Legislation

Acupuncture Licensure in Kentucky

Acupuncturists are governed by The Kentucky Board of Medical Li​censure (KBML). The board licenses physicians, physician assistants, acupuncturists and athletic trainers as well as certifies surgical assistants. The Board’s mission is to ensure that only qualified practitioners are licensed in Kentucky to fulfill their role in protecting the public.  

 Authenticity of Licensure

When choosing a practitioner, you may verify licensure through The Board’s web site by entering the practitioner’s name or license number. The license number is issued by The Board upon determining successful eligibility for licensing. You can obtain the license number from a document that should be prominently displayed in the practitioner’s office, or by asking for the number itself. Often it is also displayed on the practitioner’s web site or other advertisements. Any reputable practitioner will be happy to provide it upon request.

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Jeffrey C. Russell, AC015

Verification of licensure ensures that the practitioner has met a minimum of the training standards regarded essential for standard practice. Training includes education with approved course work, hours of class time and hours of supervised clinical experience. There are requirements for hours of continuing education after formal training is completed.

Law Governing Violations

Please note that having a document of licensure displayed does not ensure its authenticity, or the practitioner’s current good standing with The Board. Licensure can be suspended or revoked at any time it is determined that a practitioner has met any of the following conditions:
1. Knowingly made or presented or caused to be made or presented any false, fraudulent, or forged statement, writing, certificate, diploma, or other document relating to an application for licensure;
2. Practiced, aided, or abetted in the practice of fraud, forgery, deception, collusion, or conspiracy relating to an examination for licensure;
3. Entered a guilty or nolo contendere plea, or been convicted, by any court within or without the Commonwealth of Kentucky, of committing an act which is or would be a felony under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky or of the United States;
4. Entered a guilty or nolo contendere plea, or been convicted, by any court within or without the Commonwealth of Kentucky, of any misdemeanor offense which has dishonesty as a fundamental and necessary element, including but not limited to crimes involving theft, embezzlement, false swearing, perjury, fraud, or misrepresentation;
5. Become addicted to, or is an abuser of, alcohol, drugs, or any illegal substance;
6. Developed a physical or mental disability or other condition that presents a danger in continuing to practice acupuncture to patients, the public, or other health-care personnel;
7. Knowingly made, caused to be made, or aided or abetted in the making of a false statement in any document executed in connection with the practice of acupuncture;
8. Aided, assisted, or abetted the unlawful practice of medicine or acupuncture;
9. Willfully violated a confidential communication;
10. Performed the services of an acupuncturist in an unprofessional, incompetent, or grossly or chronically negligent manner;
11. Been removed, suspended, expelled, or placed on probation by any health-care facility or professional society for unprofessional conduct, incompetence, negligence, or violation of any provision of this section;
12. Violated any applicable provision of a statute or administrative regulation relating to acupuncture practice;
13. Violated any term of a final order or agreed order issued by the board; or

14. Failed to complete the required number of hours of approved continuing education.

–Written admonishment — Other disciplinary proceedings. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/statute.aspx?id=43061

Law Governing Sanctions

In the event that a practitioner is found to have met any of the conditions above, the following may occur:
(1) The board may:
(a) Revoke a license;
(b) Suspend a license for a period not to exceed five (5) years;
(c) Deny an application for a license;
(d) Decline to renew a license;
(e) Indefinitely restrict or limit a license;
(f) Issue a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) per violation and/or the costs of the proceedings;
(g) Place a license on probation for a period not to exceed five (5) years;
(h) Reprimand the acupuncturist; or
(i) Impose any combination of such sanctions–from 311.684 Revocation of license
— Written admonishment — Other disciplinary proceedings. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/statute.aspx?id=43061

Law Governing Disciplinary Action

According to The Board: All disciplinary proceedings against an acupuncturist shall be conducted in accordance with KRS 311.591, 311.592, 311.593, 311.599, and KRS Chapter 13B and related administrative regulations promulgated under KRS Chapter 311.
Disciplinary actions are taken as follows:
The board may issue a written admonishment to the licensed acupuncturist when, in the judgment of the board:
1. An alleged violation is not of a serious nature; and
2. The evidence presented to the board after the investigation, including an appropriate opportunity for the licensed acupuncturist to respond, provides a clear indication that the alleged violation did in fact occur.
(b) A copy of the admonishment shall be placed in the permanent file of the licensed acupuncturist.
(c) The licensed acupuncturist shall have the right to file a response to the admonishment within thirty (30) days of its receipt and to have the response placed in the permanent licensure file.
(d) The licensed acupuncturist may alternatively, within thirty (30) days of the admonishment’s receipt, file a request for a hearing with the board. (e) Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, the board shall set aside the written admonishment and set the matter for a hearing under the provisions of KRS Chapter 13B.
(4) At any time during the investigative or hearing processes, the board may enter into an agreed order or accept an assurance of voluntary compliance with the licensed acupuncturist which effectively deals with the complaint.
(5) The board may, upon the agreement of the aggrieved party, use mediation to handle disciplinary matters. The board may appoint any member or members of the board, any staff member, or any other person or combination thereof to serve in the mediation process.
(6) The board may reconsider, modify, or reverse its disciplinary actions–from 311.684 Revocation of license
— Written admonishment — Other disciplinary proceedings. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/statute.aspx?id=43061
Jeffrey Russell is an acupuncturist in the Louisville area. He was instrumental in work to establish licensure for acupuncturists in Kentucky. You can learn more about his training and work in Chinese Medicine here.
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He is available at his clinic, Abacus Chinese Medicine. You can reach him at 502 299-8900 to discuss how acupuncture may be beneficial for you.