of this section.

      (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the department shall, prior to September 1, 2005, issue a license to any applicant who presents to the department satisfactory evidence that the applicant has (1) earned, or successfully completed requirements for, a master's degree in acupuncture from a program that includes a minimum of one thousand three hundred fifty hours of didactic and clinical training, five hundred of which are clinical, from an institution of higher education accredited by the Department of Higher Education at the time of the applicant's graduation, (2) passed all portions of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine acupuncture examination, including the acupuncture portion of the comprehensive written examination in acupuncture, the clean needle technique portion of the comprehensive written examination in acupuncture and the practical examination of point location skills, and (3) successfully completed a course in clean needle technique offered by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

      (e) Licenses shall be renewed once every two years in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e) of section 19a-88. The fee for renewal shall be two hundred fifty dollars.

      (f) No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint in this or any other state or territory of the United States.

      (g) Nothing in section 19a-89c, 20-206aa, 20-206cc or this section shall be construed to prevent licensed practitioners of the healing arts, as defined in sections 20-1 and 20-196, physical therapists or dentists from providing care or performing services consistent with accepted standards within their respective professions.

      (h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, any person certified by an organization approved by the Commissioner of Public Health may practice auricular acupuncture for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse, provided the treatment is performed under the supervision of a physician licensed under chapter 370 and is performed in either (1) a private free-standing facility licensed by the Department of Public Health for the care or treatment of substance abusive or dependent persons, or (2) a setting operated by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The Commissioner of Public Health shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to ensure the safe provision of auricular acupuncture within private free-standing facilities licensed by the Department of Public Health for the care or treatment of substance abusive or dependent persons.

      (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, no license to practice acupuncture is required of: (1) Students enrolled in a college or program of acupuncture if (A) the college or program is recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or licensed or accredited by the Board of Governors of Higher Education, and (B) the practice that would otherwise require a license is pursuant to a course of instruction or assignments from a licensed instructor and under the supervision of the instructor; or (2) licensed faculty members providing the didactic and clinical training necessary to meet the accreditation standards of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at a college or program recognized by the commission or licensed or accredited by the Board of Governors of Higher Education. For purposes of this subsection, "licensed faculty member" and "licensed instructor" means a faculty member or instructor licensed under this section or otherwise authorized to practice acupuncture in this state.

      (j) No person shall use the title "acupuncturist", or use in connection with his or her name, any letters, words or insignia indicating or implying that such person is a licensed acupuncturist or advertise services as an acupuncturist, unless such person holds a license as an acupuncturist issued pursuant to this section. No person shall represent himself or herself as being certified to practice auricular acupuncture for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse, or use in connection with his or her name the term "acupuncture detoxification specialist", or the letters "A.D.S." or any letters, words or insignia indicating or implying that such person is certified to practice auricular acupuncture for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse unless such person is certified in accordance with subsection (h) of this section. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent a person from providing care, or performing or advertising services within the scope of such person's license or as otherwise authorized in this section.

      (P.A. 95-321, S. 2; P.A. 96-225, S. 1, 4; P.A. 97-213, S. 9, 13; P.A. 98-9; P.A. 99-249, S. 1, 10; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-2, S. 71, 72; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, S. 22; P.A. 04-221, S. 26; P.A. 07-166, S. 3; P.A. 09-21, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 222; P.A. 10-117, S. 14.)

      History: P.A. 96-225 inserted new Subsec. (c) concerning alternative means of qualification, relettered previously existing Subsecs. and added Subsec. (g) re auricular acupuncture, effective June 4, 1996; P.A. 97-213 amended Subsec. (c) to substitute "shall, prior to January 1, 1999," for "may, not later than 30 days following June 4, 1996" re issue of license, deleted existing Subdivs. (1) to (3) inclusive, substituted new Subdiv. (1) and (2) re examination by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists, redesignated existing Subdiv. (4) as Subdiv. (3), and deleted Subdiv. (5), effective June 26, 1997; P.A. 98-9 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision that completion of education, examination or training in language other than English is deemed to have satisfied the requirement completed in that language, inserted new Subsec. (c) re licensure by endorsement and relettered Subsecs. (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) as (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h), respectively; P.A. 99-249 amended Subsec. (d) to substitute "September" for "January", added new Subsec. (i) re exemption for certain students and faculty and made technical changes, effective June 29, 1999; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 99-2 amended Subsec. (d) by redesignating subparagraphs and adding Subdiv. (2) re alternative method of licensure available prior to September 1, 1999, effective June 29, 1999; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3 amended Subsec. (e) by changing license renewal from annually to biennially and increasing renewal fee from $100 to $200, effective January 1, 2004; P.A. 04-221 amended Subsec. (d) by revising requirements for alternative method of licensure and changing end date for such licensure from September 1, 1999, to September 1, 2005, effective June 8, 2004; P.A. 07-166 amended Subsec. (i)(1) and (2) to substitute "Board of Governors of Higher Education" for "Board of Governors for Higher Education", effective June 19, 2007; P.A. 09-21 added Subsec. (j) re use of title "acupuncturist" and use of term "acupuncture detoxification specialist"; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (b) to increase fee from $100 to $200 and amended Subsec. (e) to increase fee from $200 to $250; P.A. 10-117 amended Subsec. (c) by changing "substantially similar" to "equivalent".

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      Sec. 20-206cc. Disciplinary actions. The department may take any action set forth in section 19a-17 if a person issued a license pursuant to section 20-206bb fails to conform to the accepted standards of the acupuncturist profession, including, but not limited to, the following: Conviction of a felony; fraud or deceit in the practice of acupuncture; illegal conduct; negligent, incompetent or wrongful conduct in professional activities; emotional disorder or mental illness; physical illness including, but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process; abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals; wilful falsification of entries into any patient record pertaining to acupuncture; misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact in the obtaining or reinstatement of an acupuncturist license; or violation of any provisions of subsection (c) of section 19a-14. The commissioner may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. The commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17. Notice of any contemplated action under said section, the cause of the action and the date of a hearing on the action shall be given and an opportunity for hearing afforded in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

      (P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; 95-321, S. 3.)

      History: (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230, 90-98, 93-142 and 95-220 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain", effective September 1, 1998).

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      Secs. 20-206dd to 20-206ii. Reserved for future use.

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