In New Zealand, acupuncture has been covered by the ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) since the 1990s when Members of Acupuncture NZ (then known as The New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists Inc) became the sole treatment providers for this treatment modality. There are now over 800 Members of Acupuncture NZ throughout New Zealand providing acupuncture treatment for people who have had injuries.
Please note that the acupuncture provided under ACC can only be for treatment related to the injury and the rehabilitation for that specific injury. This means that you can’t have acupuncture for any other personal health issues when being treated with acupuncture under the ACC system for a specific injury. To clarify in an example, if you come in for treatment for an elbow sprain and also suffer from migraines, only the elbow can be treated under ACC.
Most injuries are covered by ACC and acupuncture, such as for example back sprain, tennis elbow and calf sprain.
If your injury is more than one year old, prior approval to be covered by acupuncture under ACC will need to be confirmed. This will involve an initial consultation and assessment from the acupuncturist and forms and copies of notes will need to be sent to ACC for approval for treatment. The decision from ACC can take up to 3 months and in most instances old injuries are declined and hence the policy of the clinic is not to go through the process.
ACC will cover you for 16 acupuncture sessions and after that course of treatment an extension of treatment may be applied for.
Acupuncturists can not initiate the ACC number for the injury and patients are asked to go to their GP for the assessment, diagnosis and lodgment of the ACC number.