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WEAMA LEGISLATIVE ALERT - POSTED 2/18/19

February 18, 2019 9:52 AM | Christine Opiela (Administrator)

WEAMA Legislative Alert!

Announcing a Legislative Hearing on HB 1865, Regulating Acupuncture & Eastern Medicine on February 19, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Dear Washington State Acupuncturists, East Asian Medicine Practitioners and Members:

The Washington East Asian Medicine Association (WEAMA) has been working on legislation for the past year. After many months of intensive discussions with our WEAMA Public Policy Committee members and the WEAMA Board, we were able to successfully submit legislation to be considered by the WA State Legislature.

The bill will change the name of the profession to Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine. The Chinese acupuncture community requested a name change due to historically derogatory connotations for them over the term “East Asian”. While some members may disagree, we reached a consensus in our deliberations to use the name Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Practitioner or AEMP. (L.Ac. and EAMP will be grandfathered in.) The bill will be introduced as a Substitute bill at the public hearing.

Representative Cody, the primary sponsor, related to me on Friday that the bill will not include the clarifications for needle types, acupuncture points and new substances for point injection therapy included in the original bill. The bill you see highlighted below (click on link) will be different than the bill introduced at the hearing.

The bill will be amended to be mainly a name change for the profession, includes the ability to work with DOH through rules for Continuing Education standards and misc. clean up of old language in the bill.

HB 1865 Regulating Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine has been scheduled for a public hearing in the House Health Care Committee on February 19, 2019 at 1:30 pm in the John L. O’Brien Building in House Hearing Room A. John L.  O’Brien Building at: 504 15th Avenue SW, Olympia, WA 98504. It is on the State Capital Campus next to the Legislative Building.

We invite anyone to attend this public hearing and hope you are able to sign in to support the bill! Another option is to contact your local House of Representative member in your district and ask them to please support HB 1865. (Please do not contact your Senator yet as the bill is in the House right now.) Here is a link to finding your local legislators (please use your home address):

https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Our prime sponsors of the bill in the House are Representative Eileen Cody (D), the Chair of the House Health Care Committee and Representative Paul Harris (R) as a co-sponsor so we have bipartisan support. In addition, Representatives Pettigrew, Caldier, Tharinger and Thai have signed on as our bill’s sponsors too!

Representative Cody has given us permission to submit a request to her by the end of April 2019 for a Sunrise Review with the Department of Health to work over the interim on a scope of practice update that can include all the items that were removed from the bill language. This will be for  bill next session and allow us to get stakeholder feedback.

Also, the Physical Therapists Intramuscular Needling bills ( SB 5642/HB 1260) did not get scheduled for a public hearing and died for the session! Thankfully, one less skirmish between our professions this year…

Thank you!
The WEAMA Board