resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
November, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 11
COMTA Hit With Lawsuit, AMTA Faces New Allegations
By Rebecca J. Razo
In November 2002, Massage Today reported that The Galen Institute in Wethersfield, Conn., had filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) for misconduct during the institute's pursuit of COMTA accreditation (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2002/11/05.html).In a recent development, the institute announced its expansion of the lawsuit to include the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and an unnamed Connecticut massage school as co-defendants, claiming the school conspired with the AMTA and COMTA to form a monopoly in violation of antitrust laws.1
Galen Institute is owned and operated by Jim Lattanzio, who, earlier this year, formed the National Organization for the Advancement of Massage, Schools and Educators (NOAMSE), an organization comprised of massage school owners and educators who do not agree with the accreditation standards set forth by COMTA.
Now, one of NOAMSE's affiliates has come forward and filed a lawsuit against COMTA, naming the AMTA, COMTA and COMTA Executive Director Carole Ostendorf as co-defendants, and alleging the organizations have engaged in illegal business practices. The Council Overseeing Medical and Massage Therapy (COM &MTA) in Olathe, Kan., is a massage school accrediting agency formed earlier this year by Chris Folkers. In the nine-count brief obtained by Massage Today, COM&MTA's allegations include fraud, coercion in an attempt to convert, defamation, violation of antitrust and trade acts, false advertising, interference and conspiracy.2
COM&MTA filed its lawsuit after being contacted by COMTA and AMTA. According to the lawsuit, COM&MTA was informed it had "illegally infringed on the certification marks 'COMTA' and 'Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.' " COMTA and AMTA then attempted to force COM&MTA to cease using the name and acronym.
COM&MTA challenged the accusation, demanding proof that COMTA held certification and trademark ownership. According to the brief, however, COMTA "attempted to fraudulently mislead the [COM&MTA] as to a U.S. trademark ownership of certification mark."2
"In June, COM&MTA was legally formed," Folkers said. "A search of the United States Trademark and Patent Office was done, and at that point, there was no application from the AMTA [for COMTA] on file."3
The AMTA and COMTA disagree. "The AMTA name is trademarked and we have also received and/or applied for other trademarks, service marks and certification marks associated with AMTA," stated a letter from the AMTA national board of directors to AMTA chapter presidents. "One of the names we protect is the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation."4
According to Lattanzio, the COM&MTA and NOAMSE have been unfairly attacked because of their joint desire to accredit schools that have been excluded by COMTA. "An accrediting agency should be able to evaluate any school [that is] legitimate and has an outcome-based education," Lattanzio said. "COMTA says it assures quality and excellent education, and quality of massage therapists, [but] a quality student cannot be guaranteed by COMTA."1
Folkers agrees. "The establishment of [COM&MTA] was due to a growing need for a more logical and common-sense approach to accreditation. The current assumption that a national standard exists is a fallacy," he said. "One of the primary objectives [of COM&MTA] is to give schools a choice. [Having] only one primary accrediting agency choice could lead to bias, corruption, and destruction of businesses and other overt acts," he added.3
COM&MTA's evaluation of massage schools for accreditation are based on local standards, which allow schools to be evaluated on their own merits, and is logical, as far as Lattanzio is concerned. "There are no industry standards. Everything from 'A to Z' exists as far as massage therapy is concerned; if there are no standards, how can an organization declare a standard? COMTA's standards seek to exclude rather than include," he remarked.1
In a letter mailed to massage school owners and directors, COM&MTA clearly stated its position related to accreditation: "We believe that all legitimate schools, through a reasonable process, should have an opportunity to participate and achieve validation and accreditation. As state, local laws and regulations vary so much and usually establish what schools teach, school owners, directors and educators should not be forced to adopt, in the name of being 'legitimate' any set of artificial standards."5
Lattanzio and Folkers also believe that COMTA is not living up to certain obligations under its U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) recognition agreement. "They do not effectively monitor their member schools, which is one of the requirements under their USDOE recognition," said Folkers. "The COMTA application [to the USDOE] misrepresents their intention," added Lattanzio.1,3
One of the USDOE standards for recognition requires that "the [accrediting] agency must demonstrate that its standards, policies, procedures, and decisions to grant or deny accreditation are widely accepted in the United States by (a) Educators and educational institutions; and (b) Licensing bodies, practitioners, and employers in the professional or vocational fields for which the education institutions or programs within the agency's jurisdiction prepare their students."6
But Lattanzio disputes that AMTA and COMTA standards are widely accepted. "It makes me question how they represented themselves to the U.S. government," he said.1
Lattanzio also noted that two other organizations use the name "COMTA" - the Canadian Orthopractic Manual Therapy Association and a computer furniture manufacturer - neither of which has, to his knowledge, been singled out by the AMTA or COMTA. "Why hasn't Canada been targeted?" he asked.1
Massage Today contacted the AMTA and COMTA Executive Director Carole Ostendorf. "I've been advised by counsel not to respond," Ostendorf said.7
However, AMTA President Brenda L. Griffith issued the following statement:
Folkers sums up his feelings this way: "Presently, many schools out there will never meet and live up to the criteria for accreditation, either due to course hours or financial restraints. This puts these schools at a disadvantage when prospective students read from other agency Web sites that accredited schools are better than nonaccredited schools. The real questions are: Does the school accomplish its objective in training a competent therapist? Is this newly trained individual able to meet the standard for practicing in his or her local jurisdiction? Accreditation is a validation process. The COM&MTA offers schools a more realistic approach to this validation process. It's available to all schools. [COM&MTA] has stated it before: If we cannot accredit your school or program, your funds will be refunded. Tell me, who else offers that?"
If nothing else, this situation proves one thing: The massage profession remains divided on crucial issues relating to education, licensure and the overall direction in which the profession is headed. Look for updates on this situation in future issues of Massage Today.
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