WSR 17-18-076
[Filed September 5, 2017, 10:47 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making:
Chapter 296-20 WAC, Medical aid rules.
Chapter 296-23 WAC, Radiology, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, pathology, hospital, chiropractic, physical therapy, drugless therapeutics and nursingDrugless therapeutics, etc.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 51.04.020, 51.04.030, and 34.05.313.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The department of labor and industries (L&I) has reviewed the best available scientific and clinical evidence related to the efficacy of acupuncture for treating low back pain. Based on this review, L&I has decided to initiate a pilot that would help determine how acupuncture treatment could 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). Additionally, the department or self-insurer will not pay for services performed by acupuncturists (WAC 296-20-01505).
Under this pilot, these current provisions related to acupuncture treatment and acupuncturists will be waived only for pilot participants. The pilot will begin October 1, 2017, and will continue throughout a two-year period or as otherwise specified. Pilot program results will be considered in developing proposed rule language, medical coverage decisions and/or payment policy. L&I has determined that such a waiver is in the public interest and necessary to conduct this pilot project.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: L&I is governed by Title 51 RCW, Washington's Industrial Insurance Act. No other state or federal agencies are responsible for interpreting and enforcing the provisions of this act.
Process for Developing New Rule: Pilot rule making.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Jami Lifka, Medical Program Specialist, L&I, Office of the Medical Director, P.O. Box 44321, Olympia, WA 98504-4321, phone 360-902-4941, fax 360-902-6315, TTY 711 or 360-902-4941, email, web site
Additional comments: For information related to the pilot program requirements and how to participate in the pilot, please contact Zachary Gray at 360-902-5025 or You can also subscribe to the acupuncture pilot listserv at Additional information can be found on the acupuncture pilot web site at
September 5, 2017
Joel Sacks