Reprinted with permission of TCM World Foundation from TCM World, vol. 2, No. 2, Spring 2000

TCM Business

Update from the Office of the NYS Board for Acupuncture

The Office of the New York State Board for Acupuncture has received many inquiries concerning the legality of chiropractic and physical therapy offices employing licensed acupuncturists. The office has also received questions regarding the supervision of acupuncture detox specialists. It is important that all licensed acupuncturists understand the laws and regulations concerning their practice in New York State.

Question: May a licensed acupuncturist work for a licensed chiropractor?
Answer: No. A chiropractor may not employ an acupuncturist. A chiropractor may not pay a salary to provide acupuncture services. Neither may that chiropractor pay an acupuncturist on an hourly or contractual basis.

Question: May someone who is dually licensed as a chiropractor and an acupuncturist employ a licensed acupuncturist?
Answer: Yes. A licensed acupuncturist may hire or contract with another licensed acupuncturist.

Question: May a licensed acupuncturist rent space in a chiropractor’s office?
Answer: Yes. An acupuncturist may rent space in a chiropractor’s office, but may not split fees with the chiropractor. Further, the chiropractor and acupuncture practices must be held out separately to the public as separate businesses.
1) Joe is a licensed chiropractor. He is not an acupuncturist. Mary is a licensed acupuncturist. Joe may not hire Mary to provide acupuncture services in his office. Joe is allowed to rent office space to Mary, but Mary must do her own billing. Mary cannot agree to pay part of her patient income to Joe as part of their business arrangement.
2) Dorothy is a NYS licensed chiropractor. She is also licensed in NYS as an acupuncturist. John is a NYS licensed acupuncturist. Dorothy may hire John to provide acupuncture services in her office. Dorothy may pay John an hourly wage to provide acupuncture services in her office. In this situation, Dorothy must maintain two separate businesses, and it is the acupuncture business that may hire or contract with John. Dorothy may rent space to John in her office. Dorothy and John cannot have an agreement that, in addition to paying rent, John will pay Dorothy a percentage of his patient income in return for patient referrals.

Question: What if a licensed physical therapist wants to hire an acupuncturist?
Answer: The same rules apply as for a chiropractor. A licensed acupuncturist may only be employed by another licensed or certified acupuncturist, a NYS licensed hospital, clinic or nursing home, or an HMO. An acupuncturist may not be employed by a spa, health food store, a person who is not authorized to practice acupuncture, or any private business entity.

Question: May acupuncture detox specialists provide acupuncture detox services in facilities other than Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) or Department of health (DOH) facilities?
Answer: No.

Question: Can a licensed acupuncturist supervise an acupuncture detox specialist in a facility other than one authorized by OASAS or DOH?
Answer: No.

Questions? Contact Ronnie Hasuheer at the New York State Board for Acupuncture. Phone (518) 473-0221. E-mail:



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Acupuncture Society of New York
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