Health Equity Training Update.

Friday, July 14th the Washington Board of Massage held a rules hearing for CR-102 Health Equity, WSR #23-12-095. This rules hearing pertained to WAC 246-830-475 – Continuing education requirements, which was amended based SB 5221 approved by the Governor on May 12, 2021 adding additional continuing education to address inequity in health care. 

The Department of Health was responsible for establishing the minimum requirements which set the minimum education at 2 hours every 4 years. Once established the Washington Board of Massage through its research and deliberation proposed that massage therapists be required to take 4 hours every 2 years, quadruple the state requirement.  

Last week AMTA-WA sent out a survey to collect feedback on this proposal from YOU, its members. We had a remarkable response given the short response time frame and we were able to relay your desires to the Board of Massage both in writing and by oral testimony. You can find that response/testimony here… AMTA-WA response to CR 102 – Health Equity Hearing.

While I realize that it may often feel like you are just one voice and your voice may not make a difference. Let me assure you it can and it did! We received enough responses for your voice to not only be statistically significant but for it to also affect the outcome of the process. As the result of your voice, and the voice of other therapists around the state, the Board amended their requirements to meet in the middle and require 2 hours every 2 years aligning with your renewal period.  

So what does this mean now? Well, more information will be coming out from the Board of Massage and we will be sure to keep you in the loop as more information becomes available. What we do know is that the new rules do not go into effect until January 1, 2024 and will align with your next full CE renewal period. In the meantime, here is some additional information that may address some of your questions or concerns.  

What is Health Equity? That question was raised by many of our members and you can find a good and short explanation put together by the CDC here on Health Equity. In addition, there is specific information put together by the Washington Department of Health to address this issue.  The DOH website has find information specific to the Law that was enacted, the educational requirements, and free education that you can use to meet the new Health Equity requirement.  

As your new GR Chair, I cannot express how much I appreciate and am inspired by your last minute contributions to this process. I promise we will do our best to give you more information and more lead time moving forward!  

With Warmest Regards,

Patty Glenn, LMT, CDC

AMTA-WA Government Relations Chair