resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
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.
October, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 10
The Labors of Legislation
Pennsylvania, New Jersey Bills Raise Different Issues
By Editorial Staff
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are two of several states in which massage therapists are seeing legislation introduced regarding licensure and certification.As we go to press, New Jersey Assembly Bill A4034 has been approved in committee, while Pennsylvania's House Bill 1643 has been sent to the House Committee on Professional Licensure.
New Jersey - A4034
New Jersey State Assemblymen Peter Barnes and Patrick Diegnan (both D-Middlesex) and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood), proposed the bill, which would require certification for anyone performing "massage, bodywork or somatic therapy services." It is believed that this bill will be amended on the floor of the Assembly and then voted on as early as November 2005, when the New Jersey legislature returns from its recess. If the bill is not voted on by both houses by the end of the year, it will be reintroduced in 2006.
The bill stems from a title act approved by the New Jersey legislature in 1999 for massage, bodywork and somatic therapists. The act provided for optional certification, meaning no one was prohibited from practicing; it was just an issue of whether someone wanted to use a specific professional title affiliated with massage and bodywork, such as "Certified Massage Therapist." The act does prohibit state-certified therapists from providing treatment: "Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies do not include the diagnosis or treatment of illness, disease, impairment or disability."
As with most cases of licensure/regulation, there are potential concerns with A4034. In its current form, the bill would make existing voluntary state certification mandatory. Thus, the limited scope of practice in the title act would become the scope of practice for therapists.
Specifically, in the current draft of the New Jersey bill, anyone practicing bodywork who is not state certified is considered to be guilty of prostitution. The following text is taken directly from A4034: "Proof that any premises, place or resort which holds itself out as rendering massage, bodywork or somatic therapy services employs or utilizes a person who is not certified to render these services as required by section 1 of P.L. c. shall give rise to a permissive inference that the premises, place or resort was conducted or maintained as a house of prostitution."
According to the legislative update on the AMTA-NJ chapter's Web site, members are informed that "it is important for AMTA-NJ Chapter Members to remember the State Certification Law is a Title Protection Law, and therefore Professionals choosing to use any of the Titles identified in the Law are obliged to become State Certified. Consequently, for Practitioners in our profession who offer services which are not becoming State Certified this could potentially create a challenge should the State Examining Committee interpret that they fall under the NJ Title Act for Massage Therapy, Bodywork or Somatic Therapies. It is the hope of the leadership of the AMTA that our members and all Professionals in the State will want to become State Certified and be proud to hold their title as defined by our law."
New Jersey has been accepting applications for state certification since November 2004, and as of August 2005, only 60 therapists have been officially state certified, and 170 applications are pending. The current timeline for completing the certification process is at least three months.
Rena Margulis, NCTMB, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), a practitioner in Haddenfield, N.J., notes several potential problems with the latest version of A4034. (Under the current title act, the New Jersey Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Therapy Examining Committee, which is within the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs, is responsible for certifying massage therapists who wish to utilize titles affiliated with massage and bodywork in a professional capacity.)
According to Margulis, A4034 "allows state-licensed, state-certified or state-registered professionals to perform massage and bodywork if it is within their scope of practice. But no one else. In an obvious error, there is no exception for students performing massage in a clinic or for anyone else receiving training in touch, even medical students. There is no exception for out-of-state continuing education instructors or for bodywork offered without reimbursement. Under A4034, anyone who performs bodywork without state certification faces the 'permissive inference' that he or she is operating a 'house of prostitution.'"
Margulis urges massage therapists in other states to watch this debate carefully, as there are fears other legislative bodies could make similar decisions in other states - making a title act a practice act with very little warning. "Compare the differences between the New Jersey statue and the New Jersey regulations. In many cases, what legislators did not prohibit, the regulations did. Many New Jersey therapists who backed the title act several years ago are now very, very, sorry they did," Margulis said.
For more information about A4034, visit www.njleg.state.nj.us.
Pennsylvania - HB 1643
Meanwhile, in neighboring Pennsylvania, House Bill 1643 finally has been sent to committee and is awaiting a vote by both houses as of press time. Currently, 66 state representatives have signed on in support of this bill and the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA-PA) has distributed 14,000 cards across the state, requesting that HB 1643 be moved from committee to the House for a vote.
However, as with the New Jersey legislation, this bill has its critics - albeit in this case (as far as we can tell), from outside the massage profession. In its most recent legislative update, the AMTA-PA said physical therapists in Pennsylvania have publicly stated they are against the bill. The attorney for the Pennsylvania Physical Therapists Association, F. Stephenson Matthew, was quoted in the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal as saying, "The group believes massage therapists are not qualified to treat disabilities or impairments, that licensure is neither necessary nor appropriate and that it has concerns with the grandfathering of existing massage therapists." However, after repeated requests, the PPTA leadership has yet to contact the Pennsylvania Chapter to discuss their issues with the bill.
Despite this criticism, in the same legislative update, Pennsylvania Chapter President, Nancy Porambo, MS, NCTMB, offered her support of the bill: "[The bill] sets parameters from which we can build higher standards for the future of the profession of massage therapy, a position every profession seeking licensure had to take in the beginning of their growth."
She also said: "We are proud to state that many of our schools have redesigned their massage therapy programs to become an associate degree program. Many other programs across the state are above the proposed 600 hour minimum and our standards in the bill are currently higher than the national average of 500 hours."
To track the status of HB 1643, visit the AMTA Pennsylvania Chapter Web site at www.amtapa.org/gov/updates.php.
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