Florida Legislative Update

Photo Tallahassee Capital

Watch here for future Legislative updates from the only massage therapy association with active representation of massage therapists in Tallahassee.

February 2016

LEGISLATIVE AWARENESS DAYS

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Feb 23nd thru 24th FSMTA Legislative Leaders represented members at the Capitol in Tallahassee.  FSMTA Members from across the state provided education on the medical benefits of massage therapy. Many in the Capitol experienced these benefits through Chair Massage in the Rotunda provided by FSMTA Members. FSMTA Officers, FSMTA Lobbyist and Members met with key Senators, Representatives, and their staff to connect, educate and discuss legislation that impacts our profession. FSMTA through leadership and member involvement stands strong and united to represent, protect and promote the massage therapy profession.

 

August 10, 2015

REJECTED FINGERPRINTS

Some LMTs’ fingerprint scans have been rejected. Unfortunately, those LMTS were not notified by the Department of Health (DoH) in time to be able to be rescanned for free by the vendor.

The FSMTA has been in contact with the Board of Massage Therapy (BoMT) trying to resolve this for its members who were affected. Below is a statement from the Executive Director of the BoMT regarding this:

“Please be advised that we have not finalized a solution regarding this issue.  We are investigating ways to mitigate any additional undue hardship on the therapists and establishment owners effected by this unfortunate situation. Once we come up with a final solution, the effected individuals will be contacted with additional instructions.  If you are getting calls or inquiries, we would appreciate you relaying the above message (as this is all we can relay at this time also).  We have begun emailing these individuals this message as well, in hopes to alleviate some of their concerns.

Another important point of clarification is that having rejected prints will NOT impact license renewal in any way (there seems to have been some confusion regarding this as well).”

 

 

June 19, 2015

The Governor has approved HB 369 relating to human trafficking. A portion of the bill affects some massage establishments (see summary for language).

HB 0369 Relating to Human Trafficking (Kerner)

Actions
Approved by Governor

CS/CS/HB 369 (2015) — Human Trafficking 
Chapter No. 2015-172

06/17/2015 10:31 AM     H     Chapter No. 2015-172

SUMMARY:

An act relating to human trafficking; creating s. 787.29, F.S.; requiring the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health, and certain employers to display human trafficking public awareness signs at specified locations; providing public awareness sign requirements; authorizing a county commission to adopt an enforcement ordinance; providing a penalty; providing an effective date.

787.29 Human trafficking public awareness signs.—

(b) A business or establishment that offers massage or bodywork services for compensation that is not owned by a health  care profession regulated pursuant to chapter 456 and defined in s. 456.001.

March 6, 2015

The Florida legislative session began Tuesday, March 3. The lobbyists and Legislative Chair are monitoring several bills during this session. There is one in particular that has caused some concerns on social media: HB0369 and SB0534 which is similar. We will keep an eye on how or if they progress through the committees. The House version uses “may” where the Senate version uses “shall” and names types of businesses that will be required to posts notices.

HB0369:

Human Trafficking: Authorizes DOT & business owners to display human trafficking public awareness signs at specified locations; requires AG to approve form & content of such signs; provides sign descriptions.

SB0534:

Human Trafficking: Requiring the Department of Transportation and certain employers to display human trafficking public awareness signs at specified locations; providing civil penalties for violations, etc.

 Jan 22-23, 2015

Board of Massage Therapy meeting Notes

Due to the absence of 2 members of the board and because the board would be unable to hear some of the scheduled disciplinary cases due to a lack of a quorum, since some of those present served on the PCP (Probable Cause Panel) and are recuse from disciplinary proceedings; the board reordered its published agenda and heard the proposals from FSMTA on day one instead of in the published order.
Chilo Casas, JD, Unlicensed activity Liaison Florida Department of Health gave a presentation to the board. In it he stated that by far the greatest number of unlicensed activities complaints are about massage, rising from 539 complaints in 2012 to 1067 complaints in 2014.
The board staff reported (beginning p39 of meeting addendum):
On July 1, 2014 there were 41,406 licensed massage therapists in the state of Florida.
As of Jan 21, 2015 the board has received only 55% or 23,000 Livescan fingerprints from licensees.
Massage establishments who have not identified owners: 7495 or 80.85%. Establishments who have owners without BGS results:  570 or 16.5%.
Establishments compliant with BGS: 1205 or 13%
Some of the discrepancies may be due to the Livescan provider sending in batches not in a timely manner while some licensees failed to submit the signed privacy statement to the board.
The board is facing a $3,000,000 million deficit in its budget where $1,207,000 is in the investigative (unlicensed activity) budget, $1,830,513 is in the licensed account. After an analysis, the board may consider at their next meeting raising the fees.
The FSMTA proposals:
  1. 64B7-33.001 Advertisement.
  2. (1) Each massage therapist or massage establishment licensed under the provisions of this act shall include the number of the license in any advertisement of massage services.
  3. (2) Any advertisement of massage services in any advertising medium as defined herein shall include the license number of each licensed massage therapist and each licensed massage establishment whose name appears in the advertisement.
  4. (3) For purposes of this rule, “advertising medium” means: any newspaper, airwave, online coupons sites or computer transmission, telephone directory listing other than an in-column listing consisting only of a name, address, and telephone number, business card, handbill, flyer, sign other than a building directory listing all building tenants and their room or suite numbers, or other form of written advertising.
  5. (4) No provision herein shall be construed to prohibit the use of a properly registered corporate or fictitious name, if registered according to Florida Law.
The BoMT decided to not pursue this as a new rule, since the Board counsel strongly recommended that the Board not discuss whether “online coupons sites” were “kickbacks or advertising. She emphasized that each therapists seek the advice of their own attorney.
  2. Regarding FSMTA’s proposed changes to CH 480.033 Definitions the Board, after lengthy discussion to not endorse the add language “pharmaceutical”. The Board decided to endorse the language pertaining to the purpose of massage therapy essentially saying it was not necessary. As to the definition adding “purpose” for manipulation of the soft tissues to treat “conditions, injuries, etc.” the board felt that this would limit the scope of practice.
  3.  The Board at first the thought proposed language 480.033(4) pertaining to “massage therapy assessment” should be placed in 480.033(3) then they decided that since we already do assessments that it would not be necessary to add it to the statute 480.033 (5). The board will explore ways to include assessment by rule when they develop a rule regarding “minimal standards” see # 6 below.
  4.  Regarding the Board’s desire to eliminate “apprentice” 480.033(5) as a means of training to become a massage therapist, it was pointed out that this would result in the elimination of the apprentice program for colon hydrotherapy. New language needs to be added. Perhaps “Apprentice” means a person approved by the board to study colon hydrotherapy under the instruction of a licensed massage therapist who is also licensed to practice colon hydro therapy.  This would also affect other sections of CH480
  5.    (n) Practicing massage at a site, location, or place which is not duly licensed as a massage establishment, except that a massage therapist, as provided by rules adopted by the board, 
may provide massage services, excluding colonic irrigation colon hydrotherapy, at the temporary or permanent residence of a client, at the office of the client, at a sports special event, at a convention, or at a trade show. 
 
The Board approved this language
  6.   (q) Failure to maintain minimal standards for record keeping as defined by Board rule, in  rendering or providing services.
  The board decided that “rendering or providing services” was not necessary.
Board of Massage Therapy Jan 23, 2015 meeting Notes
The board heard several cases involving applicants and licensees whose application failed to disclose prior convictions or they failed to notify board of prior convictions. These are being detected by the BGS.
Janet Jean Hardy, LMT petitioned the board for a declaratory statement from the board as to whether manipulation of the soft tissues on the pelvic floor would be within the definition of “massage” in CH480.003. Petitioner was not present. After some divided discussions, the board could not reach a consensus and moved to table it until next meeting.

 

 

April 25, 2014

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Amendment 259951 added to HB 1065

This is the compromise language that was also approved by Sen. Latvala. It removes the whole family from owing a massage establishment from the previous exemption language. Even though the FSMTA agreed that there should have been no exemptions for anyone, or exempt all those who are finger printed and background screened Sen. Latvala was adamant to include the physician exemption language on his bill SB1068 as a “favor” to Jack Hibert, chief lobbyist for the FCA and former Latval staffer. That’s politics and under the circumstances it’s the best deal we could get.
See link to amendment below:
http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/1065/Amendment/259951/PDF

Representative Peters offered the following:
Amendment (with directory and title amendments)
Between lines 259 and 260, insert:
(13) This section does not apply to a physician licensed
under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 460 who employs a
licensed massage therapist to perform massage on the physician’s
patients at the physician’s place of practice. This subsection
does not restrict investigations by the department for
violations of chapter 456 or this chapter.
—————————————————– DIRECTORY AMENDMENT

Remove line 182 and insert:
259951
Approved For Filing: 4/25/2014 8:22:45 AM
Page 1 of 2
HOUSE AMENDMENT
Bill No. CS/HB 1065 (2014)
(12), and (13) are added to that section, to read:
—————————————————– TITLE AMENDMENT

Remove line 30 and insert:
screening requirements by a specified date; providing
an exemption for certain licensed physicians;
conforming

 

Alex Spassoff
legislativechair@fsmta.org

 

 

April 21, 2014

On April 22 & 23, 2014-LEGISLATIVE AWARENESS DAYS IN TALLAHASSEE — FSMTA Member Representative’s from across the State will be meeting with State Senators and Representatives, and their staff at the Capitol to educate them on the benefits of Therapeutic Massage, and to address legislative issues that impact our scope of practice and our profession. We will also be providing educational opportunities for those in the Capitol to learn more about what Massage and Massage Therapists provide in their treatment of pain, stress, illness and injuries, and the many benefits of this holistic health care method.  FSMTA is the voice that represents Florida LMT’s and has since 1939!

March 20, 2014

HB 1065  passed the House Health Quality Subcommittee MINUS the exemption for physicians language.

According to FL House web page HB 1065 is on the agenda for Health Quality Subcommittee on Tue. March 18 at 3:00. The latest version contains the same language as Senate version MINUS the physician exemption. Janet spoke with Rep. Kerner and got him to agree to not add the physician exemption.

 

 

Today March 11, 2014 @ 2:00 Sen Grimsley filed 365518 –

 Substitute for Amendment (234686) filed by Health Policy (Senator Grimsley)
http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/1068/Amendment/365518/PDF
This adds 3 sections to the bill for massage therapists and establishment owners as grounds for Emergency Suspension Order (ESO), denying an applicant and renewals persons found guilty of the following:
	Section 796.04, relating to forcing, compelling, or coercing another to become a prostitute.
 		Section 796.05, relating to deriving support from the proceeds of a prostitute.
  		Section 796.07(4)(c), relating to a felony of the third degree for a third or subsequent violation as provided in s.775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Also the chiropractors added an amendment to be exempt from having establishment licenses.
(13) An entity wholly owned by one or more physicians licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 460 or by
  1. such physicians and the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of such physicians is exempt from the requirements of this section.
  2. As used in this subsection, the term “entity wholly owned” means a proprietorship, group practice, partnership, or corporation
  3. that provides health care services rendered by licensed physicians and health care practitioners in which the licensed
  4. physicians or such physicians and the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of such physicians are the business owners in all
  5. aspects of the business entity, including, but not limited to,being reflected as the business owners on the title or lease of 
  6. the physical facility, filing taxes as the business owners,being account holders on the entity’s bank account, being listed
  7. as the principals on all incorporation documents required by this state, and having ultimate authority over all personnel and
  8. compensation decisions relating to the entity.

 

 

Legislative Update 2014_03_04 posted by Legislative Chair

As the 2014 Legislative session begins, the FSMTA is monitoring several bills  that may affect massage therapists in Florida. Below is a summary of some of those bills.

SB 1068  Relating to Licensed Massage TherapistsLicensed Massage Therapists; Requiring an applicant for licensure under ch. 480, F.S., to submit to certain fingerprinting requirements; requiring the Department of Health to issue an emergency order suspending the license of a massage therapist for the commission of certain offenses; requiring the Board of Massage Therapy to deny an application for a massage therapy license for certain offenses; requiring a person with an ownership interest in a massage establishment to submit to certain background screening requirements, etc. Effective Date: 7/1/2014

HB 0819 Relating to Department of Health: Department of Health: Authorizes DHSMV to provide reproductions of specified records to DOH; clarifies DOH’s duties to maintain confidentiality of patient records obtained under subpoena; authorizes licensees under investigation to inspect or receive copies of related patient records; deletes requirements for size of health profession licenses & deletes fee for wall certificates; authorizes boards or DOH to waive certain fees for specified period; requires toll-free telephone number for public reporting of certain complaints; exempts Board of Medicine licensees from certain continuing education requirements & provides for continuing medical education requirements adopted by board; revises certified nursing assistant inservice training requirements; repeals Council on Certified Nursing Assistants; deletes requirement that DOH notify dental laboratory operator who fails to renew registration; revises accrediting organizations for midwifery programs & registered dietitians; repeals provisional licenses for nursing home administrators; deletes provisions for massage therapy apprentices & apprenticeship programs; revises requirements for conducting massage therapist licensing examinations. Effective Date: July 1, 2014

 

 

Posted On October 24, 2013 by

PIP CASE UPDATE:

gavel-80x80

COURT RULES AGAINST PIP TEMPORARY INJUNCTION

(Tallahassee, FL Wednesday, October 23, 2013)

Today the First District Court of Appeal, three judge appellate panel ruled in the appeal by the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) of Judge Lewis’ order of temporary injunction issued on March 18, 2013 in Myers v. McCarty.

The order reverses the March ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis that said the law illegally prevented those injured in automobile accidents from using their PIP insurance coverage to pay for treatment by Acupuncture Physicians and Licensed Massage Therapists, and limited the services from Chiropractors.

In order to address fraud and abuse within Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system the Legislature chose to completely eliminate two licensed professions from providing services to those injured in automobile accidents, in effect punishing all law abiding practitioners in these professions for the crimes of a few. These professions were completely eliminated from providing treatment, all the while there were laws in place to deal with the issue of fraud.  In regards to therapy provided by Licensed Massage Therapists, there were existing requirements in place that did not permit treatment or billing for services without a valid prescription from a Medical Doctor with a diagnosis, statement indicating the treatment was medically necessary, and a directive on the length and duration of treatment.  The Legislatures did not pursue seeking out and punishing the entire M.D.s profession for the fraud committed by a few.

In the future Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, has stated that hes moving forward with a proposal to scrap no-fault at the request of a number of insurance officials. Senator Simmons is moving forward on their behalf with little regard for the citizens of Florida and the impact such a law change will have on their ability to have their medical treatment cost covered without personal out of pocket financial impact, or the long delays that will be associated with the large number of cases that will then be required to go to court under such a system.  This potential change will have a negative impact on the injured public both in terms of their ability to afford to pay up front for necessary treatment, delays attorneys will experience in receiving their payment for handling the cases, and create a backlog in the courts to hear these cases as a result of the large number of drivers who experience accidents State wide 365 days a year.  These situations were faced by Legislators many years ago which is why the PIP system was put in place in the first place.  The reasons are even more valid today with even greater numbers of drivers on the roads in Florida.

Shifting to a Bodily Injury based system will not eliminate fraud, it will simply change the way those who chose to break the law go about doing so.  This approach is like believing that building more jails stops crime from occurring. Enforcement of the laws, arrest and prosecution is what helps to stop crime.

The FSMTA is not in favor of this approach to reduce insurance fraud in the medical community when there are laws in place to address the issue without eliminating massage therapy and an entire profession from providing services. Massage Therapy is a valid and effective treatment for soft tissue injuries which helps to speed healing and recovery time, thereby saving both the consumer and the insurance company money.

 

PIP Case Update -September 17th Court Date

     Posted on    September 17, 2013 | in Featured, News | by   |

Gavel and scales

SEPTEMBER 17TH

FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS HEARING FOR ORAL ARGUMENTS

SEPTEMBER 17th is the date when attorneys Luke Lirot and Adam Levine will present their oral arguments before the 1st District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee to fight for all Licensed Massage Therapist, Acupuncturist, Chiropractors, as well as Florida consumers.  This is an extremely significant hearing which will ultimately impact every Floridian as a driver or passenger.

On March 15,2013, the attorneys representing the healthcare providers in the case obtained a Temporary Injunction against the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), the effect of which was to prevent the exclusion of Licensed Massage Therapists and Acupuncture Physicians from being able to provide services and get compensated under PIP Insurance, and also making sure that medical services provided by LMTs, APs, and Chiropractors could be compensated for up to the full $10,000 required by PIP, rather than being limited to $2,500, absent showing the undefined emergency medical condition.

After this incredible victory,  the OIR filed an Appeal of the decision granting the Injunction. This resulted in an automatic stay, essentially trying to prevent the enforcement of the benefits of the injunction. The attorneys representing the healthcare providers filed a Motion to Lift the Stay, which was granted, and the OIR then sought to have the 1st District Court of Appeal reinstate the stay through the filing of a massive brief and appendix.

The attorneys representing the healthcare providers filed an equally massive and thoroughly researched opposition to the OIRs appellate motion, and they prevailed again. Thereafter, the appeal has been going full force.

State President Leiah Carr authorized the filing of an Amicus Brief on behalf of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association, which is a document noted as meaning a Friend of the Court, showing support for the case and offers information that bears on the case.  Several other organizations followed such as the Florida Acupuncture Association, The Florida State Oriental Medical Association, The Florida Chiropractic Association of American and the Florida Justice Association.

We will continue to provide updates to the case as they develop.  To donate to help pay for the attorneys fighting on behalf of all Florida LMTs, and consumers simply click the link below to the Florida PIP Defense Fund: http://www.flpipdefensefund.com/

Each donation no matter how large or small is greatly appreciated by the legal team.

 

June 15, 2013

CS/CS/CS/HB 7005 Massage Establishments: Revises definition of term “board-approved massage school”; provides additional grounds for denial of license or disciplinary action; revises penalties; prohibits operation of massage establishment during specified times; provides exceptions; prohibits use of massage establishment as principal domicile unless establishment is zoned for residential use under local ordinance; provides penalties; declares that massage establishment operating in violation of specified statutes is nuisance that may be abated or enjoined.
Effective Date: October 1, 2013
Last Event: Approved by Governor on Friday, June 14, 2013 4:14 PM
Although most FSMTA members were not pleased to have massage establishment hours restricted by the legislature, we were able to amend the original proposed bill by reducing the number of hours being restricted, provide additional exemptions and by strengthening the penalties.
Had this bill not passed, it was a certainty that many municipalities and counties would have adopted similar ordinances. Overall the bill will be consistent throughout the state and will be another tool for law enforcement to combat prostitution and human trafficking operating under the guise of licensed massage establishments.

June 7, 2013

CS/CS/CS/HB 7005/SB500 (2013) Massage Establishments

Was passed by both chambers and as of this writing is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

If you are attending the Florida Massage and Trade Show by FSMTA be sure to visit the Legislative Booth. Vivian M. Mahoney, Insurance Coding, Documentation and Fraud Prevention (ICDF) Chair and Alex Spassoff, Legislative Chair will be there to answer your questions and concerns about the past and upcoming legislative issues and their impact on massage therapists’ ability to practice.

We know that next year the Legislature is going to seriously look at scrapping automobile PIP and replacing it with mandatory bodily insurance (BI). The legislature also needs to address the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and how it will affect the citizens of Florida and healthcare providers. The FSMTA will be monitoring, meeting with legislators and appearing before committees to work with the legislators through the FSMTA Lobby Team to protect the rights of massage therapists to practice unrestricted within the scope of practice of CH480.

April 30, 2013
CS/CS/CS/HB 7005 (2013) — Read Third Time in the Senate:

04/30/13 Read 3rd time

Additional bill information …CS/CS/CS/HB 7005 (2013) — Passed (or Adopted) by the Senate:

04/30/13 S CS passed; YEAS 38 NAYS 0

This means that the bills House and Senate are identical have passed both houses. They await the Governor’s signature to become law effective Oct. 1, 2013

 

 

April 19, 2013

On Wednesday April 17, the Legislative Awareness Day (LAD) activities continued with a visit to the Governor’s Mansion where the group was greeted and spoke with the Governor’s wife. Later, back at the Capitol FSMTA members were in the House visitors gallery when Rep. Dave Kerner  (D- Lake Worth) introduced the FSMTA members in the gallery see video of the introduction beginning @ 105:18

Later in the session HB 7005 passed 117-0 on third reading without any additional amendments. The Senate version SB 500 is on the agenda in the Senate Appropriations Committee for April 23 beginning 9:00 AM.
SPB 1752: Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance has now become SB 1888 and is in the Senate Appropriations Committee but has not been placed on the agenda. Since April 23rd is the last scheduled committee meeting it is doubtful that it will advance. Also there is no companion bill in the House as of this posting.
In an order signed April 17, 2013 but first published on the courts web site April 19, Judge Lewis issued his order granting the motion to vacate the automatic stay in Myers v. McCarty. This means that the temporary injunction he issued last month stands. To view the order:
The defendants subsequently filed a “motion for review of order vacating automatic stay, and request for expedited treatment.” “The Office respectfully asks that this Court immediately enter an order reversing the Stay Order, thereby reinstating the stay and providing that the Injunction Order on appeal will be stayed until the conclusion of this appeal.”
In plain English, the Office of Insurance Regulation is appealing the court’s recent order of April 17. It is not clear whether the state gets another automatic stay. One thing for certain is that this case will eventually be decided by the Florida Supreme Court.

April 17, 2013

Yesterday was the FSMTA’s Legislative Awareness Day (LAD) in the state capitol where nearly 50 LMTs and students gave complimentary chair massages, educated the public and met with their senators, state representatives and their staff to educate them about the concerns of massage therapists and past and proposed legislative actions that affect massage therapists ability to practice and earn a livelihood. Many also attended the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee hearing where FSMTA President, Leiah Carr, addressed the committee regarding PSB 7152 (Mandatory BI replacing PIP). You may see the video of the committee meeting at 21:18

The bill was passed out of the Senate Banking and Insurance committee but has not been assigned to any other committees nor is there a companion bill in the house. The bill Sponsor, Sen. Simmons (R.-Maitland) was quoted in the PB Post I’ve got it in a posture so we can deal with it and we are poised to take action in the event that we get further direction from the courts, said Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland, chair of the banking and insurance committee. I think it’s important to wait and see if the court decision is resolved.
http://m.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/senate-panel-votes-to-repeal-pip-but-waits-for-cou/nXNmf/

Additional developments, HB 7005 may take on an amendment allowing acupuncture physicians to the list of physicians who can write a prescription for massage therapy.

Today’s LAD agenda involves a tour of the Governor’s Mansion and the Senate Chamber.

 

April 10, 2013

On Monday, April 8, a group attempted to amend the bill affecting CH 480. The amendment sought to mandate in CH480 (2) hours of continuing education (within the required 24) on Human Trafficking. After several phone calls between our lobbyist, Janet Mabry, EC members and the Legislative Chair along with Janet’s calls to the lobbyist who wanted the amendment, we were successful in having the sponsor withdraw support of the amendment. Therefore there was NO additional amendment to SB 500.
The amendments to HB 7005 and SB 500 were conforming amendments so that both the House and Senate Bill are alike.

CS/CS/HB 7005 (2013) —CS by House Committee:04/09/2013 5:30 PM H Favorable with CS by Judiciary Committee; YEAS 18 NAYS 0

CS/CS/SB 500 (2013) – CS by Senate Committee:04/09/13 S CS/CS/CS by Health Policy; YEAS 9 NAYS 0

SPB 7152: Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance

 Banking and Insurance, 04/09/13, 1:30 pm, 110 Senate Office Building –Temporarily Postponed

The fact that Sen. Simmons didn’t bring it to a vote and will continue discussion next week, hopefully Tuesday during LAD is good news. Chances of it being enacted this year has been diminished since it has NOT been voted out of his committee and is still a proposed committee bill (PCB). You may view the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee proceedings at http://thefloridachannel.org/video/4913-senate-banking-insurance-committee/

The portion dealing with the bill begins @ 37:31
There is no confirmed additional information regarding the PIP injunction in Judge Lewis’s court. He is still deliberating on whether to vacate the stay as requested by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Luke Lirot and Adam Levine.

 

April 9, 2013

Today will be a very busy day for the Florida State Massage Therapy Assoc. (FSMTA) in Tallahassee. Two bills affecting massage therapists will be heard by 3 committees beginning at 1:30.
The Mandatory BI S7152 is on the agenda of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee beginning at 1:30 and can be watched live on http://thefloridachannel.org/channel/tvweb1/
The Massage Establishment bill S 500 is on the agenda of the Senate Health Policy Committee beginning @ 1:30 NOT ON WEB TV
The Massage Establishment bill HB 7005 is on the agenda of the House Judiciary Committee beginning @ 2:30 and can be watched live on http://thefloridachannel.org/channel/tvweb1/

Keep on sending good vibes and surround the Capitol with positive energy and light.

 

April 2, 2013

HB 500 The Senate Committee on Community Affairs hear the bill with and amendment from Sen. Hukill: or an independent postsecondary educational institution licensed and approved by the Commission for Independent Education pursuant to chapter 1005;

Sen. Smith added an amendment similar to amendment passed in HB 7005: (c)A college or university that is eligible to participate in the William F. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program.

The bill passed with both amendments.

 

Senate Banking and Insurance: BI Workshop

Information gathering only, no vote. Discussion on eliminating PIP in favor of mandatory BI. You can review the proceedings on the Florida Channel video library link to the committee meeting. The BI portion begins @ 146:30

The portion dealing with BI/PIP begins @ 146.30

http://thefloridachannel.org/video/4213-senate-banking-insurance-committee/

 

March 29, 2013

 

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee will hold a workshop on proposed Mandatory BI (Bodily Injury) legislation on Tuesday April 2, 2013 beginning at 12:30 PM. There will be discussion only no vote taken. Below is a summary of the effect of the bill on LMTs.

Mandatory BI Bill Summary draft 10-00450B-13
Effect on Licensed Massage Therapists
By, Paul Watson Lambert, General Counsel, FSMTA
March 29, 2013

The draft amends the financial responsibility statutes, increasing the minimum bodily injury (BI) protection coverage to $25,000/$50,000 and requires all motor vehicle owners to maintain BI coverage in at least the minimum amounts. The BI requirement applies to policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2014. LMTs are eligible to treat an injured person and get paid by the at fault driver. The LMT will treat under a letter of protection from the attorney representing the injured person and receive payment when the case is settled.

The draft amends the clinic licensure statutes by deleting the requirement that a health care provider filing a PIP claim must be licensed as a clinic except for practices owned by allopaths, osteopaths, chiropractors, dentists, hospitals or medical schools and some other amendments that do not affect chiropractors. This means that there is no clinic licensure restriction under the BI system.

The PIP statutes are repealed effective January 1, 2014. PIP policies in issued or renewed prior to January 1, 2014 remain in effect until they are renewed at which time the renewed policy will provide the BI coverage rather than PIP coverage. The elimination of massage and acupuncture and the clinic licensure requirement remains in effect on those PIP policies carrying over into 2014, but are eliminated when the PIP policies convert to BI policies.

Motor vehicle owners may maintain voluntary medical payments (med pay) coverage after January 1, 2014. It is up to an insurer to draft the med pay contract that includes covered health services specified in the policy.

 

 

March 28, 2013

Last Event: Favorable with CS by Justice Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:00 AM

There was an amendment added by Rep Pilon of Sarasota addiing to definition of “Board Approved Massage Schools”

Amendment (with title amendment)
Between lines 23 and 24, insert:
Section 1. Subsection (9) of section 480.033, Florida
Statutes, is amended to read:
480.033 Definitions. As used in this act:
(9) “Board-approved massage school” means a facility which
meets minimum standards for training and curriculum as
determined by rule of the board and which is licensed by the
Department of Education pursuant to chapter 1005 or the
equivalent licensing authority of another state or is within the
public school system of this state, or a college or university
which is eligible to participate in the William F. Boyd, IV,
Florida Resident Access Grant Program.

 

 

March 14, 2013

SB 500 passed today in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee with the same language as HB 7005 which passed on Tuesday in House Health Quality Subcommittee.

March 13, 2013

The Florida House has a new app for your phone.
http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/politics/article/301397/23/FL-House-mobile-phone-app-will-help-you-monitor-Florida-lawmakers

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=601119295&mt=8

March 12, 2013

HB7005 with the amendments offered by the FSMTA Lobby Team passed the House Health Quality Subcommittee earlier today. You can view the subcommittee hearing at http://thefloridachannel.org/video/31213-house-health-quality-subcommittee/
The taking up of HB7005 begins around 56:30 into the video.
The Senate Committee on Regulated Industries will hear SB500 on Thursday March 14 @ 11:00. As of now it will have the same language as passed in HB7005.

 

March 7, 2013

LEGISLATIVE AWARENESS DAY is APRIL 16-17 in TALLAHASSEE

The first Legislative Awareness Day (LAD) ever held in the country was in 1987 in Tallahassee, FL. About 20 LMTs attended educating and performing chair massage on the Legislators, their staff and other government officials. Not being certain how it would be received, the event was held in the Governor’s Conference Room in the Capitol. It was so popular and well received that the following year more massage therapists attended and the event was in the 3rd floor of the Rotunda where it was open to the public.

For Your Information: Find Your Legislators

This is an opportunity to educate the Legislature and the public about massage therapy and massage therapists.

Let your chapter president know if you are planning to attend.

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Feb 21, 2013

S 966 (2013) Health Care
SENATE -Referred to Health Policy; Appropriations

What it usually means when a bill goes directly to Appropriations it is for “housekeeping” and there is little or no chance to add amendments to the portion of this bill that addressed PIP. The Lobby Team in Tallahassee will continue to monitor this bill.

HB7005 (Regulating Massage Establishments) is still not on the agenda of the Health Quality Committee or any other committee agendas at this time.

 

Feb. 17, 2013

The FSMTA lobby team consisting of two lobbyist, the attorney and legislative chair have been monitoring several bills involving massage therapy.
HB7005 (Regulating Massage Establishments) has been the current focus. This bill first appeared as a Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) in the House Criminal Justice House Subcommittee, with language and intent similar to a proposed City of Tampa ordinance (continued until May 2). The FSMTA Lobby Team has met with the bill’s sponsors and committee chairs several times negotiating and offering amendments. As of this posting it is off the agenda of the House Health Quality Subcommittee until the hours restrictions and other issues can be resolved.

The lobby team has been trying to implement the changes that the FSMTA Board directed us to on the establishment license legislation during the last Board meeting in Orlando.

1. Change the hours to 12 am to 5 am.

2. Get the words prescription rather then under medical direction.

3. Expand the exemptions.

4. Work on an exemption for special events

5. Work with the board so they could better regulate the issues of advertising/ and other issues of actually breaking the law.

Because the legislative process is fluid and changes occur sometimes as they are being published, check back here daily for the latest update


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