March 17, 2007

First Exchange Bank
216 Fairmont Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554

Start Time: 1:00 PM

Board Members Present:
M. Hollinger
B. S. Love
C. P. Negri
D. E. Samples

Board Member Absent:

M. deStefano

Public Registered to Speak:

James Slaymaker, L. Ac., Morgantown

1. Call to order and Quorum count – Board members were advised that for the WV Board of Acupuncture a quorum is three people present. The meeting started at 1:00 with a call to order by C. P. Negri. D. Samples noted that a quorum was present.

Board Members were advised and reminded that WV has an open meeting law, which allows any member of the public or press to be present at any official meeting. The public or press can only observe under normal procedures. The public or press can address, question or present only with permission from the Chairman and pre-registration prior to the start of the meeting.

2. D. Samples moved and M. Hollinger seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting and review of 2006 Annual Report. These are posted on the web site.

3. Regular Business of the Board was then discussed as follows:

Officers’ Reports

3A. President C P Negri: Current Status and Complaint Report

C. P. Negri explained the complexities and difficulties still encountered regarding the issue of a wall certificate for licensees. The members were informed of the procedure involved in license issuance, which involves several steps. Currently, D. Samples contacts the applicant’s school or college and/or the NCAAOM to verify graduation and/or examination. The WV Code provides for five different routes of licensure, which require different procedures of verification. C. P. Negri has been interviewing the applicants, either in person or by phone.

A discussion about changes to the application procedure followed, without a motion to change the procedure. It was agreed that each member would consider what steps could be taken to improve the process. Procedure changes regarding applications were tabled until the next meeting.

C. P. Negri reported on a matter regarding a WV licensee, Paul Reinhart, on whom correspondence was initiated by the Florida Board of Acupuncture. The Florida Board notified the West Virginia Board that the applicant had withdrawn his application for licensure in Florida. On review of the Florida Board’s official agenda, it was determined that the individual was not denied a license and his West Virginia license is intact and in good standing.

A discussion about the obligation of the WV Board regarding actions by other boards of acupuncture followed. The members reviewed the WV Code and the WV CSR to determine if any obligation was mandated in statute or rule. The Board found no specific instructions. It was moved by M. Hollinger and seconded by S. Love that the Board work to resolve this issue.

C. P. Negri explained that the Board has acted on one complaint during the month of January, 2007, regarding an unlicensed practitioner in Spencer, WV. The individual in question advertised in an Internet site that he was a licensed acupuncturist, but was not licensed by this Board. Investigation did not find any license in any jurisdiction surveyed. The Board attempted to contact this person by certified mail which failed due to the fact that he had moved and left no forwarding address. D.E. Samples communicated with the police authorities in the area to determine his whereabouts with no success. The Complaint Committee will continue to monitor the situation and take additional action if the person is found in WV.

A discussion about the legality of so-called “Telemedicine” or “e-commerce” and the Board’s ability to regulate this activity followed. The WV Code and WV CSR were reviewed. S. Love moved and M. Hollinger seconded a motion to seek a change to the practice act to allow the Board to enforce the practice of “telemedicine.”

3B. Treasurer M deStefano: Budget Report

Due to the weather, M. deStefano could not attend and no budget report was given. There was a discussion by the Board members concerning fixed costs for the Board. The Board will attempt to develop a list and amount for fixed costs before the next meeting. The list should include:

Board Liability Insurance (BRIM)
Telephone (Verizon)
Web site
Accounting and operations (WV Dept of Administration)

The Board was reminded that a significant portion of the Budget is set aside to cover expenses in any legal action that the Board may take against a licensee or unlicensed practitioner.

C. P. Negri presented the Board with a letter of insurance from the Board of Risk and Insurance Management (BRIM) which noted a fee increase for the next year. The Board members were informed about why the Board is insured by BRIM. The members reviewed the letter of invoice from BRIM.

It was moved by B. S. Love and seconded by M. Hollinger to accept and pay the invoice. Motion carried.

The Board members requested a review of the web site costs for a future meeting.

3C. Secretary D E Samples: Legislative Session Update

The Board received copies of HB2380 (regarding the exemption of homeopathic drugs from consumers sales tax) and HB2526 (relating to allowing acupuncturists to form professional limited liability companies). Both bills passed the 2007 Legislative Session. The Board also received a copy of the tax code, WV Code 11-15B-2 (12-14), to explain the definitions found in HB2380.

The Board, being a division of the Executive Department, remained neutral on all legislation in the 2007 Legislative Session.

4. Old business- please refer to the minutes from the past meetings.

Telephone Directory Advertising Issue – Who can advertise under the heading of “Acupuncturist” in WV? Do we allow the WVAOM push for listing under “Muscle Therapy?”

A discussion about yellow page advertising, and advertising in general followed, and the Board’s obligation regarding the protection of the public. C. P. Negri noted that the Yellow Pages heading “Muscle Therapy” refers to massage therapists and physical therapists, but not to acupuncturists. After discussion of the relative merits of petitioning for a change to that heading, and the placing of separate ads in the Yellow Pages, he volunteered to determine the associated costs of the Board placing an advertisement in each of the major telephone directories, which would have the Board’s contact information. This will be reviewed at a future meeting.

5. New business.

5A. Licensee Audit for professional liability and continuing education;

The Board was given copies of the new proposed Audit form regarding licensee’s professional liability insurance and continuing education credits. The Audit form was prepared by D. Samples. It was explained that each licensees signs an affidavit regarding these items when renewing. The Board is obligated by its rule, 32CSR9, to audit for compliance.

It was moved to accept the form by B. S. Love and seconded by C. P. Negri. Motion carried.

5B. File Sanitization of licensee files.

The Board was given a proposed letter to be sent to the licensees regarding file sanitization of the licensee files. The proposed letter was prepared by D. Samples. During the discussion the Board was informed as to what information it must collect by code on each licensee and why such information can not be released to the public, even with a freedom of information request.

It was moved to accept the proposed letter by B. S. Love and seconded by C. P. Negri. Motion carried.

The Board was given a proposed “Confidential File” to be sent to each licensee which would be privileged information required to be on file. The “Confidential File” form was prepared by D. Samples. Once the form is returned by the licensee the information would be removed from the licensee file which is public information.

A discussion regarding changing the original application document followed. It was suggested to remove the “confidential information” from the application and attached the “confidential file” to the original application document. C. P. Negri agreed to restructure the application document for the Board.

It was moved to accept the “Confidential File” and to restructure the original application document to reflect the change by B. S. Love and seconded by C. P. Negri. Motion carried. C. P. Negri agreed to complete this process.

It was moved to create a checklist to be added to the original application document to reflect the changes in the application process by M. Hollinger and seconded by B. S. Love. Motion carried. D. Samples agreed to create the checklist update.

5C. It was brought to the Board’s attention by J. Slaymaker that the Board rule regarding continuing education credits was confusing. The Board reviewed the WV Code and the CSR regarding the language concerning CME/CEU.

The Board members were informed about the procedure for proposed legislative rules, procedural rules changes or additions to the Boards current CSR. The Board understands that any new or changed rule must have a thirty-day comment period followed by a response from the Board. New or changed rules must be submitted to the Legislative Rule Making Review Committee prior to August 1, 2007 in order to be taken up during the 2008 Legislative Session.

A discussion regarding the language of 32CSR9-7.1 and 32CSR9-7.2 followed. It was suggested that the Board correct the language to more clearly reflect the actual intent of the Board and the policy, which has been enforced for the past ten years. D. Samples agreed to speak with the Board’s attorney and have a proposed correction for the next Board meeting.

B. S. Love and M. Hollinger concurred with reviewing 32CSR6-10.2, 32CRS3-16.1 and 32CSR3-16.2 for possible changes. D. Samples agreed to speak with the Board’s attorney and have a proposed correction for the next Board meeting.

It was moved by M. Hollinger and seconded by B. S. Love that the 32CSR6-10.2; 32CRS3-16.1; 32CSR3-16.2; 32CSR9-7.1 and 32CSR9-7.2 be corrected and sent to the Legislative Review Committee for approval. Motion carried.

5D. The Board is up for sunset review this year by the Legislative Audit Review Committee (Michael Keeney 304 347-4890 and 304 347-4939 fax) and the practice act must be re-enacted in the WV 2008 Regular Legislative Session. The practice act terminates on July 2008 without legislative re-enactment.

The Board discussed the Audit and it was explained that each member of the Board should participate. The Board will take up suggestions by the Legislative Audit Review team at its next meeting.

5E. Proposed changes to the practice act.

A discussion of any proposed changes to the practice act followed. The suggestions of the Legislative Audit Review Committee would be taken up at another meeting. A review of the WV Code was made. Several proposals were voiced regarding possible ways to strengthen the Board’s ability to enforce the Code and to create a stronger method of ensuring public safety. None of these measures were prepared or associated with written proposals.

The motion was made to table any proposed changes to the Code until the Board has input from the Legislative Audit Committee by B. S. Love and seconded by M. Hollinger. Motion carried.

6. Public comment. The Chairman opened the floor for public comment. One presenter present, James Slaymaker, L. Ac., from Morgantown. He was advised that the Board can choose to respond or take the comment under advisement to be discussed latter.

The Board members were advised that under the terms of WV Open Meeting Law, given the nature of the Board, there will be no closed sessions or secret votes.

Comment notes provided by M. Hollinger as follows:

During the public comment period of the Board meeting, James Slaymaker presented the following points for the board's consideration:

1) Early notification to all practitioners of the board meetings
2) Accurate representation of all practitioners' titles (i.e., Licensed Acupuncturist, OMD, etc.). He requested that his title designation on the licensee list be changed to L.Ac.
3) Question regarding CEU provider status; both payment for and offering and confirmation of taking such units.
4) Budgetary issues
5) Notification to each licensee as soon as the license has been approved
6) Regularization of board meetings with respect to posted dates
7) Question about attendance at the State training sessions for board members (especially officers)
8) Possibility of state inspection
9) Relationship of massage vis-à-vis acupuncture certifications
10) Requirement of jurisprudence training for licensees

The Board noted the questions but took no immediate action. The Board members recognized the value of the comments made and will investigate possible solutions, since James Slaymaker did not offer any proposed solutions to the questions raised. Proposed solutions tabled.

The Board recognizes the need for another meeting in the very near future to address the public comments and the proposed legislative rule changes.

The meeting was adjourned by C. P. Negri.