SECTION 1. Section 148 of chapter 112 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following definition:-
“Dry needling”; “trigger point acupuncture”; or “intramuscular therapy”, an advanced needling skill or technique limited to the treatment of myofascial pain, using a single use, single insertion, sterile filiform needle (without the use of heat, cold or any other added modality or medication), that is inserted into the skin or underlying tissues to stimulate trigger points. Dry needling may apply theory based only upon Western medical concepts, requires an examination and diagnosis and treats specific anatomic entities selected according to physical signs. Trigger point acupuncture or dry needling does not include the stimulation of auricular points, utilization of distal points or non-local points, needle retention, application of retained electric stimulation leads or the teaching or application of other acupuncture theory.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 112, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after section 152 the following section:-
Section 152A. (a) Licensed health care professionals practicing dry needling, trigger point acupuncture, or intramuscular therapy shall meet the following criteria:
(i) At least 2 years of post-graduate, professional experience in private practice treating patients in an orthopedic setting;
(ii) Completion of 500 didactic hours and 150 clinical hours of training in the practice of dry needling, trigger point acupuncture, or intramuscular therapy;
(iii) Completion of a proper in-person educational program provided by qualified instructors as determined by the Department of Public Health;
(iv) Demonstration of minimal competency through a psychometrically sound, third party examination not administered by the required training course or educational program;
(v) In possession of an advanced orthopedic clinical certification;
(vi) Passage of The Clean Needle Technique (CNT) class and exam taught by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM);
(vii) Completion of any continuing education required for the practice of dry needling, trigger point acupuncture or intramuscular therapy;
(viii) Must be able to provide proof of all of the educational, training, and practical experience required by this section upon request of the Department of Public Health.
(b) Any treatment defined as dry needling, trigger point acupuncture, or intramuscular therapy shall be charted appropriately in the medical record by the practicing licensed health care professional.
(c) Any significant and adverse events, requiring follow up medical attention, as a result of the practice of dry needling, trigger point acupuncture, or intramuscular therapy shall be reported and documented with the Department of Public Health.
(d) Specific and appropriate written consent for treatment by the practice of dry needling, trigger point acupuncture, or intramuscular therapy shall be obtained by the licensed health care professional from the patient.
(e) Any licensed health care professional practicing dry needling, trigger point acupuncture, or intramuscular therapy shall maintain a malpractice insurance policy that specifies coverage for dry needling, trigger point acupuncture, or intramuscular therapy.
(f) The Department of Public Health shall promulgate a standard set of competencies including the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the safe and competent practice of trigger point acupuncture, dry needling, and intramuscular therapy as well as any further rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this section.
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