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Bills would allow comp treatment by acupuncturists, therapy assistants


New York lawmakers introduced bills on Thursday that would authorize acupuncturists and therapy assistants to treat injured workers and remove an employer’s ability to require workers to use a particular pharmacy.

A.B. 1012 would authorize licensed or certified acupuncturists to treat injured workers under the state’s workers compensation program. The legislation also states that the chair of the state’s workers compensation board is authorized to establish a fee schedule for the treatment.

A.B. 1055 would authorize an occupational therapy assistant or a physical therapy assistant to render treatment to injured workers under the supervision of a licensed therapist.

If signed into law, both bills would take effect immediately.

A.B. 1175 would remove language stating that an employer or insurer could “require” an injured worker to use a particular pharmacy and instead may only “encourage” the use of a network pharmacy. The legislation authorizes workers to use any registered in-state pharmacy. The bill also states that employers and insurers retain the right to deny charges from out-of-state pharmacies or charges relating to “extemporaneous compound medications” that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

If signed into law, the legislation would take effect in 120 days.


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