Medicaid expanding acupuncture to combat opioid epidemic - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Medicaid expanding acupuncture to combat opioid epidemic

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ohio -

Beginning with the new year, an alternative pain management method will be expanded under Ohio's Medicaid program, in an effort to curb the reliance on opioid painkillers. 

An amendment to Ohio's Medicaid Covered Services will change the way that patients can use acupuncture treatment for pain management. 

One year ago, Ohio Medicaid began covering acupuncture services if the treatment was done by a physician. 

However, a new expansion, signed in July by Governor John Kasich will allow Medicaid patients to receive acupuncture treatment by licensed non-physician acupuncturists. 

In 2016 alone, more than 631,000,000 doses of opioid painkillers were distributed across the state of Ohio. 

According to the Ohio Department of Health, an Ohioan dies every two hours from an unintentional drug overdose, 63% of those who die from unintentional overdose had a prescription for a controlled substance within the past year.

Ohio's prescription guidelines suggest that doctors should try, whenever possible, to try alternative healthcare methods such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy, and many others. 

Earlier this year, the American College of Physicians issued a report finding that acupuncture was more successful in clinical trials for treating certain back pain and ailments like migraines than the use of opioid painkillers. 

According to the Ohio Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Ohio is the first state in the Midwest to provide Medicaid recipients access to covered acupuncture benefits.

"As rates of addiction to, and deaths from, prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone continue to rise, awareness and incorporation of effective, non-pharmacological, non-invasive therapies like acupuncture is more important than ever," said Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., CAE, Chief Executive Officer of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and  Oriental Medicine. 

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • White House called toxins contamination 'PR nightmare'

    White House called toxins contamination 'PR nightmare'

    Friday, August 17 2018 8:00 PM EDT2018-08-18 00:00:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke). In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo, Lauren Woehr hands her 16-month-old daughter Caroline, held by her husband Dan McDowell, a cup filled with bottled water at their home in Horsham, Pa. In Horsham and surrounding towns in eastern Penns...(AP Photo/Matt Rourke). In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo, Lauren Woehr hands her 16-month-old daughter Caroline, held by her husband Dan McDowell, a cup filled with bottled water at their home in Horsham, Pa. In Horsham and surrounding towns in eastern Penns...
    Toxics used in nonstick cookware, fast-food wrappers and much more are turning up in public water systems in dozens of states.More >>
    Toxics used in nonstick cookware, fast-food wrappers and much more are turning up in public water systems in dozens of states.More >>
  • Outdoor fun dwindles as smoky haze hangs over California

    Outdoor fun dwindles as smoky haze hangs over California

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 1:03 PM EDT2018-08-14 17:03:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/Lorin Eleni Gill). The city of Berkeley, Calif., sits in a dull, smoky haze Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The air quality has hit unhealthy levels in cities miles away as California's largest wildfire ever burns to the north.(AP Photo/Lorin Eleni Gill). The city of Berkeley, Calif., sits in a dull, smoky haze Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The air quality has hit unhealthy levels in cities miles away as California's largest wildfire ever burns to the north.
    No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region.More >>
    No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region.More >>
  • Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

    Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 11:01 AM EDT2018-08-14 15:01:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 file photo, Alex Jones, center right, is escorted by police out of a crowd of protesters outside the Republican convention in Cleveland. Facebook says it has taken down four pages b...(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 file photo, Alex Jones, center right, is escorted by police out of a crowd of protesters outside the Republican convention in Cleveland. Facebook says it has taken down four pages b...
    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defend company decision not to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his "Infowars" show.More >>
    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defend company decision not to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his "Infowars" show.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms