National Coverage Determination (NCD)



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Tracking Information

Publication Number
Manual Section Number
Manual Section Title
Version Number
Effective Date of this Version
Implementation Date

Description Information

Benefit Category
Incident to a physician's professional Service
Inpatient Hospital Services
Outpatient Hospital Services Incident to a Physician's Service
Physicians' Services

Please Note: This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.

Item/Service Description

A. General

Acupuncture is the selection and manipulation of specific acupuncture points by a variety of needling and non-needling techniques.

Indications and Limitations of Coverage

B. Nationally Covered Indications

Effective for claims with dates of service on and after January 21, 2020, acupuncture is only covered for chronic low back pain under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act). See National Coverage Determination section 30.3.3 for specific coverage criteria.

C. Nationally Non-Covered Indications

Medicare reimbursement for acupuncture, as an anesthetic, or as an analgesic or for other therapeutic purposes, may not be made unless the specific indication is excepted. All indications for acupuncture outside of NCD section 30.3.3 remain non-covered.

D. Other


(This NCD last reviewed January 2020.)

Claims Processing Instructions

Transmittal Information

Transmittal Number
Revision History

05/2020 - The purpose of this change request is to inform MACs that CMS will cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain (cLBP) effective for claims with dates of service on and after January 21, 2020. (TN 10128) (CR11755)

National Coverage Analyses (NCAs)

This NCD has been or is currently being reviewed under the National Coverage Determination process. The following are existing associations with NCAs, from the National Coverage Analyses database.

Additional Information

Other Versions
Title Version Effective Between
Acupuncture 2 01/21/2020 - N/A You are here
Acupuncture 1 01/01/1966 - 01/21/2020 View