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  • Urgent WEAMA Public Policy Alert!! Posted 1/8/2018

Urgent WEAMA Public Policy Alert!! Posted 1/8/2018

January 08, 2018 3:24 PM | Shelley Dahle (Administrator)

ARNP Medical Acupuncture Advisory Opinion Approved by NCQAC without Agency Rulemaking! WEAMA requests NCQAC Repeal Decision!

We need your support and participation for an upcoming Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) Friday, January 12, 2018 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM at the Department of Health, 310 Israel Road SE, Point Plaza East, Room 152/153, Tumwater, WA 98501. To attend via webinar, please register for the meeting at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7768581101889235203

WEAMA is consulting with our attorney regarding our official position and will provide talking points soon. We wanted to make sure our membership was aware of this meeting in case you would like to attend in person. We will send out the talking points as soon as we get legal counsel on our options to repeal this decision. We also plan to contact the Governor’s Office in the near future with our concerns.

Background: Fujio McPherson, a former member of the EAMAC and a dual licensed EAMP and ARNP, submitted a proposal to the NCQAC to allow advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) in Washington state to be able to do “medical acupuncture” similar to what the medical doctors and osteopaths are allowed to do for 300 hours. He intends to teach this class to ARNPs. The NCQAC prepared an Advisory Opinion that supported Fujio’s request and passed it out of the Advanced Registered Nurses Advisory Committee. It then went to the NCQAC for approval.

NCQAC approved the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) Medical Acupuncture Advisory Opinion at their November 17th, 2018 meeting. WEAMA strongly protested the passage of this Advisory Opinion due to lack of clarity over how they would enforce it and training standards. Dr. Yang and Curt Eschels testified before the commission in opposition.

The East Asian Medicine Advisory Committee (EAMAC) also petitioned the NCQAC to begin agency rulemaking to insure adequate public review and input from stakeholders on ARNPs Practicing Medical Acupuncture. At the November 17th meeting the NCQAC denied the petition to provide rulemaking and approved the ARNP Advisory Opinion. The NCQAC sent a response back to the EAMAC denying their request for rulemaking. The last words in the response were, “they had sufficiently addressed the concerns raised by EAMAC”. WEAMA strongly disagrees.

WEAMA is concerned that the Advisory Opinion would seem to set a precedent for sharply reduced training for acupuncture by other professions. Furthermore, the opinion fails to specify any required content for acupuncture training. Not containing any substantive standards would seem to make the allowance arbitrary and leave the Commission without a sound basis to regulate nurse acupuncturists. The Opinion recommends a model “similar to the AAAOM model”, which has only vague qualitative attributes, but no quantitative standards.

NCQAC recently released the agenda for their upcoming meeting this Friday, January 12th, 2018. On the agenda is:

VII. 10:45 AM – 11:30 AM Sub-committee Report – DISCUSSION/ACTION

A. Advanced Practice – Laurie Soine, Chair 1. Acupuncture

a. Petition to write rules

b. Response

c. Advisory Opinion

There is a public comment period from:

IX. 1:00 PM – 1:15 PM Open Microphone

Open microphone is for public presentation of issues to the NCQAC. This is a very short comment period and any testimony should be 2-3 minutes.

We ask that you contact the Nursing Commission and submit written testimony or attend in person. Please ask that they submit your concerns into the NCQAC official record for the January 15, 2018 meeting. Send comments to:

Deborah Carlson, MSN, RN, Associate Director of Nursing Practice debbie.carlson@doh.wa.gov or nursing@doh.wa.gov.


Curtis Eschels, WEAMA Legislative Chair