Arizona now specifically includes dry needling in the physical therapist (PT) scope of practice. The legislation was signed into law by Gov Jan Brewer on April 25.
The final bill, sought by the Arizona Physical Therapy Association and sponsored by Arizona state Sen Kelli Ward (R-5), was the result of "3 years of challenges, hard work, and debate, including a statewide task force that held numerous meetings and public hearings," according to a press release from APTA.
Arizona Chapter President Linda Duke, PT, said that “Many legislators, educators, professionals, and patients were involved crafting this bill to satisfy the concerns brought forward from outside the physical therapy profession." Duke gave special recognition to chapter members, the chapter's dry needling task force, and the Manual Physical Therapy Alliance. Duke also singled out chapter members Sara Demeure, PT, MSPT, OCS, and Sean Flannagan, PT, DPT, who were key throughout the process.
"The American Physical Therapy Association applauds the team effort in Arizona that advocated in support of SB 1154,” said APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS. "Working together, we can ensure that the patients we serve have access to the full scope of physical therapist services.”
The new law includes language that gives the Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy the authority to promulgate rules outlining training and education qualifications for dry needling performed by PTs. Dry needling is recognized as part of the PT scope of practice in a majority of US jurisdictions.
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