New L&I Pilot Program: Acupuncture for Treatment of Low Back Pain

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) recently announced a 2-year pilot program to study the use of acupuncture to treat low back pain. It will begin October 1, 2017. Apart from this program, L&I does not cover the cost of acupuncture treatment.

To get acupuncture treatments covered by L&I, an injured worker must have:

  • an open workers’ compensation claim;
  • low back pain related to an accepted condition; and
  • a referral from their attending provider to a participating acupuncture provider.

L&I will pay for a maximum of 10 acupuncture treatments over the life of an injured worker’s claim. The treatments must be medically necessary and must meaningfully improve the worker’s pain and physical function.

Self-insured employers are not required to participate in the pilot program. If you have a self-insured employer, be sure to confirm your employer’s participation before setting up acupuncture treatments.

For more information, click on this link to the L&I website:

http://lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Providers/TreatingPatients/ByCondition/Acupuncture/default.asp

For L&I’s Acupuncture Pilot Program FAQs, go to:

http://lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Files/Providers/AcupuncturePilotFAQs.pdf

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