Halt Unlicensed Activity!

Call 1-877-HALT-ULA
or access the complaint form online here.

You may remain anonymous.

To stop unlicensed activity, you must report it!

Practicing massage therapy, or any healthcare profession, without a license is dangerous and illegal.

You can verify a healthcare provider’s license by going to the Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Division License Verification Screen.

Recognizing and Reporting unlicensed activity – Why is it important?
By: Scott Hartsfield, FSMTA Legislative Committee Chair

How do I recognize unlicensed activity?
They are everywhere. You can see them in malls, newspapers, magazines, flyers, internet – the examples are endless.

When the term “Massage” is used, it should be followed with a MA number. Services offered at a location (other than outcall) should follow with an MM number.

Example – in looking at today’s local paper, I see this ad:

Awesome Massage
* An all-over * magical stress relief, 7 days in/out calls. 866-5406 Ashley MA43221.

Since “in-call” is advertised, it would be appropriate for this person to use their MM number.

What would I report?
You may ask yourself, “What would I report”? Great question! As a health-care professional, you have the responsibility to report a variety of events. In fact, the public has that same right. You also have the right to report unlicensed massage establishments, medical errors and procedures/practices that are not within our scope.

This is not an exhaustive list, but one to bring awareness of your responsibility and your obligation as a therapist and a consumer.

You may then ask yourself “Why would I want to report anyone?” The real question is not reporting a “person” – but keeping in mind these missions:

Department of Health – Division of Medical Quality Assurance: “Our Mission:
Promote, protect and improve the health of all people in Florida.”

FSMTA: “To Unify the Massage Therapy Profession While Creating, Representing, and Promoting Standards of Excellence in Health Care.”

Unlicensed people
Please notice that I did not use the term Unlicensed Therapist. These individuals are not therapists as defined by law. Many skilled people have knowledge, possible training and good intent. However, if they are absent of formal training – and the requirements of the law – they are not a therapist.

Unlicensed people, regardless of how skilled they may be, could potentially harm the public. These people are void of the knowledge of anatomy and physiology, contraindications and likely the laws that govern our profession.

Another very important consideration for reporting is competition. Unlicensed people are competing for the same business/audience for which you are serving. As mentioned earlier, these individuals should be identified (by reporting) in order to cease from the services they offer.

Unlicensed Massage Establishment
As of March 2009, Florida has 29,774 Licensed Massage Therapists and 9,178 Licensed Massage Establishments. Periodically, you may encounter an “establishment” that does not appear to have a visibly displayed massage license. In Florida, all massage establishments are required to have licensure by the Department of Health.

The purpose of this license is to ensure a safe, sanitary and a property equipped facility for the public.

You may notice “In-Call” advertising and should automatically see the “MM” number that should be immediately visible. If not, a necessity and appropriateness for reporting exists.

Reporting unlicensed people is the right thing to do.

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