The L&I Blog

September 22, 2017

L&Is acupuncture pilot project has us on pins and needles!

accupuncture on back

Beginning October 1, L&I will pay for low-back pain acupuncture treatments for injured workers referred to an approved pilot provider. Until now, L&I has not paid for acupuncture treatment. The two-year pilot project gives L&I the opportunity to gather data and evaluate acupuncture’s role within the workers’ comp system.

“Our plan was for 150 providers,” said Zach Gray, an L&I epidemiologist. “However, the response from acupuncturists exceeded our expectations and we accepted 215 providers into the pilot.” Participating providers include East Asian Medicine Practitioners (EAMP), medical doctors (MDs), and doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs).

The pilot project will make acupuncture treatments available to workers who have low-back pain related to a condition on an open claim. A worker’s attending provider must make the referral.
L&I will pay for up to 10 treatments per claim for acupuncture providers who are part of the pilot project.

Following each acupuncture treatment, participating providers must send documentation to L&I. The goal is a clinically meaningful improvement in pain and function.

How can I find participating acupuncturists?
Use L&I’sFind A Doctor tool:

  • Select the “All Providers” radio button.
  • Enter your town or address in the “Start location” field, then click “Search.”
  • When you receive results, on the right-hand side you will see an option to “Sort by.” Click the drop-down menu and select “Provider Type.” You will see the list of acupuncturists participating in the pilot, sorted by proximity to you.

Want to keep up to date on the pilot?
Sign up for the project’s listserv.


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