Rule Updates

Rules Under Development

Acupuncture Pilot

Chapter 296-20, WAC

All updates for this rule:

Acupuncture /Acupuncture Pilot (Chapter 296-20 WAC Medical Aid Rules; Chapter 296-23 WAC Radiology, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, pathology, hospital, chiropractic, physical therapy, drugless therapeutics and nursing – Drugless therapeutics, etc.)

The purpose of this proposed rulemaking is to allow the department and self-insurers to pay for acupuncture as specified in WAC 296-23-238. When this rule is effective, the Acupuncture medical coverage decision’s approved conditions will only list “low back pain related to an accepted condition on the claim.” Other conditions may be considered at a later date based on the best available scientific and clinical evidence. In addition, the proposed rules will allow Acupuncturists, including East Asian Medicine Practitioners (EAMPs), to treat injured workers. EAMPs have 15 different treatment modalities within their scope of practice (RCW 18.06.010). These proposed rule changes will only apply to acupuncture. Under Title 51 RCW, treatment allowed on workers’ compensation claims must be curative or rehabilitative. As with other treatment used to help injured and ill workers to heal, acupuncture focuses on recovery from workplace injury, functional improvement, and return to work. The department used a pilot project as authorized by RCW 34.05.313 to determine how acupuncture treatment can best be incorporated into the workers’ compensation setting. Current rules state that the department or self-insurer will not allow nor pay for acupuncture (WAC 296-20-03002) and will not pay for services performed by Acupuncturists (WAC 296-20-01505). Under the pilot, these current provisions related to acupuncture and Acupuncturists have been waived for pilot participants. Pilot program results have been considered in developing this proposed rule language. The pilot will continue until the adoption and effective date of final rules, after which time the criteria in the proposed rule language will take effect. Acupuncture treatment may then be administered by any L&I provider acting within the scope of their licensure.808.


Public Hearing


Comments Due


PDF: Proposed Rulemaking (CR 102)

PDF: Proposed Rule Language


PDF: Preproposal (CR-101)

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