Acupuncture Service Now Covered by Medicare!

CMS Creates New Reimbursement Pathway for Medicare Beneficiaries with Chronic Low Back Pain

On January 21, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a decision to cover acupuncture for Medicare patients, specifically those with chronic low back pain (cLBP). This is a shift in policy as previously stated that acupuncture was nationally non-covered by Medicare for all indications. “We are dedicated to increasing access to alternatives to prescription opioids and believe that covering acupuncture for chronic low back pain is in the best interest of Medicare patients,” said CMS Principal Deputy Administrator of Operations and Policy Kimberly Brandt. "Over-reliance on opioids for people with chronic pain is one of the factors that led to the crisis, so it is vital that we offer a range of treatment options for our beneficiaries.”

CMS believes that sufficient clinical research shows the functional benefits of acupuncture in the alleviation of pain and the restoration of function for those suffering with cLBP. Medicare beneficiaries who meet the qualifications will be able to receive 12 acupuncture sessions within a given 90-day period. An additional eight sessions will be covered for those patients demonstrating an improvement. No more than 20 acupuncture treatments may be administered annually.


2020 Medicare Acupuncture Fee Schedule