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Should Costs Matter?

Little Hover Commission 2004

Regulation of Acupuncture: A Complementary Therapy Framework

In UC's survey, the greatest criticism of the approval process pertained to the fees charged by ACAOM. And UC calculated that a school could spend 10 times as much on fees to ACAOM over a 10-year period than it would pay to the Acupuncture Board.

From a public policy perspective, the cost to schools should only be a significant consideration if fees resulted in significantly higher tuition, which might result in fewer new entrants into the marketplace.

But from a practical standpoint, even schools in California choose to be approved by the board and accredited by ACAOM, because of the benefits to students and the schools. The costs to schools would not be increased if the State were to rely more on ACAOM, and in fact the total expenses should decrease because presumably California's fees could be reduced to reflect the board's significantly lower expenditures.

Conversely, even California's modest fees could prevent qualified candidates from taking the examination in California. While many out-of-state schools have opted to be California-approved, some have not, ostensibly because of the added cost. And their graduates have complained that California discriminates against them by not allowing them to take the examination. Presumably, if the examination is functioning adequately, passage should indicate that the potential licensee has the knowledge, skills and abilities for safe practice in California. The California Bar Examination uses this strategy for licensure.



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