NOPAIN Act 7/21/20

The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act, the “NOPAIN Act” (H.R. 5172/S. 3067) will help increase patient access to massage therapy through using non-addictive, non-opioid approaches to pain management.

Join AMTA and add your voice for congressional support of the NOPAIN Act, and ask that the Act be included in any forthcoming relief package so Americans have access to nonpharmacological therapies sooner than later. Please write your representative and senators, urging them to help increase patient access to massage therapy.

We will continue to engage with federal, state and local officials advocating for resources that impact massage therapists during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thank you for your support of massage therapy!

AMTA Advocacy Action Center – Click here to take action!

Re-Opening 6/15/20

Governor DeWine re-opened massage therapy effective May 15, consistent with the re-opening date for haircare/cosmetology services, as AMTA Ohio requested.  AMTA leadership and lobbyists were intimately involved with the State Medical Board in drafting the massage therapy re-opening protocols, and we very much appreciated the Board staff hearing our concerns and re-working earlier drafts to reflect our input.  The Board’s FAQ document for massage therapy also reflected our suggestions for questions and issues needing clarification beyond the re-opening protocols.  If you believe there are additional items that should be addressed, please let us know!

 

State Medical Board of Ohio Massage Therapy Task Force 6/15/20

We look forward to continuing our very productive dialogue with the State Medical Board staff in a more regular and formal way, and have advocated for a permanent Board Massage Therapy Task Force.  Board Executive Director Stephanie Loucka has expressed support for this effort, which will require legislative approval.  AMTA lobbyists are working to find an appropriate “legislative vehicle” for language authorizing the Task Force and hope to be able to do so by year-end.

 

Liability Legislation 6/15/20

AMTA Ohio joined a broad coalition of business and healthcare groups to actively supported bills to minimize liability due to alleged COVID-19 exposure.  HB 606 and SB 308 passed the House and Senate, respectively, just last week but neither bill passed in the other chamber as required to become law.  However, AMTA was successful in getting language included in both bills that includes licensed massage therapists alongside doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals regarding healthcare professional liability.  Although the Senate has legislative session dates scheduled next week, it does not appear likely that the House v. Senate differences can be resolved since the House will not be in session for a summer break.  Although we are disappointed that we and other healthcare professionals will not be afforded the heighted liability protection, it was terrific that both the House and Senate recognized licensed massage therapy as a medical profession.

 

Licensing Legislation 6/15/20

House Bill 374 and Senate Bill 105 reflect AMTA’s long-time mission to shut down unlicensed, unregulated massage in Ohio.  SB 105 has had two hearings in the Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee, including proponent testimony from me on behalf of AMTA.  Eleven other supporters also testified, along with five other (“interested party” and opponent) witnesses.  HB 374 has had only one hearing in the House Commerce & Labor Committee, but according to AMTA lobbyists is better positioned for near-term progress.  AMTA lobbyists have had multiple positive meetings with Committee Chairwoman Gayle Manning, and just last week met with joint sponsor Rep. Susan Manchester who expressed a desire to get the bill moving.  As with everything else, COVID-19 caused a halt to most legislative activities earlier this year.  The past few weeks the Ohio General Assembly processed a number of critical budget and other “must do” (i.e., school re-opening) bills before taking a regular summer break.  We hope our legislative efforts get back on track as soon as the legislature resumes a regular schedule, probably this fall.

It should be noted that the closure and re-opening of massage therapy due to COVID-19 exposed the inherent flaws in Ohio’s current licensing law, which have now become more apparent to various policymakers.  The original shut-down order issued by the Ohio Dept. of Health on March 19 used the phrase “licensed massage therapist services and relaxation massages that occur in spas.”  Under Ohio law, there are no definitions of “relaxation massages” or “spas.”  The re-opening order issued by ODH on May 14 used the more precise and appropriate language “[m]assage therapy … locations that employ individuals licensed by the Ohio State Medical Board….”  In their discussions over the re-opening orders our lobbyists pointed out the inconsistent, incomplete, and ambiguous nature of Ohio’s current massage therapy licensure laws, and believe those points have been well taken by ODH staff that had not previously focused on this issue.  Hopefully this will help us get the legislation enacted!

Ohio Medical Boards answers to FAQ’s about the new protocols & best practices

The Ohio AMTA continues to push legislative reform to help LMT’s in Ohio.  By including Massage Therapists in House Bill 606, and Senate Bill 308, they will be protected along with other medical professionals against Covid 19 lawsuits.

Click on the links below to see each of the bills. (Updated 5/20/20)

Ohio House Bill 606

Ohio Senate Bill 308

Letter from incoming AMTA Ohio Chapter President, Melissa Ryan 5/13/2020

 

Restart Ohio – Mandatory Guideline and Recommended Best Practices for Massage in Ohio 5/12/2020

 

Letter to the Ohio Department of Health Regarding Massage Therapy 4/29/2020

Continued-Business-Closures     Updated 4/27/2020

Click the link above for a PDF of the Businesses that are to stay closed during the re-opening of Ohio’s businesses

Stay at Home!

Useful Links Related to the Ohio COVID19 Response

COVID-19 Dashboard

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/

Governor DeWine Executive Orders

Department of Health/Dr. Acton Orders

04/02/20 Director’s Stay At Home Order Amended

03/30/20 Amended Order the Closure of All K-12 School in the State of Ohio

03/22/20 Order to Stay at Home

03/21/20 Order to Certain Entertainment Venues

Additional Public Health Orders

Government Response Websites

Essential Business Job Openings

Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID19

State of Ohio Ventilator Inventory

Coronavirus/Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp

Ohio Department of Education Remote Learning Guide

 

Industry/Individual Response Websites

Offer Assistance to the State (donations/PPE and other goods/services)

Manufacturers Able to Create PPE

 

Unemployment Compensation

Apply for Unemployment Compensation benefits

Employers with questions e-mail: UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov

Information and Contact Information

Department of Labor Guidance on Pandemic Unemployment

 

Federal CARES Act Programs

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

 

National Guard

Information on Ohio National Guard Deployment

AMTA – Letter To Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

Looking for a Licensed Massage Therapist?

AMTA Ohio Chapter Calendar

  • Massage Consumers and COVID-19

    Posted:Sunday, May 31, 2020


    Amidst all of the uncertainty, massage consumers continue to value the benefits of massage.
    There is no denying that everything is different. No matter where you are in process of navigating the…

  • Managing Stress During COVID-19

    Posted:Friday, May 29, 2020


    Take steps to help manage stress and improve well-being, even while social distancing.
    The last couple of months have felt like a roller coaster as we all try to adapt to the…

  • Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management Symposium

    Posted:Friday, May 15, 2020


    Massage Therapy Foundation President, Doug Nelson, on behalf of AMTA and representing the massage therapy profession, was recently a panelist at the Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM) virtual…

  • AMTA 2020 National Convention Canceled

    Posted:Tuesday, April 28, 2020


    AMTA’s Board of Directors has decided, to keep our massage therapy community as safe as possible, to cancel our 2020 National Convention planned for August. We believe this is the best…