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WEAMA Legislative Alert Regarding PT Dry Needling Sunrise Review

December 15, 2016 1:48 PM | Anonymous member

Dear WEAMA Member,
As you are aware, the Department of Health (DOH) released thePhysical Therapist Dry Needling Sunrise Review Final Report. We support the DOH’s recommendation “that the applicant’s proposal as submitted to add dry needling to the physical therapy scope of practice does not meet the sunrise criteria for increasing a profession’s scope of practice.”

What WEAMA is concerned about is that there was a significant change between the draft report released to the public and final Sunrise Review report. The Sunrise Review Committee removed many clauses and facts, the exclusion of which we believe will give erroneous and misleading information and recommendations to the legislature for future legislation. At this time, we have been informed by key legislators that the Physical Therapy Association of WA will not be running dry needling legislation in 2017. That said, this report does pave the way for future legislation on dry needling. 

We ask that you send your local legislator the message below with your name and the attachments included with this message which are: WEAMA Letter to Senator Becker, Chair of the Senate Health Care committee with a cc: to House Health Care leadership, the Governor’s Office and Department of Health. The other is an article entitled “Evidence That Dry Needling Is the Intent to Bypass Regulation to Practice Acupuncture in the United States”. 

To find out who and how to contact your local legislators, please go toFind Your District and enter your home address (not your business) and your legislator’s information will pop up. Click on the link to their name and it will take you to their contact information. This may be a new issue for some legislators who are not on the health care committees so we provide additional background information in the letter below. Just a reminder to always be respectful and courteous when working with legislators and their assistants! 

Finally, please download the following files mentioned in the letter below at the and include as attachments to your letter:
1. Letter from WEAMA 
regarding specific concerns regarding the final Physical Therapist Dry Needling Sunrise Review:  http://bit.ly/2h5IRlW

2. Evidence that Dry Needling is the Attempt to Bypass Regulation: http://bit.ly/2gP0p9S


_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear Senator/Representative, (Insert correct name and title)

My name is ________________and I live in your district and am a licensed and practicing East Asian Medicine Practitioner (Acupuncturist). I am writing to make you aware of an issue of great concern for acupuncturists in Washington State. Efforts to rename acupuncture as “dry needling” so other professions can bypass the extensive training and clinical hours required to insert filiform acupuncture needles into their patients is a significant public safety concern for our profession and the public. Acupuncturists are required to take around 1,500 hours of training and clinical supervision and pass a national exam to become licensed to practice in our state. These requirements have protected the public quite well as there is a very low complaint/injury rate for acupuncturists regulated by DOH. This is a highly skilled procedure and adverse events for inadequately trained practitioners are a serious health risk.

If you are not familiar with the issue I would like to provide a little background information. For a number of years’ physical therapists in Washington state have been unlawfully performing acupuncture under the nomenclature “dry needling” with a weekend class for training. A lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court where it was determined that dry needling is not in the physical therapist (PT) scope of practice and was further confirmed in an Attorney General Opinion requested by Representative Eileen Cody, Health Care Committee Chair.http://www.atg.wa.gov/ago-opinions/scope-practice-physical-therapyA bill to allow PT dry needling was introduced in the 2016 legislative session died in the Senate Health Care committee. SB 6374 

The chair of the Senate Health Care Committee, Senator Randi Becker requested a Sunrise Review from the Department of Health (DOH) to review the SB 6374. Here is a link to the : DOH Sunrise Review if you are unfamiliar with the process. Here is a link to thePhysical Therapist Dry Needling Sunrise Review Final Report. 

The final draft of the Physical Therapist Dry Needling Sunrise Review was submitted to the legislature on December 1st, 2016. I agree with the DOH findings of the review that the proposal does not meet the Sunrise Review Criteria for increasing a professions scope of practice and appreciate all the hard work that went into the creation of this document which is over 700 pages long due to the extensive comments from the public. 

I am very concerned that there was a significant change between the draft report released to the public and final Sunrise Review report. The Sunrise Review Committee removed many clauses and facts, the exclusion of which I believe will give erroneous and misleading information and recommendations to the legislature. I am attaching a letter from my state professional association, the WA East Asian Medicine Association (WEAMA) regarding specific concerns regarding the final Physical Therapist Dry Needling Sunrise Review and an article on “Evidence That Dry Needling Is the Intent to Bypass Regulation to Practice Acupuncture in the United States” for your review.

If this proposal should move forward legislatively at some point, I would appreciate your consideration of my concerns regarding this issue. I would be happy to discuss further. 

Thank you.

Sincerely