Legislation Amendments for 2019
The Government Relations Committee has been working on multiple things throughout the summer months. Over the past few years, there have been discussions among the membership about amending the massage therapy practice act, which includes our statute, scope of practice and definitions. With a recent shift toward integrating massage therapy within the health care field, it is important that we continue to align our profession so that we are viewed as a viable therapy option for client care, a referral source for health care professionals, and for progression of the profession. For such things to take place, we need to keep elevating our professional state licensure standards, which includes amending our minimum education hour requirements from an accredited program and clearly defining what massage therapy is and differentiating it from the massage therapy profession. The proposed increase in accredited hours creates reciprocity from state to state, thereby decreasing difficulties for therapists trying to relocate. We are also looking toward state mandated insurance liability coverage at the time of licensure and renewal. There have been inquiries about this process with the Department of Health; we are currently waiting to hear back from the state. Providing proof of insurance liability coverage is to ensure protection for massage therapists as they practice. Other states such as Indiana, New Jersey,and Kansas,to name a few, have already made this change to their state’s legislature. To make all these legislative changes possible, the GR committee has applied for and received a $20,000.00 LLEAD grant, which enables us to hire a lobbyist and advocate for these amendments in the next legislative session, which begins in January and extends through June 2019. Finally, a coalition is presently being formed and will be comprised of therapists throughout the state willing to be a part of amending our massage therapy practice act. If you would like to be a part of this effort, or if you have any questions regarding GR’s overall goals and objectives for the upcoming legislative session, please feel free to contact Cassie Rawcliffe at GovRel.AMTARI@gmail.com . Thank you!