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Proposed Changes to Massage Therapy Regulations

October 15, 2019

State Office Building

301 Centennial Mall South

Lower Level Conference Room B

Below is a message about the proposed changes to Massage Therapy Regulations.

Primary changes include

1. Decreasing CE requirements to align massage therapy with other educationally comparable healthcare professions

2. Increasing the online education opportunities

Full changes linked below.

Below is a message from DHHS with links to proposed changes and strike through copy to illustrate the difference between current and proposed regulation.


Message from Kris Chiles DHHS Program Manager II:

The public hearing for regulations 172 NAC 81, Licensure of Massage Therapists, 172 NAC 82, Licensure of Massage Therapy Establishments, and moving 172 NAC 83, Schools into chapter 172 NAC 82, is set for hearing on 10.15.2019, at the State Office Building, Lower Level Conference Room B, 301 Centennial Mall South. 

The official site where you can view these proposed revised regulations, the hearing notice, and the fiscal impact statement is the Secretary of State’s website at:

Following is additional information relating to 172 NAC 81, 82, and 83 that we hope is helpful to you.  The hearing draft that is available on the Secretary of State’s website has not changed.  This additional information is being provided for clarification of the proposed changes. 

1. A strike-through copy of the current regulations is attached to this e-mail that identifies sections of the regulations, that have been moved to a new section in the proposed regulations, retained in the proposed regulations as modified, or removed from the proposed regulations due to:  a) duplicative statutory language, b) language found in another set of regulations, or c) language that may be outdated or no longer applicable.

2. A summary of proposed changes to the regulations is included below.

3. A copy of chapter 9 and a link to chapter 10; given these chapters are identified in the regulations.  This is the link to chapter 10:

4. The next steps in the regulation promulgation process following the public hearing is also included below.


Chapter 172 NAC 81

This chapter removes all duplicative statutory language from the regulations and removes any repetitive regulatory language that would be found in 172 NAC 10, which governs general requirements and processes that apply to all professions and occupations cited in the Uniform Credentialing Act (Neb. Rev. Stat. 38-121).  This eliminates the need to repeat this same language in each set of regulations. 172 NAC 10 includes standard language relating to: definitions; requirements and documentation for initial credentialing, renewal, auditing, waivers and reinstatement; voluntary surrendering a credential; administrative penalty for practice without a credential, and requirements to withdraw an application.   

Continuing Education.  The proposed regulations reduce the required continuing education hours from 24 to 16 and allow 50% of the total number of hours be completed through on-line or electronic media.  This will assist licensees who live in rural areas to reduce the cost they pay to attend programs while still providing an adequate number of hands-on hours to enhance their massage therapy skills.

Course of Study and Training for Initial License:  The proposed regulations will allow schools to teach specific subjects (anatomy, health service management, pathology, and physiology), through electronic means; current regulations appear to require that the entire course of training be taught through in-class training.

Reciprocity:  A massage therapist who is licensed in another state and has completed less than 1000 hours of training, may use full-time practice towards meeting the 1000 hours.  These regulations propose increasing the number of full-time practice for each year of practice from 100 to 200 hours.

Other changes are identified in the attached strike through copy.

Chapter 172 NAC 82 and 83

We combined chapter 82 and 83, given much of the language is repeated in both sets of regulations.  The Licensure Unit has drafted one chapter of regulations, 172 NAC 9, that includes requirements and processes that applies to all businesses cited in the Uniform Credentialing Act (Neb. Rev. Stat. 38-121).  This eliminates the need to repeat this same language in each set of regulations. 172 NAC 9 will include standard language relating to: definitions; requirements and documentation for initial credentialing, renewal, re-application; voluntary surrendering a credential; and requirements to withdraw an application.   

Curriculum:  Several of the classes required within the 1000 hours of massage therapy school training, can now be taught via on-line, e-learning, or by other digital means. 

NEXT STEPS: Following are the next steps in the regulation promulgation process after the public hearing:

1. Board/Department review hearing comments

2. Summary of hearing comments provided to stakeholders

3. Board of Health review

4. Director of Public Health review

5. Attorney General review

6. Governor review

7. Filed with Secretary of State

8. Five (5) days following filing with the Secretary of State, the regulations are effective

Note:  If during any of the above reviews the reviewer does not approve, the process may need to start over.

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