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Time is Running Out for Acupuncture and Dry Needling Bills to be Passed in the General Assembly

Tuesday, May 9, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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Time is Running Out for Acupuncture and Dry Needling Bills to be Passed in the General Assembly

Over the past months, HB 2630 and HB 1276 bill sponsor Representative Mah has worked hard to provide opportunities for all stakeholders to express concerns, ask questions, and learn from each other about acupuncture and dry needling. Through those meetings, the stakeholders (representatives for physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, insurance companies and chambers of commerce) were able to work through most issues to find that they were not actually issues at all, but questions that were addressed and resolved.

We are at a point now where we have identified what appears to be most important to all stakeholders, and this week the IPTA put forth our final contributions to these discussions. We hope that the information provided can help bring the other stakeholders to a better understanding of how dry needling fits within physical therapy practice, education and insurance.

While we value the input of all stakeholders contributing to these discussions, the General Assembly has given the IDFPR the authority to set administrative rules that set the operating principles of the PT Act and the Acupuncture Act. These administrative rules have the full force and effect of law. 

We fully anticipate that the IDFPR will act in the best interest in the public in formulating rules to address additional educational requirements for acupuncturists seeking to practice to the full scope set forth in HB 2630, should it pass and be signed into law by the Governor. We are at a loss as to why some stakeholders feel that the same trust and faith cannot be placed with the IDFPR for PTs and dry needling, and HB 1276, instead insisting that the educational requirement be defined in statute.

Looking at process, JCAR, comprised of members of the General Assembly, will ultimately have the final authority to enact the rules and ensure that appropriate public protection measures are in place. It seems, in our perspective, it is disrespectful to both the General Assembly and the IDFPR by trying to limit their authority by putting operating principles in statute. 

We believe that the IDFPR should be able to take these opinions and outcomes under consideration in determining the best way to ensure public protection. We also know that there will be opportunity for public comment on proposed rules that will come forth if HB 2630 and HB 1276 are signed into law. 

For this reason, we support the IDFPR’s original draft language that would provide clarity that dry needling is within PT scope of practice and that IDFPR will put forth rules (taking into consideration the input from all stakeholders) that provide appropriate public protection in a manner that can be enforced through the administrative and operational processes already in place.

We express our gratitude to Representative Mah and all participants who have given their time and devoted consideration to these matters, and we hope to celebrate HB 2630 and HB 1276, together, being signed into law before year end.

With just weeks of session left, it is important that both HB 2630 and HB 1276 move forward quickly.  Watch for information later this week on how you can help.

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