Hearing in MA State House for S 1182

There is a hearing TODAY, Tuesday, 11/7 from 2-5pm at the MA State House to add language that defines the insertion of needles “for therapeutic purpose into a body constitutes the practice of acupuncture.”
 
WHAT THIS MEANS: This bill ensures that anyone who wants to insert needles into people to get the proper training and licensure. Acupuncturists need to pass at least 3 board exams (I took 4) and be approved by state licensing boards in order to practice.
 
Physical therapists (PTs) and other health professionals (like chiropractors) can take a weekend course and start sticking needles in people on Monday. There’s NO regulation in Massachusetts that prevents them from doing that and neither are there standards as to the amount of training required before they begin needling people. Do you honestly want someone like that sticking needles in you or someone you care about?
 
WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT THIS:
Two words – patient safety. There is no national standard for dry needling and no standardized program for the provision of education, training and standardized national examinations. This lack of standards has resulted in public harm. (http://www.acupuncturesafety.org).
 
Thanks for listening – I’ll get off my soapbox now. 🙂
 
IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND:
Write an email to each of the legislators below (form letter provided beneath names).
 
Jason.lewis@masenate.gov
Kate.hogan@mahouse.gov
James.Welch@masenate.gov
Peter.Kocot@mahouse.gov
Eric.Lesser@masenate.gov
Joseph.boncore@masenate.gov
Jeffrey.Roy@mahouse.gov
Jennifer.flanagan@masenate.gov
Evandro.Carvalho@mahouse.gov
 
Dear Chairs, Co-Chairs, Senators and Representatives.
 
I am asking you to support S 1182 and report it out of committee favorably as soon as possible. This bill ensures that anyone inserting an acupuncture needle for therapeutic release would be required to meet the benchmarks for acupuncture licensure and obtain an acupuncture license. In MA, only MDs and licensed acupuncturists are licensed to perform this procedure yet allied professionals are performing it without appropriate training, examination and licensure which is a consumer safety issue. It is the task of regulatory oversight to ensure that residents of the Commonwealth have the training, qualifications, examination and licensure to perform procedures.
 
Dry needling is an invasive procedure indistinguishable from acupuncture.
 
There is no national standard for dry needling and no standardized program for the provision of education, training and standardized national examinations. This lack of standards has resulted in public harm. (Http://www.acupuncturesafety.org ).
 
Research shows that undertrained and underexamined practitioners are more likely to cause adverse events. There is no clear or required reporting system for adverse events for dry needling. Since allied professionals are not licensed to perform this procedure, there is not reporting nor disciplinary process as there is for MDs and licensed acupuncturists.
 
Patients do not want to get their practitioners in trouble so are not reporting these incidents to the Board of Allied Health. This Board has noted it is not interested in disciplining PTs, ATs and others practicing a medically invasive procedure that is not in their scope of practice to act. Whether patients leave Dry Needling with mild nerve damage affecting their ability to pick things up, or calling the ASM to report damage after sciatica treatment, these are real consequences, and they will increase with the numbers of undertrained and unlicensed practitioners being trained to perform this procedure.
 
Thank you for you your willingness to support this consumer safety issue. Patients deserve to know that anyone inserting an acupuncture/filiform needle has been appropriately trained, supervised, examined to do so and earned a license from the Committee on Acupuncture under the BORIM, the Board of Registration in Medicine or is a licensed MD and so has the privilege to practice this procedure.
 
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