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american massage therapy association
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Kirkland, WA 98034
advancing the art, science and practice of massage therapy in washington state
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May 1-3, 2014 - Chapter Convention @ Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center

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2014 Massage Awareness Day Photos

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highlights for amta-wa volunteer leaders


Welcome to the latest edition of hotsheet - the bi-monthly newsletter from AMTA Washington. In each issue we keep you up to date on the latest industry news and AMTA Chapter events.  We hope that you enjoy our newsletter and feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.


AMTA Washington Chapter
President's Message

As I type this message to you I am in a plane on my way to the March AMTA National Board meeting in Evanston, IL. At this meeting the new national Board of Director members that you elected (you did vote, I hope!) will be sworn in and participate in their first Board meeting. Two of the new Board members are from the northwest. Glyn Desmond, from WA and John Combe from OR were both elected to the position of Member at Large (MAL). I hope that if you have any concerns, questions or comments about anything that the national Board does or does not do that you will free to contact either of these gentleman or any other national Board member. Later in this issue of the Hot Sheet you will also find my report from the national Board meeting.

Right here in WA, we also have lots going on. The 2014 Legislative session will be coming to a close soon (we hope). Please read the report from AMTA-WA lobbyist, Melanie Stewart in this issue. Our Annual meeting and Chapter elections will be in just a few days, (March 15). I hope that I will see you there. It appears that this event will be a sell out! This is an important event to attend, not only will Chapter officers, Delegates and Alternate Delegates be elected but we will also ask all AMTA-WA members who are present to approve the chapter budget for the next fiscal year and to approval a Standing Rule change. The Chapter Board of Directors (CBOD) would like to change the chapter elections from an in-person (at Annual meeting) to an online election process. This requires a change to the Chapter Standing Rules. This change will allow many more of our members to be able to participate in the election process. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to engage in the direction that this organization and the profession in general is moving here in WA.

If you have not yet registered for the AMTA-WA Chapter Convention, please do so soon. You can register online and find all the convention details by clicking here.

Please keep reading. There is a lot more important information in this issue. I hope to see all of you soon.
Marybeth Berney, AMTA-WA President
Chapter Website

We are excited that so many of you have updated your profiles on the new site. If you haven't, we would love you to so we can get as many of our members as possible with complete profiles. By doing this, you will allow the public to find you and your business and will allow other members to find and network with you. Also, while you are working on your profile, you can check out some of the helpful things that the website allows you to do such as track continuing education classes, send and receive messages between members, network with local MAIN groups and find upcoming events.

With all of these capabilities, we know you will have questions or need some help navigating it for the first time. We have a very helpful, very talented webmaster who is happy to answer all your questions. His name is Mark and you can contact him by clicking here. Please direct any questions you have about the website to him as he has the tools to help you! Mark is your go-to guy for website issues and questions.

Chapter Convention

May 1-3, 2014
Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center

Registration is underway with 102 attendees already registered! 

Click here for complete convention details and a link to register online. Brochures were mailed to AMTA -WA members in mid-February. The brochure can also be downloaded from the website. Members save $47 if registered by April 4!
MAIN Group Updates

North Cascades Massage Connection (NCMC)
NCMC is looking for a stellar individual or team to take over the Chair position beginning June 2014. Now is a good time to be mentored by the existing Chair and take advantage of this great opportunity to facilitate this dynamic, active, 'turn-key' MAIN Group in Bellingham. 

Questions? Contact Ahwren Ayers via e-mail or call at 360-312-1244.  Ahwren stated, "It has been a rewarding experience for me."

Seattle LMP Network
New meeting location at Massage Envy in Shoreline. Group meets the 4th Sunday each month at 1pm. Recent CE topics:
Jan - "Introduction to Structural Relief Therapy (SRT)
Feb - "How to Turn a Simple Foot Massage into Foot Magic"

South Sound Massage Therapists (SSMT) 
Chair Allison Hanelt has done a super job managing Groupsite for online networking, along with arranging informative CE courses and networking events. January featured "First Year TIPS for success" and notes can be found on the Chapter's MAIN Blog Forum, along with other group news.

Tri -Cities Touch (TCT) 
TCT showcases a vibrant group of LMPs committed to their profession. TCT has a new meeting venue at Touch Education Therapy in Richland. Their new space is designed for teaching massage related classes in a comfortable social environment. Additional classes are available online at Their website/facebook is performing well and attendance keeps growing.

Legislative Update from Lobbyist
Melanie Stewart

I'm writing this article just as the 2014 Winter Olympics are concluding. And so I find myself thinking about the type of Olympic sport that would equate to the legislative arena. My answer is Snowboard Cross, where 6 athletes at a time snowboard down a hill over different obstacles, to include each other, to the finish line. It's competitive, messy, and while skill is important, luck is equally so. And all of those words could be used to describe a typical legislative session.

The 2014 legislative session began on January 13th, and the last official day of this 60 day session will be March 14th. Historically, short sessions, held in even numbered years, were focused on "clean up" of legislation from the previous year. That is no longer the case. This session hundreds of pieces of legislation were introduced, creating an even more frenetic atmosphere to the legislative session as committees struggled to hear as much legislation as possible during this election year.

The following is a summary of some key legislation of interest to the massage profession, and its status as of February 24th.

ESSB 6016, concerning the grace period of enrollees of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. In a little known provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollees of Exchange plans are allowed a ninety day grace period to pay their premiums. While this sounds very consumer friendly, and it is, it places providers and health plans at risk. While the ACA requires health plans to pay all claims during the first thirty days of the grace period, the ACA allows the health plans to "pend" or hold claims made from day thirty-one through ninety. When this happens, providers don't get paid.

In response to this problem for providers, the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) wrote legislation that would require the Health Benefit Exchange to notify a health plan that an enrollee has not paid his or her premium. In addition, a health plan must notify a provider or facility that an enrollee is in a grace period when the provider or facility submits a request or claim during the second or third month of the enrollee's grace period. It's not a perfect solution, but it's a step forward. This legislation is a work-in-progress and many thanks to WSMA for its tireless work on behalf of all providers. ESSB 6016, passed the Senate, and was heard in House Health Care on February 24th.

E2SSB 5540, expanding opportunities to purchase health care coverage from out-of-state carriers. This legislation would allow the Insurance Commissioner to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states to allow those states to sell policies in Washington State. While this sounds simple enough, I testified against this legislation because out of state carriers would not be required to adhere to our state's mandated benefits, and other consumer protections. In particular, there was the very real risk that resolving disputes with out of state insurers would not be under the jurisdiction of our Insurance Commissioner.

Our position was also in line with our state's insurers who did not want to see a creation of an uneven playing field in the name of competition. From their perspective, and they're right, if an out of state plan comes in and has lower premiums because it does not have to offer the level of benefits provided by Washington State insurers, individuals who are more likely young and healthy will gravitate to that cheaper plan...leaving those with more health care needs in the higher cost plan. Over time, the higher cost plan becomes more expensive because the young and healthy folks have pulled out. Unfortunately, this legislation passed the Senate, as well as the House Health Care Committee. It's now in an Appropriations Committee subcommittee, and my hope is that it stays there.

SB 6304, preserving patient and practitioner freedom to obtain and provide health care by prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices in contracting for and managing health care delivery under health plans. This legislation, written by the chiropractors and optometrists, was a valiant effort to put more fairness in the current insurance system, by prohibiting health plans from imposing cost sharing that requires a covered person to pay more than 50 percent of the amount the health plan allows for coverage. In addition, health plans could not require prior authorization for routine health care services for which a person may self-refer.

The legislation directed health plans to disclose the criteria and methods for limits on access to network providers, and the methods and clinical protocols for authorizing coverage of services, including the carrier's method for determining initial visit limits for a particular service.

I testified in support of the legislation for AMTA-WA in a hearing before Senate Health Care, as did many other provider groups. Unfortunately, the legislation did not progress, but its introduction and hearing put a spotlight on the challenges providers face in this new health care environment.

Finally, thank you to those AMTA-WA members who participated in Massage Awareness Days. Your donation of time and energy makes a difference!
Massage Awareness Days in Olympia
January 28 
  • 159 massages
  • 17 LMPs
  • 2 senators
  • 1 representative


February 13 
  • 155 massages
  • 18 LMPs
  • 1 senator
  • 6 representatives
2014 MAD Volunteers
Last Name, First Name - City
  • Anderson, Lillian - Mountlake Terrace
  • Berney, Marybeth - Olympia
  • Burgess, Randall - Bremerton
  • Clough, Jonathan - Yelm
  • Davis, Hannah - Kent
  • Desmond, Glyn - Monroe
  • Forthuber, Courtney - Enumclaw
  • Green, Teri - Kent
  • Hensen, Teri - Kirkland
  • James, Karen - Everett
  • Jensen, Ellen - Port Orchard
  • Kent, William - Bellevue
  • Lord, Lynn - Seattle
  • Ludwig, James - Shoreline
  • Misra, Ray - Seattle
  • Mueller, Barb - Olympia
  • Oliver, Richard - Monroe
  • Phillips, Patty - Renton
  • Robinson, Kerri - Everett
  • Scharff, Teresa - Olympia
  • Scheinkopf, Jennifer - Tumwater
  • Schroff, Victoria - Maple Valley
  • Smith, Lora - Lakewood
  • VanPuymbrouck, Linda - Chehalis
  • Williams, Linda - Renton
  • Williams, TJ - Lakewood 
Report from AMTA National Board meeting March 1, 2014:

Provided by Marybeth Berney AMTA-WA President

1. Attended AMTA national Board of Directors meeting.

a. Glyn Desmond and John Combe are settling in and hitting the ground running.

b. We have some info (unofficial) that the AMTA members in WA and OR "carried" the national elections this year! Will work on getting exact numbers, if available to us. I am receiving conflicting info about if numbers are available.

c. National website re-design has been completed.

d. Finance report as of Dec. 31 (10 months). Revenue $10,412,000 Expenses $10,226,000, cost savers are...decreased personnel costs, decreased travel expenses, decreased printing costs. Investments $21,858,000 currently getting a 33% return! 

e. Chapter financials as of Dec.31. Assets $3,723,000, Revenues $3,109,000, Expenses $3,088,000. Currently 17 chapters have national handle all of their finances. 3 chapters have their investments with nation they are getting a 9% return.

f. Audit report will go to Board by March 31, 990 for AMTA national and 990 for Chapter group will be filed July 15.

g. Board voted to fund from reserves up to $10,000 to help fundraising efforts of AMTA runner in the Boston Marathon. 

h. Massage Therapy Foundation report.
1. Since the inception of MTF AMTA has given them 7 million dollars. In the last fiscal year $500,570,000, $325,000 operational, $50,000 for research, in-kind-rent, HR, mail room, finance dept.
2. It was announced that Seattle will be the next location of the International Massage Therapy Research Conference, May 12-15 2016. Yeah!

i. Ongoing Integration of Massage Therapy within Health Care Systems Dialogue. Guy D'Andrea with Discern Consulting LLC. 
1. This company will be writing a paper for AMTA- Value, Vision and Cost Effectiveness-showing that inclusion of MT will lead to Better Care and Better Outcomes and be Cost Effective due to, a decrease in unnecessary services and complications and reduced recovery times. Vision- medical admins will have incentive to include massage. Josh Slavitt, Senior Policy Advisor, John Durham & Assoc.
2. Economics of Health Care-Economic implications of AMTA and the massage profession- increase in jobs, increase in taxes paid, decrease in health care costs. MT is positioned to increase the provider pool which will be very important due to an expected 10% decrease in medical providers over the next 10 yrs. MT is already SAVING insurance companies money.
3. 43% of consumers had last M for health reasons, 15% were at medical facility, 5% report that insurance paid for last MT treatment, 58% want health plan to cover MT, 88% think MT is beneficial to health and wellness, 26% of MTs are working at a health care facility, 96% of MTS think MT should be integrated into health care system, 23% of MTs currently bill insurance, 79% think that billing insurance would be good for their business. AMTA staff.
4. Once all of the above reports and the paper are complete they will be available to Chapters to use when working at the state level with OIC, State MT Boards, etc...
5. Have created self-assessment and practice-assessment forms for MTs to use to help them decide "if they want to be" an insurance provider and if they are "ready" to be an insurance provider. 
j. Governance Standing Comm.
1. The committee has been charged to investigate the idea of increased communication with members from National Board of Director (NBOD) candidates. The word "campaign" was not used but that seems to be what is being asked.
2. Comm. has been charged to research the AMTA NBOD self-electing officers. It has been suggested that the NBODs would be the better, more knowledgeable group to elect the positions of President Elect (and thus President) and V.P's. This is the first time I have seen a NBOD vote that was not unanimous, there were two dissenting votes, Joan Nichols and John Combe.

k. Chapter Relations Standing Comm.
Extension was granted for: MERT Program Policy Review. AMTA is currently in negotiations with the Red Cross for a "Letter of Agreement" which will hopefully lead to a "Memo of Understanding". This would essentially create a partnership between AMTA and the Red Cross. Chapter MERT teams would then be able to use this document when approaching their state Red Cross. This would create consistence from one MERT team to the next and would lead to less liability for the MERT member, Chapters and AMTA. The liability would rest more on the shoulders of the Red Cross as we would be working in partnership with them. The Red Cross has both emergency response teams and community outreach teams so this should be a good fit for most Chapters that have MERT teams.
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