Proposal to Cover Acupuncture in Medicare

July 23, 2019


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing coverage of acupuncture for Medicare patients with chronic low back pain who are enrolled participants either in clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health or in CMS-approved studies. Acupuncture is not currently otherwise covered under Medicare. This is part of CMS’s larger effort to find and support alternatives to opioids for pain management.  There is a 30-day comment period for this proposal with comments due August 14, 2019. While the initial coverage would be limited, it opens the door for new coverage and future expansion.


For more information, visit the McDermottPlus Payment Innovation Resource Center or contact Sheila Madhani at +1 202 204 1459 or

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