covers up to 12 acupuncture visits in 90 days for chronic low back pain.
Medicare covers an additional 8 sessions if you show improvement. If you aren't showing improvement, Medicare won't cover your additional treatments and they should be discontinued. You can get a maximum of 20 acupuncture treatments in a 12-month period.
Not all providers can give acupuncture. Medicare doesn't cover acupuncture (including dry needling) for any condition other than chronic low back pain.
After you meet the Part B deductible, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount.
Acupuncture is a technique where providers stimulate specific points on the body, most often by inserting thin needles through the skin.
Chronic low back pain is defined as:
- Lasting 12 weeks or longer
- Not having an identifiable cause (for example, not an identifiable disease like cancer that has spread, or an infectious or inflammatory disease)
- Pain that isn't associated with surgery or pregnancy
You must get acupuncture from a doctor, or by another health care provider (like a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) who has both of these:
- A masters or doctoral level degree in acupuncture or Oriental Medicine from a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- A current, full, active, and unrestricted license to practice acupuncture in the state where you're getting care