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Trends in Legislation: Dry Needling and Insurance

Dry Needling

Legislation highlights include continued efforts by states to address the issue of dry needling for Athletic Trainers (ATs) to use in practice. Several laws have already been passed and implemented, including the below:

  • AZ SB 1398, which has already passed in Arizona allows ATs with the appropriate education and training to perform dry needling. This law requires ATs to be able to demonstrate professional standards of care and training and education qualifications for performing dry needling.
  • MD HB1016 and SB711 allows ATs to perform dry needling, authorizing the State Board of Physicians to register licensed athletic trainers to perform dry needling upon completion of the appropriate training and education.
  • SB1078 passed in Illinois last year, allowing ATs who have had the appropriate education and training to use dry needling.
  • Both Nevada and North Carolina finalized rules regarding dry needling.
    • North Carolina released a statement on dry needling that allows ATs to perform dry needling if they have completed the appropriate education and training.
    • Nevada regulations related to dry needling became effective in late 2020 that allow ATs to us this practice if they have completed the appropriate education and training.


Several efforts are underway relative to insurance coverage by ATs. Here are some pending and passed legislative actions:

  • MA H1194 and S643 require insurance companies to reimburse licensed ATs for certain services.
  • MO HB2107 and MO HB2757 are relative to health insurance coverage by ATs.
  • VA HB45 and SB525, which has passed, require health insurers and health service plan providers whose policies or contracts cover services that may be legally performed by a licensed AT to provide equal coverage for such services when rendered by a licensed AT.
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