Call to Action Regarding Health Equity Training
|Dear AMTA-WA Members and all WA State Massage therapists;
If you are a member, check your email for a short survey on this issue!
It is important for you to weigh in on an issue regarding Health Equity Continuing Education for Massage Therapists at the state Board of Massage (BOM) hearing this Friday, July 14th at 9:00 am.(See information below on how to submit a comment.) The Department of Health (DOH) completed the broad “model” rulemaking required by ESSB 5229 concerning health equity continuing education for health care professionals on November 23, 2022, under WSR 22-23-167.
The rules require that by January 1, 2024, health care professions that are subject to continuing education requirements must adopt rules requiring licensees to complete health equity continuing education training at least once every four years. They established a minimum number of hours for this training of 2 hours every 4 years. Boards and Commissions are allowed to exceed the minimum hours of training, but cannot go less than.
The Board of Massage at the CR 102 Public Hearing on Friday is proposing to increase the number of training hours beyond the minimum proposed by DOH. The proposed rule adds four hours of health equity education to be completed as part of the current continuing education requirements every two years. The proposed rule does not change total CE hours but requires four hours in health equity CE every two years which is absorbed into the existing number of CE hours required.
The health equity CE requirement is counted under existing, unspecified CE requirements for the profession. You may view the CR102 form and proposed rule here.
Option #1: Support the BOM Health Equity Continuing Education Rules being proposed that increases number of hours beyond the minimum of 2 hours every 4 years, to 4 hours every 2 years. The AMTA-WA Board did not come to a consensus on the number of hours that should be required at their last meeting, but did support a comment letter that was sent out to the BOM on April 14th regarding the proposed rules.
This was a medium between the BOM number of hours and the minimum number of hours in the model rulemaking.
Option #2: Support doubling the required minimum – 2 hours every 2 years.
This option is also what the physical therapists, occupational therapists are supporting and acupuncturists are supporting 2 hours every 4 years. You can see their proposed rule making here.
Option #3: Support that the BOM go back to the model rulemaking proposal of 2 hours every 4 years. Please choose the Option in the survey linked above that you feel would best suit your needs as a licensed massage therapist in Washington state. Many members have strong opinions regarding the number of hours and we want to make sure your voice is heard at the public hearing. The state Board of Massage (BOM) is holding a public hearing for the proposal on July 14, 2023, at 9:00 AM under WSR #23-12-095 proposing amendments to WAC 246-830-475 continuing education requirements, to establish health equity continuing education requirements to implement ESSB 5229.
You may comment on the proposed rules or attend this hearing either in person or virtually via Zoom. There will also be an opportunity for public comment at the rules hearing. In person: Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98503 Virtual: To attend virtually, you must register in advance at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DQKnDshwQfqOXtiviyJ52g#/registration Comments may be submitted in writing via mail, email, fax, or the agency rules webpage at: Department of Health – Board of Massage, PO Box 47852, Olympia, WA 98504-7852
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Fax: 360-236-2901
Agency Rules Webpage: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/policyreview/
Thank you for your participation!
Leslie Emerick, MPA American Massage Therapy Association-WA Chapter (AMTA-WA)firstname.lastname@example.org