Subdivision 1. Licensure required. Except as provided under subdivision 4, it is unlawful for any person to engage in the practice of acupuncture without a valid license after June 30, 1997. Each licensed acupuncture practitioner shall conspicuously display the license in the place of practice.
Subd. 2. Designation. A person licensed under this chapter shall use the title of licensed acupuncturist or L.Ac. following the person's name in all forms of advertising, professional literature, and billings. A person may not, in the conduct of an occupation or profession pertaining to the practice of acupuncture or in connection with the person's name, use the words or letters licensed acupuncturist, Minnesota licensed acupuncturist, or any other words, letters, abbreviations, or insignia indicating or implying that a person is an acupuncturist without a license issued under this section. A student attending an acupuncture training program must be identified as a student acupuncturist.
Subd. 3. Penalty. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to discipline under section 147.091.
Subd. 4. Exceptions. (a) The following persons may practice acupuncture within the scope of their practice without an acupuncture license:
(1) a physician licensed under chapter 147;
(2) an osteopath licensed under chapter 147;
(3) a chiropractor licensed under chapter 148;
(4) a person who is studying in a formal course of study or tutorial intern program approved by the acupuncture advisory council established in section 147B.05 so long as the person's acupuncture practice is supervised by a licensed acupuncturist;
(5) a visiting acupuncturist practicing acupuncture within an instructional setting for the sole purpose of teaching at a school registered with the Minnesota higher education services office, who may practice without a license for a period of one year, with two one-year extensions permitted; and
(6) a visiting acupuncturist who is in the state for the sole purpose of providing a tutorial or workshop not to exceed 30 days in one calendar year.
(b) This chapter does not prohibit a person who does not have an acupuncturist license from practicing specific noninvasive techniques, such as acupressure, that are within the scope of practice as set forth in section 147B.06, subdivision 4.
Subd. 5. Licensure by equivalency during transitional period. (a) From July 1, 1995, to June 30, 1997, a person may qualify for licensure if the person has engaged in acupuncture practice for at least three years in the period from July 1, 1991, to June 30, 1995, with at least 500 patient visits in each of the three years with at least 100 different patients. Acupuncture practice must be the primary means of treatment, not an adjunctive therapy. The person must also provide documentation of successful completion of a clean needle technique course approved by the acupuncture advisory board and provide documentation of practice through at least four of the following methods:
(1) original notarized letters from employers specifying the dates and hours worked, nature of the practice, and number of visits;
(2) notarized affidavits from a minimum of 20 patients with current phone numbers and addresses for each, specifying the time period of treatment and the nature of the treatment;
(3) notarized affidavits from at least two other health care professionals, state or local acupuncture or Oriental medicine associations, schools or colleges, with testimony based on personal knowledge regarding the dates, volume, scope, and type of practice;
(4) notarized affidavits from at least two other members within the community with testimony based on personal knowledge regarding the dates, volume, scope, and type of practice; and
(5) notarized copies of patient records. The person must also meet any other requirements established by the board.
(b) All documentation submitted in a foreign language must be accompanied by an accurate translation in English. Each translated document must bear the affidavit of the translator certifying that the translator is competent in both the language of the document and in the English language and that the translation is true and a complete translation of the foreign language original and must be sworn before a notary public. Translation of any document relative to a person's application is at the expense of the applicant.
(c) Application for licensure under this subdivision must be submitted to the board from July 1, 1995, to June 30, 1997. All of the required patient visits must have been completed before application for licensure.
Subd. 6. License by reciprocity. The board shall issue an acupuncture license to a person who holds a current license or certificate as an acupuncturist from another jurisdiction if the board determines that the standards for certification or licensure in the other jurisdiction meet or exceed the requirements for licensure in Minnesota and a letter is received from that jurisdiction that the acupuncturist is in good standing in that jurisdiction.
Subd. 7. Licensure requirements. (a) After June 30, 1997, an applicant for licensure must:
(1) submit a completed application for licensure on forms provided by the board, which must include the applicant's name and address of record, which shall be public;
(2) unless licensed under subdivision 5 or 6, submit a notarized copy of a current NCCAOM certification;
(3) sign a statement that the information in the application is true and correct to the best of the applicant's knowledge and belief;
(4) submit with the application all fees required; and
(5) sign a waiver authorizing the board to obtain access to the applicant's records in this state or any state in which the applicant has engaged in the practice of acupuncture.
(b) The board may ask the applicant to provide any additional information necessary to ensure that the applicant is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety to the public.
(c) The board may investigate information provided by an applicant to whether the information is accurate and complete. The board shall notify an applicant of action taken on the application and the reasons for denying licensure if licensure is denied.
Subd. 8. Licensure expiration. Licenses issued under this section expire annually.
Subd. 9. Renewal. (a) To renew a license an applicant must:
(1) annually, or as determined by the board, complete a renewal application on a form provided by the board;
(2) submit the renewal fee;
(3) provide evidence annually of one hour of continuing education in the subject of infection control, including blood borne pathogen diseases;
(4) provide documentation of current and active NCCAOM certification; or
(5) if licensed under subdivision 5 or 6, meet one-half the then current NCCAOM professional development activity requirements.
(b) An applicant shall submit any additional information requested by the board to clarify information presented in the renewal application. The information must be submitted within 30 days after the board's request, or the renewal request is nullified.
Subd. 10. Licensure renewal notice. At least 30 days before the license renewal date, the board shall send out a renewal notice to the last known address of the licensee. The notice must include a renewal application and a notice of fees required for renewal. If the licensee does not receive a renewal notice, the licensee must still meet the requirements for registration renewal under this section.
Subd. 11. Renewal deadline. The renewal application and fee must be postmarked on or before June 30 of the year of renewal or as determined by the board.
Subd. 12. Inactive status. (a) A license may be placed in inactive status upon application to the board and upon payment of an inactive status fee. The board may not renew or restore a license that has lapsed and has not been renewed within two annual license renewal cycles.
(b) An inactive license may be reactivated by the license holder upon application to the board. A licensee whose license is canceled for nonrenewal must obtain a new license by applying for licensure and fulfilling all the requirements then in existence for the initial license to practice acupuncture in the state of Minnesota. The application must include:
(1) evidence of current and active NCCAOM certification;
(2) evidence of the certificate holder's payment of an inactive status fee;
(3) an annual fee; and
(4) all back fees since previous renewal.
(c) A person licensed under subdivision 5 who has allowed the license to reach inactive status must become NCCAOM certified.
Subd. 13. Temporary permit. The board may issue a temporary permit to practice acupuncture to an applicant eligible for licensure under this section only if the application for licensure is complete, all applicable requirements in this section have been met, and a nonrefundable fee set by the board has been paid. The permit remains valid only until the meeting of the board at which a decision is made on the acupuncturist's application for licensure.