This Substantive Policy Statement is advisory only. A Substantive Policy Statement does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal procedures of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on the regulated parties or include confidential information or rules made in accordance with the Arizona Administrative Procedures Act. If you believe that this Substantive Policy Statement does impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may petition the agency under Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) Section 41-1033 for a review of the statement. (A.R.S. § 41-1091)
A.R.S. § 32-3922 provides that the State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners (“Board”) may issue auricular acupuncture certificates for the purpose of treating alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency. A certificate issued pursuant to this statute only allows the certificate holder to practice auricular acupuncture under the supervision of a licensed Arizona acupuncturist in an alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency program (“treatment program”) approved by the Board, the state, or the federal government. Arizona Administrative Code (“A.A.C.”) R4-8-302 further elaborates that the Board automatically approves of any alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency program that is already licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services (“DHS”) as a behavioral health agency under A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 4.
Currently, DHS licenses over 700 behavioral health agencies in the state of Arizona. However, DHS does not approve treatment programs and a prerequisite of licensure with DHS is that the agency must be Medicare-approved. As acupuncture is still viewed by Medicaid, Medicare, and most private insurance companies as complementary, integrative, or alternative medicine, it is generally not a covered service and so many of these agencies do not offer auricular acupuncture as a treatment option. In light of the opioid epidemic that has become a serious public health concern nationally and here in the State of Arizona, the Board has decided to set forth specific criteria for alcoholism, substance abuse, and chemical dependency programs that wish to seek approval from the Board to operate as a treatment program that can provide auricular acupuncture services through the employment of an auricular acupuncture certificate holder under the supervision of a licensed acupuncturist.
In order to seek Board approval of an alcoholism, substance abuse, and chemical dependency program, the applicant for the treatment program seeking approval shall submit the following information to the Board:
- The treatment program’s name, physical and mailing address, phone number, fax number and email address;
- An affidavit stating that the treatment program is for the purpose of treating alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency;
- An affidavit stating that all auricular patients will be informed that auricular acupuncture is not a standalone cure for alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency;
- An affidavit stating that all auricular patients will be educated about treatment program options;
- Location of the facility where auricular acupuncture will be administered and proximity to the location of the treatment program;
- The name of the director of the treatment program;
- History and background of the treatment program;
- The number and qualifications of the treatment program staff;
- The name and contact information for the supervising licensed acupuncturist and the certified auricular acupuncturist, if known.
While the Board seeks a rule change to clarify its position and amend the language in the existing rule regarding the requirements for Board-approval of alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency programs, the Board will continue to approve any alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency program that is approved by the State of Arizona (including DHS) or the federal government, pursuant to A.A.C. R4-8-302, and will use the above listed criteria to evaluate any other alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency program that seeks approval.