The Maryland Board of Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Examiners is unique because the massage board is combined with the chiropractic board. According to their website, their board is made up of six chiropractors, three massage therapists, and two public members. This week they may decide this week to no longer pre-approve NCBTMB Approved Providers for massage CEUS. Massage may had an article about a proposed change to the Maryland’s massage CEU requirements. According to the Maryland AMTA site, this would involve the following major changes:
- NCBTMB-approved courses will no longer be accepted without board pre-approval.
- All courses will require Maryland Board pre-approval.
- Providers will have to pay $25 per course unit for approval. (This is not $25 per course; it is per hour! So, to get a 24 hour course approved by the board would cost a provider a $600 one time fee.) ***I emailed the board after posting this and was told it was $25 dollars per application.
As a massage CEU provider, how do I feel about this?
Well, I bothered enough to write the board an email with my thoughts. You can also write one to by January 13th. The email is: email@example.com. I want what is best for the public and massage professionals. I believe more fees and regulations are not the way to go about bringing positive change. Will these new fees and requirements benefit massage professionals and protect the public more? Sure, the NCBTMB could better review providers and applicants. However, I highly doubt the Maryland Board will review the courses more thoroughly than the NCBTMB. What I entirely understand is that they do not want animal massage, energy techniques, and other courses typically outside the scope of massage automatically approved for licensee renewal. I will explain how effectively the Iowa board did this later in the blog.
As for the application fee, Illinois, Texas, and Florida boards do charge massage CEU providers an application fee (each around $200). However, each of these states waives the fee if the provider is NCTMB approved. Additionally, those three states each have thousands of more massage licensees than Maryland. For most massage CEU providers it will not be cost-effective to apply to the massage board for approval. This will limit the number of courses for Maryland licensees. I know now that the fee is much lower, but I hope state boards in the future do not attach ridiculous fees to provider applications.
Will the proposed changes insure better courses for licensees or give the public more competent massage professionals? I am not convinced it will. I wish they would say what they would do with the new fees. Are they going to promote massage therapy in the state, decrease renewal dues, or donate it to massage research?
To give some credit to the Iowa Massage Board, earlier in my career they doubled the number of required CEUS to 24 biennially. However, when they did this they also cut our renewal fee in half to $50 (Maryland’s is $250)! This left a little more money for our massage CEUS. They also stopped approving massage CEU providers. They have a list of criteria to look for in a course and a list of unacceptable courses. In my opinion this has not affected the quality of courses we take in Iowa, raised costs, or compromised the safety to the public.
I know more and more state boards will cease giving automatic approval to NCTMB providers. State boards are tired of the power of the NCBTMB. Back in the day the NCTMB was all we had, but its purpose is diminishing as state boards gain control of their licensees. I will be talking more about the NCTMB and its direction soon. So what is your opinion about the Maryland board and CE requirements?
Ivy Hultquist, LMT
At its General Session Meeting of 1/13/2011, the Board of Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Examiners announced that it would forthwith withdraw from the rulemaking proposal Chapter 16 (Recordkeeping) and Chapter 20 (Continuing Education) pending further review and study. Both of these chapters were contested in comments received to date. This means that Chapters 16 and 20 will not be processed further in the current rulemaking proposal.
When further review and study of Chapters 16 and 20 is scheduled, details shall be posted on this website and in the Maryland Register.
UPDATE !! 1/11/11
I have received a response from the board and some clarification since this blog post. Here were a few comments and clarifications. I have highlighted a few points.
The revisions in issue were conducted in accordance with applicable state administrative and procedural law and regulation and are proposed for the following reasons:
- To eliminate the exclusive autonomy of the NCBTMB to approve massage courses without Board participation; significantly, this privileged autonomy is not offered or extended to any other provider and is considered unfair by many providers;
- To remove potential liability to the State and the Board on a possible challenge of supporting/condoning a monopoly or restraint of trade in favor of NCBTMB as opposed to other providers not similarly extended unfettered approval autonomy;
- To remove the possibility that NCBTMB might approve a course that is not relevant to the specific statutory scope of Maryland massage practice. In such case (which has occurred in the past) the Board has no recourse to question or to deny the autonomous approval of NCBTMB.
- NCBTMB sponsors courses for many State jurisdictions; many such states are not regulated or maintain scope of practices different from Maryland . Accordingly, it may offer courses acceptable to other jurisdictions but such courses could be irrelevant and inappropriate to Maryland scope of massage practice. For example, currently, NCBTMB offers “approved” courses on canine massage, equine massage, general animal massage, non-manual energy practice, Chinese energy healing, aromatherapy, energy medicine, reflexology, building and marketing businesses, etc. None of these are within the MD statutory scope of massage practice and are considered irrelevant to MD practice of massage. .
- Regarding cost, please be advised that, all providers (including NCBTMB) will be charged only $25.00 per mailed submission, regardless of the number of courses or hours in the submission. The Board anticipates being able to do so under the proposed rule-making without an increase in staff or cost to licensees/registrants.
All in all, some very good points made. I wish I had contacted them first and not just have gone with the MD AMTA’s information.
Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the good spirit.
Wayne M. Parker, LMT
Maryland’s regulatory board is reviewing the proposed regs again. The first open meeting for discussion was on session documentation. CE requirements will be discussed at a date yet to be determined.
It is my personal belief that as long as the board recognizes NCBTMB’s NCE as an entrance exam, and taking that exam requires membership, then NCBTMB approved courses (within the scope already established by the board in existing regulations) MUST be approved. While those entering this field may choose the path of least resistance (FSMTB’s MBLEx entry exam), the option of the NCE is still present and open to those who wish to meet a higher standard.
The AMTA – Maryland Chapter is accepting comments regarding the documentation and CE proposed regs to submit a comprehensive opinion to the board. You may e-mail your comments to the Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TY. Wayne M. Parker, LMT, President, AMTA – Maryland Chapter
Thank you so much for this new update. I hope you will let me when a date is determined for the CE Requirement discussion.
I had heard that you no longer need to be a member of the NCBTMB to be a LMT in Maryland. Have you heard of this or is it a rumor?
This is partially true. The NCETMB is not the only accepted exam in MD. You could also take the FSMTB’s MBLEx entry exam (The FSMTB says that it is accepted in MD and the MD application lists it as an accepted exam). The MBLEx is actually a very popular, newer entry level massage exam. So, not all MD LMT’s have to members of the NCBTMB. Does that make sense.
I find MD to be all about making money. The laws are not for those who have paid thousand of dollars for their education. Must Babyon make money off of the hard work of others. taxes should be enough.
I’m beginning to wonder who the Maryland Massage Board thinks it is? I’m a massage therapist with 13 yrs experience and have been licensed in 3 states…in addition to being a massage instructor for 3 years. And I have yet to encounter a state that compares to Maryland in terms of convolution and expense just in obtaining a license.
To give a sampling: Maryland License-$450, Florida-$155, Virginia-$149, DC-$250, MA-$200
In Maryland you must first submit paperwork, which includes required National Test Certification (all well and good), to the tune of $250. Once that paperwork is received and approved THEN the board requires an additional state Jurisprudence test to be taken as well. And then once that test is taken and processed THEN the therapist must pay an additional $200 to receive their license.
First off, it is ridiculous that any student from a Maryland massage school should have to take a state jurisprudence test. The students are specifically taught and tested on all aspects of applicable Maryland law and ethics as a mandatory part of all schools’ curriculum.
And I find it extremely unlikely that the Maryland State Exam can offer anything substantiative beyond the National Certification Test the gold standard of every other state licensure). It is a waste of money and time, and needlessly prolongs the wait for licensure and the ability for a therapist to seek employment.
Furthermore, it is extremely unlikely that Maryland Massage Board knows better than the NCBTMB in terms of which CEU’s are acceptable. Animal massage…who better than a massage therapist to learn and practice this? Energy work…any modality that deepens a practitioner’s sense of touch and healing (and used in oncology clinics across the land) seems right and appropriate?
Get my point?
So, get over yourself, Maryland Massage Board.
Thank your for your insight! $450? Really? Wow! I think with the FSMTB we should see in the future a process that will make it easier to move from state to state. Whether it makes it cheaper…. I don’t know yet. Seasoned massage therapists should not have to go through this much work to get a new state license.
I actually just mailed in my Florida license application yesterday. So I paid $155 there, $100 for the Florida courses you need before your licensing, $5 for my transcript, $25 for the NCBTMB to send my scores to the board. All in all, it could have been worse. However, most Florida endorsement licensees who are actually moving to Florida would then have to pay $100 for an establishment license and then pay a Florida school to review your transcript from an out of state school ($$$).
So, I will not complain about my $50 licensing fee in Iowa 🙂
Next month we will find out if New York will be charging $900 for massage CEU providers……