ADVOCACY IN ACTION - MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Hearing Date: Wednesday Jan 27 1:30pm
The hearing room has limited capacity so we are asking member NOT to show up for oral testimony at the capitol. If you want to submit official testimony to the hearing, this year you can do so online here.
Below are our call to actions - phone script, email, and contact info.
As written, we are OPPOSED to LB211. We are very pleased with the attempt at compromise in this compared to previous bills. We are very close to being able to support this bill, but we have three primary issues hindering our support.
This bill removes reflexology from Massage Therapy Scope of practice.
Acceptable certification should be set by the governing board, rather than statute
Place of business should be included in registration.
1. Removing Reflexology from Massage Therapy Scope of Practice
Currently Nebraska Licensed Massage Therapists scope of practice allows the practice reflexology and continuing education to become certified in reflexology. This LB211 states in
Section 4 (pg 6 line 6; pg 7 line 8 )
38-1708 The Massage Therapy Practice Act shall not be construed to include the following classes of persons: ...(5) Individuals engaged in the practice of reflexology as defined in section 7 of this act.
Section 8 (pg 7 line 23)
"no person shall engage in the practice of reflexology for remuneration unless such person is listed in the reflexologist registry created under section 9 of this act”
Section 10 (page 8 line 6) states
"documentation of certification based on successful completion by the reflexologist of the examination given by the American Reflexology Certification Board or the Reflexology Certification Board, and the expiration date of such certification."
These lines remove reflexology from massage therapy SOP. This means massage therapists would have to go through the designated certification (ARCB or RCB) and registration process for a modality currently within their scope of practice. When a healthcare profession has a proposed change in scope of practice, a 407 Credentialing Review is appropriate. We do not want a change of scope or a 407 process to discuss it.
We require reflexology to remain within the SOP of massage therapy in order to support this bill.
2. Acceptable certification should be set by the state governing board, rather than statute.
Se quote above from Section 10 (page 8 line 6)
We would prefer the regulatory board prescribe the acceptable certifications. LB211 endorses two certification options in statute. Our primary concern is certification boards can become obsolete and new ones arise.
It would be beneficial to reflexologists for their state governing board have the ability to update, change, add acceptable certification completion rather than going through the process to change statute. For example: NCBTMB was the standard licensing board exam for massage therapy until about 15 years ago, now it is MBLEx. The State Massage Therapy Board had the ability to update the requirements because statute (38-1710) says applicants must pass an examination prescribed by the board. This same policy would be in the best interest of reflexologists and the seeking registration in Nebraska.
3. Place of business needs to be included in registration.
This is a simple precaution to be added to the registration process to assist in public safety. This helps the public know they are going to a registered facility, aids in preventing bad actors, and eases the process for the board to follow up if issues arise. This public safety measure needs to be added to the bill in order for us to support LB211.
We do have another concern. This bill does not set framework for reflexology schools. This is a two fold issue.
We are not clear if reflexology schools would be legal in Nebraska
We are not clear what the parameters would be if schools are legal in Nebraska
If there are no parameters, this leaves a large loophole for bad actors.
Right now there are no Reflexology schools in Nebraska. With the formulation of reflexology as a stand alone profession in Nebraska, people are going to seek education to practice. The lack of guidance on education and facilities leaves confusion for existing educational institutions on how to incorporate a reflexology program, and leaves a gaping hole for bad actors.
ARCB provides its own guidance and requirements for acceptable education found here. But RAA allows for mentorship learning, and RCB allows for at your own pace, all online learning.
There is no guidance or framework in the statute for how these individuals are recognised by the state. Registry does not have regulation like licensure, just your proof you are certified through approved methods and acknowledging you are practicing, so this issue needs to be resolved in statute. We acknowledge most people seeking education and those seeking to start educational programs/schools are good actors, we cannot leave giant holes for bad actors. It would be too easy for bad actors to say "I am learning online at my own pace" while working on the public and not having to register.
I will jump to an example of a "worst case scenario." Human traffickers can become or find a certified reflexologist and register with the state, then open a "Reflexology School" as a front with "multiple students learning through mentorship and at your own pace online learning." There is nothing in statute or regulation saying the state needs to know about the school or how many unregistered, practicing students are working with the general public.
Because there is no guidance or framework (statute, regulation) for schools, there is nowhere the public has to turn to ensure they are choosing to visit a safe facility. There is no assurance for potential students to know they are going to a safe environment. There is no recourse option for the state governing board to investigate. We would like to see this either covered in the statute or for statute to allow the state governing board to provide the framework