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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.