Watch here for future Legislative updates from the only massage therapy association with active representation of massage therapists in Tallahassee.
LEGISLATIVE AWARENESS DAYS
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
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)
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
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
|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.|
|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
- 64B7-33.001 Advertisement.
- (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.
- (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.
- (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.
- (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.
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
April 25, 2014
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:
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:
Approved For Filing: 4/25/2014 8:22:45 AM
Page 1 of 2
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;
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
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 –
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
- such physicians and the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of such physicians is exempt from the requirements of this section.
- As used in this subsection, the term “entity wholly owned” means a proprietorship, group practice, partnership, or corporation
- that provides health care services rendered by licensed physicians and health care practitioners in which the licensed
- physicians or such physicians and the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of such physicians are the business owners in all
- aspects of the business entity, including, but not limited to,being reflected as the business owners on the title or lease of
- the physical facility, filing taxes as the business owners,being account holders on the entity’s bank account, being listed
- as the principals on all incorporation documents required by this state, and having ultimate authority over all personnel and
- 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 Therapists: Licensed 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 president
PIP CASE UPDATE:
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
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
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
04/30/13 S CS passed; YEAS 38 NAYS 0
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
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
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
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
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/
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/
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/
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
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.
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.
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.
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