|OCOM Research Students Leading the Way: AOM Research Results in Expanded Use of Acupuncture Under Oregon Health Plan|
As a result of the research conducted by OCOM students and presented to the Oregon Health Services Commission (HSC) by the Oregon Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (OAAOM), new conditions have just been authorized for the use of acupuncture under the Oregon Health Plan. These additions include the use of acupuncture for pregnancy, mild to moderate depression and mood disorders, migraines, and tension headaches.
The students were enrolled between 2010 and 2011 in the Health Care Public Policy Group, one of several group research projects in the Oriental Medicine Research (OMR) Project course. They were mentored by Shelley Stump, JD, Planning, Operations and Assessment Officer and by Ryan Milley, MAcOM, LAc, the OMR course instructor. The students utilized the OCOM AcuTrials® database, which is the most comprehensive collection of randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews in the English language, to compile and summarize the research evidence supporting the use of acupuncture for these conditions. Their summaries were subsequently presented to the Oregon Services Commission by Ryan Milley and Laura Ocker, MAcOM, LAc, President of the OAAOM Board of Directors. Ocker is an OCOM alum.
The current OMR Health Care Public Policy students are working on research related to more conditions: osteoarthritis, neck pain, and possibly neuralgia/low back pain. The research they summarize will be submitted to OAAOM for submission to the new Health Evidence Review Commission (previously HSC) for consideration in their revision to the prioritized list in 2014. The current student group is also working on ways to "get the word out” about these efforts to LAcs and MDs in Oregon and to the AOM community nationally.
Finally, based on Laura Ocker's work before the HSC last year, she has been appointed to the Values Based Benefits Subcommittee of the Health Evidence Review Commission. Congratulations to Laura Ocker, who will continue to provide strong connection to this process for future enhancements to the use of acupuncture in the public health arena.