Massage Therapy & Acupuncture Updates June 3, 2021
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Ohio Department of Health issued orders that contained requirements and guidance for providing health care services in Ohio. As of June 2, many Ohio Department of Health orders, including those impacting the provision of massage therapy and acupuncture services, have been lifted. Click here to review the Governor’s press release. You can also view the Responsible RestartOhio Social Distancing, Masking, and Congregating document and stay updated on the Department of Health’s guidance for healthcare providers here.
We are grateful for the efforts our healthcare licensees have made to continue to provide care for Ohio’s citizens during the pandemic. As always, we will continue to update our licensees as information becomes available.
- State Medical Board of Ohio COVID-19 updates
- Board of Pharmacy updates
- State of Ohio’s website
- Department of Health hotline
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
Ohio Vax-a-million, Kids Vaccination, Expiration of Health Orders, COVID-19 Vaccine Providers, COVID-19 Vaccine and Routine Immunizations, Disposal of Expired/Expiring COVID-19 Specimen Collection Kits, New PSA & Current Case Data
May 14, 2021
Pandemic Vaccine News & Updates
Click here to view the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccine preparedness office weekly update, a guidance document that shares current vaccine information and important resources with Ohio providers.
In Wednesday’s statewide evening address, Governor DeWine detailed a series of statewide drawings to provide incentives for Ohioans to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Ohioans aged 18 and older will be entered into “Ohio Vax-a-Million,” a weekly drawing with a prize of up to $1 million.
The pool of names for the “Ohio Vax-a-Million” drawing will be derived from the Ohio Secretary of State’s publicly available voter registration database. Additionally, a webpage will be available to register.
A total of five weekly drawings for each prize will take place, with the first winners being announced May 26. Winners must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the date of the respective drawing.
The drawings will be administered by the Ohio Department of Health, with technical assistance from the Ohio Lottery Commission, and will be funded through existing allocations to the Ohio Department of Health of unexpended coronavirus relief funds.
Governor DeWine announced COVID-19 Pfizer vaccinations are now available to Ohio’s youth age 12 years and older, following members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for this age group.
Additionally, Ohioans 17 and under who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination will be entered into a drawing for a full, four-year scholarship to any of Ohio’s state colleges and universities, including full tuition, room and board, and books. A total of five weekly drawings for a full, four-year scholarship will take place, with the first winner being announced on May 26. A webpage will be available to register those who qualify.
Expiration of Health Orders
Governor DeWine also announced that he has asked the Ohio Department of Health to remove most pandemic health orders on June 2. The timeline will allow any Ohioan who has not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine to obtain one to protect themselves and others before the lifting of coronavirus mitigation protocols.
Measures being removed will include facial covering protocols, social distancing guidelines, and capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events.
Governor DeWine announced that any pandemic health orders that would remain solely relate to either 1) nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which will also to have federal safety protocols, and 2) data collection related to the pandemic.
COVID-19 Vaccination Provider
The Ohio Department of Health has provided a letter for primary care physicians who wish to enroll as a COVID-19 vaccination provider. It includes important updates and clarification about the enrollment requirements.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Routine Immunizations
Click here to view a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding its support for childhood and adolescent immunizations at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines.
Disposal of Expired/Expiring COVID-19 Specimen Collection Kits
Many unused COVID-19 specimen collection kits distributed throughout Ohio have either expired or will soon reach their expiration date. Therefore, ODH is making the following recommendations for the disposal of these unused materials:
It is permissible to discard unused Viral Transport Media (VTM) as regular trash.*
It is permissible to discard unused swabs as regular trash.*
* Not managed as infectious waste per Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), see below.
A memo dated May 6, 2021, from OEPA indicates expired VTM disposable samplers do not need to be managed as infectious waste, as there is no reasonable expectation of the presence of an infectious agent. Therefore, the materials noted above are being disposed of because they are unused and past the expiration date provided by the manufacturer.
In addition, ODH will not be accepting returns of unused expired or expiring COVID-19 specimen collection kits or ancillary testing materials.
To replenish expired supplies or for ongoing COVID-19 testing needs, please submit a standard resource request through your local emergency management agency for additional supplies. Click here to view a PDF version.
Governor DeWine introduced a new public service announcement that encourages Ohioans to get vaccinated, featuring Cleveland Browns Coach Kevin Stefanski.
Current Case Data
In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov
Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov
Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinics
All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov
More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine
We’re All In This Together
Dear AMTA Family,
Many massage therapists across the country are continuing to practice with enhanced safety protocols in place. No matter where you are in the process of navigating the challenges of the pandemic—whether you are seeing clients, your massage practice is currently closed, or you’re preparing to reopen— we are committed to supporting you at every stage. To that end, we want to make sure you have the latest updates related to massage and COVID-19 in your state.
Ohio Massage Update
- On April 8, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health amended and signed an order stating that individuals should continue to wear face masks and social distance until further notice.
- Massage therapists must continue to follow the Responsible Restart Ohio guidelines.
- For additional information and updates, we encourage you to visit the Ohio COVID-19 page. And, to view the history of updates related to massage and COVID-19 in your state, visit AMTA’s page.
- You can also see recent federal advocacy efforts on advancing access to massage therapy for pain with CARA 3.0 and the NO PAIN Act, and efforts to protect the term “trigger point” from trademarking.
Support For You And Your Practice
We also want to remind you that we have the following resources to help guide and support you and your massage therapy practice.
- Important Considerations for Your Practice
- Downloadable + Digital Intake Forms
- Our Extensive Portfolio of Free CE
- Massage Warehouse – Member Discounts on PPE + Other Supplies
- AMTA’s Job Bank: Post or Search Opportunities Near You
Make Sure You’re Protected
Whether you are currently seeing clients or about to return to your massage therapy practice, make sure you’re covered with our comprehensive liability coverage. You can rest assured that AMTA’s membership includes massage insurance coverage that has no exclusions for this coronavirus or any communicable disease.
AMTA’s Government Relations Team is continuing to engage with federal, state and local officials for updates on laws, executive orders, regulations and guidelines that impact massage therapy. We remain here for you and will continue to help you navigate the pandemic each step of the way.
Your AMTA Team
Support HB (House Bill) 81 & SB (Senate Bill) 55 to stop unlicensed massage!
American Massage Therapy Association – Ohio Chapter
What do the bills do?
-A loophole currently exists in Ohio law that allows individuals to perform massage, as long as they do not call what they are doing “massage therapy” or advertise their practice as “medical” or “therapeutic massage”. HB 81 and SB 55 close this loophole.
Why does Ohio need this legislation?
-Ohio has a proud history of recognizing massage therapists as an integral part of the healthcare delivery system and has maintained a highly regarded license at the State Medical Board. Ohio’s loophole needs to be closed. Unlicensed massage puts patients at risk of harm and injury and puts LMTs in danger of bad actors. At best, unlicensed massage could hurt patients due to untrained techniques, and at worst, is used as a front for human trafficking and prostitution.
Do HB 81 and SB 55 allow townships to increase fees on LMTs?
-No. The $250 filling fee and $125 renewal fee mentioned in the bills are current law (and could be done today) and require a legislative action by the individual township trustees to be issued.
-Under current law, townships can regulate massage and can create and require their own township massage license. HB 81 and SB 55 delete their ability to “create a license” and amends their oversight ability. Also, under current law, a township could pass a law requiring LMTs to get periodic physical exams to confirm that the LMT “is free of communicable diseases.” HB 81 and SB 55 delete this ability.
What do HB 81 and SB 55 do for local governments?
-Both bills retain township and municipal (under home rule) authority to zone, set hours, and make laws considered necessary, but requires that any massage be done by an LMT.
Will these bills help the large massage franchises only?
-No. HB 81 and SB 55 will stop unlicensed massage. All LMTs in good standing with the State Medical Board, no matter their location of business, will continue to be able to practice with no new oversight from the State of Ohio
Why should LMTs support these bills?
-Licensed Massage Therapists ARE trained limited practitioners of medicine. These bills recognize LMTs as such and takes back our medical profession from bad actors such as human traffickers. This bill prioritizes the health and safety of LMTs, our patients, and the entire State of Ohio.
With the support of the Medical Board of Ohio, the AMTA submitted testimony in support of an advisory committee for massage therapy.
Here is the link to the video:
(Segment begins at 1 hour & 33 mins into the committee meeting)
(Click the text above for full statement from the Medical Board)
Medical Board licensees who have licenses set to expire during the period of emergency (March 9, 2020 – April 1, 2021) now have until July 1, 2021 to renew their license.
Despite this renewal extension, all affected licensees are still able to renew at their regularly scheduled deadline. A couple benefits to doing so are:
1. There is no risk of forgetting to do so later resulting in an expired license and having to pay an additional late renewal fee.
2. Staying on the same renewal cycle timeline you are used to. Whether you renew now or at a later date, your next license renewal date will not change. For example, if your license is due to expire on January 1, 2021, your next renewal date will be on January 1, 2023, regardless of when you renew during this extension period.
You may check the expiration date of your license at eLicense.ohio.gov.
Spoofing Scam Continues
Warning from the State Medical Board of Ohio
Licensees should remain aware that a scam continues to target and affect Ohio prescribers. Scammers are calling, faxing and emailing medical professionals claiming to be agents of the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO), agents of the DEA or agents of the FBI. These scammers claim that the professionals’ medical and drug licenses have been compromised and are being used by other entities in a drug trafficking scheme. As a result of these allegations, the scammers direct the medical provider to wire money to foreign bank accounts. Please remember, SMBO investigators, DEA agents and FBI agents will not ask for fine payment or personal/sensitive information over the phone.
When the scammers communicate via phone call, they spoof the legitimate phone number for the SMBO (614-466-3934). Be aware that scammers have the ability to spoof phone numbers to appear as though they legitimately belong to the entity they are claiming to be. If the Medical Board is truly conducting an investigation, and that individual faces action against their license, they will receive an official notice of opportunity for a hearing either via certified mail or by personal service. Further, emails originating from actual Medical Board staff end in @med.ohio.gov.
There is additional information posted on our website. Learn how to identify a legitimate investigation, how to verify if the caller is from the Medical Board and how to file a complaint if you are contacted by a scammer.
If you are contacted by a scammer, please report the incident to your local law enforcement and Ohio’s Attorney General by filing a complaint online at ohioprotects.org or by calling 800-282-0515.
Check your Email & Spam folder for an email from the Medical Board
Click the link to see the example
Don’t Delay, Renew Today!
License Renewals Due December 1, 2020!
Previously, the State of Ohio passed a law which extended your license expiration date to either 90 days after the declared COVID-19 emergency ended, or December 1, 2020, depending on which occurred first.
Although the state emergency has not been lifted, the December 1, 2020 deadline is approaching and will be enforced. By law, you will need to renew your license by December 1 for it to remain active. As a reminder, your renewal schedule has not changed, even though you were permitted to renew your license later than usual. For example, if your normal license renewal was due on June 30, 2020, your next renewal date will be on June 30, 2022, regardless of when you renewed during this extension period.
To renew your license, log into your account at elicense.ohio.gov.
Please feel free to contact the medical board at License@med.ohio.gov if you have any questions or need any assistance during the renewal process.