ADVOCATE FOR MASSAGE THERAPY AS A RECOGNIZED & RESPECTED HEALTHCARE PROFESSION
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So, many LMTs in WA are asking, “What do Governor Inslee’s new restrictions (Proclamation 20-24.2) mean for me?” At the time of this writing, this is what we know, in brief.
Neither the Department of Health nor the Governor's office have announced any changes to the status of healthcare providers or the healthcare phases. We are closely monitoring the situation for any changes to our status. I would suggest that you look at the governors posting for 11/15 here… https://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/covid-19-resources and continue to watch for additional updates there. Also, make sure to read the recent article written by WSMT’s own Julie Johnson on Critical Judgment for LMTs. This article will take you through the very important critical decision making steps with regard to COVID-19 and your massage practice.
With cases of COVID-19 rising very rapidly in WA, WSMTA is encouraging LMTs to exercise extra caution in their practice. It is important to watch what is happening in your local area. For example, pay attention to whether your local hospitals are restricting elective surgeries. This would be a clear indicator that your local area hospitals are concerned about being overwhelmed with patients and you should consider seeing only urgent need patients/clients. You should also assess your individual risk factors, your families risk factors and your patients/clients risk factors very carefully and adjust accordingly.
We are aware that many LMTs are making new adjustments to their practices with the increase of COVID-19 cases. Some LMTs are shutting down for the next few months, others are limiting the number of folks that they see in a day, some will only see a patient/client over 65/high risk if they are an urgent need patient/client, etc. This is a time to exercise extra caution in your screening of patients/clients. WSMTA strongly encourages all LMTs to do what feels safe for them, their families and their patients/clients.
We encourage you to check back here on a regular basis for updates, as we continue to do our best to keep you informed.
Home Office Insurance
by Dagmar Growe, LMT
LMTs working out of their homes will generally require 3 types of insurance for complete coverage. Malpractice/Professional Liability insurance, which most commonly for LMTs is obtained through an AMTA or ABMP membership. Malpractice/Professional Liability insurance does not cover accidental injury (such as slip and fall) that patients/clients might sustain while on your premises. This type of insurance is called General Liability If you have your insurance through AMTA or ABMP your policy does cover General liability.You also will want insurance to cover your physical space and contents - these would be covered through premises insurance. And of course they would need homeowners insurance, covering the private use of their home. This is especially important, as home loans generally require homeowners insurance, and losing homeowners insurance can lead to problems with mortgages.
Unfortunately many homeowner insurance carriers will cancel a policy when they find out that a business is operated out of a home that includes patient/client visits, or refuse to issue a policy in the first place. WSMTA is working on supporting our members by developing a list of resources and options. We need your help. Have you successfully obtained insurance coverage that covers your home business? We want to know how and through which company or agent. Please contact Dagmar Growe at email@example.com with any information.
20-24.1 - COVID-19 Non-Urgent Medical Procedures
COVID 19: Massage Therapist Return to Practice Guidance
The Washington State Massage Therapy Association has been hard at work accessing the most current and most reliable information available to us. Whether you have continued to see patients with urgent medical needs, or you are considering how to adjust your environment and practices when you choose to return to work when you are able to, we have information for you. We want you to be able to work in the safest (for you and your patients/clients) and most professional and ethical way possible.
Part 1: Introduction is currently available for members on the www.mywsmta.org website under COVID 19 Resources & Links page. In the next few days the next editions of “COVID 19: Massage Therapist Return to Practice Guidance” will be, Part 2: “WSMTA’s Interim Guidance on PPE” and the “WSMTA’s Interim Guidance on Sanitation” for Massage Therapist. Shortly following that will be, Part 3 “WSMTA’s Interim Guidance on Practice Guidelines”.
From: Maxey, Megan (DOH) <Megan.Maxey@doh.wa.gov>
Date: Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 1:32 PM
Subject: Current guidance from DOH for LMTs
To: Berney, Marybeth
Gov. Jay Inslee has issued proclamation 20-25, which restricts many businesses from operating until midnight on April 6, 2020. The proclamation permits “essential critical infrastructure workers” to continue operations in essential critical infrastructure sectors. Health care providers are included in the definition of essential critical infrastructure workers.
At this time, it is up to the professional judgement of each licensed massage therapist (LMT), to determine if his or her practice qualifies as an essential health care service. Proclamation 20-25 permits LMTs who provide health care services to continue operations with social distancing between patients and sanitation measures in place. However the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 within a massage practice is real and should be weighed by LMTs when deciding what services to continue.
The CDC has many resources available about actions to take within a health care setting to reduce risk from COVID-19. There is no procedure to eliminate the possibility of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 without the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). We currently have a nationwide shortage of PPE.
Please use your professional judgement to reschedule appointments that are not urgent. Consider whether the risk of harm to the patient for delaying massage treatment outweighs the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and possibly contributing to community spread of the virus. Health experts are concerned that increasing transmission in our state and an increase in severe disease will limit the ability of our healthcare system to provide urgent care to all who require it.
Additional information is available from these sources:
DOH Workplace Recommendations DOH Coronavirus (COVID-19) Web Page
CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Web Page CDC Practice Preparedness Resources
Board of Massage
Animal Massage Program
Nursing Pool Program
Health Systems Quality Assurance
Washington State Department of Health
PO Box 47852
Olympia, WA 98504-7852
360-236-4945 (phone) | www.doh.wa.gov
Please refer to the Department of Health’s COVID-19 webpage for continuously updated information.
Due to the COVID-19, we are having an increased volume of emails and phone messages and there may be a delay in our response time. Thank you for your patience.
To help LMTs navigate through our current situation, we have provided some links below.
We wish everyone health and wellness.
The following links have the latest information regarding the Coronavirus.
• King County Public Health
• WA Dept of Health
• Center for Disease Control
• World Health Organization
Massage License Renewal: If you are close to renewing and have not been able to secure hands-on CE due to class cancellations please contact Megan Maxey the program manager for massage therapy at the Department of Health. Megan's email is: Megan.Maxey@doh.wa.gov. She can provide information about requesting an extension.
Here are more specific links:
• Announcements from Governor Inslee Regarding COVID19 go to the bottom of the webpage
• WA State Paid Family & Medical Leave and Coronavirus
• WA State Security Employment Department -- For workers and businesses affected by COVID-19
• COVID-19 resource list for impacted Washington businesses and workers This website has federal and state resources available to help out WA state businesses and workers
• Chart Showing Who's Eligible for State Benefits due to COVID19 Scenarios
• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)--(CDC)
• Who are People at Risk?--(CDC)
• Busting Myths about Coronavirus--(WHO)
• Basic Protective Measures against the Coronavirus--(WHO)
• Current list of products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19--(EPA)
• Resources for specific sectors of society--(King County Public Health) scroll to the bottom of the page to "Resources"
• Resources for specific sectors of society--(DOH) under "Resources and Recommendations" click on the "guidance" link
COVID 19 Resources for Healthcare Providers
Breaking: Regence Providers
It has come to our attention that some Regence providers have received a contract amendment titled, "Regence BlueShield Data Access, Use & Transfer Addendum", sometime in December or early January. We advise you to take note of this amendment and read it carefully. WSMTA is working on clarifying some of the provisions with Regence, but we encourage you to do your own research.
WSMTA is committed to continuing this vital function and representation for Washington LMT’s.
We need your continued support with your membership and/or donations to support our operations at www.mywsmta.org.
Board Members Present: Heidi Williams LMT (Chair), Anthony Sharpe (public member), Tonya Cox LMT, Chelsea Giles LMT (new member)
School Program Reviews: Altura College and Bellevue Massage School (651 hour program, transfer program and Bilingual program) -- approved
Special Meeting: This meeting was billed as a "special meeting" and not a rescheduled meeting of the cancelled November 1 Board of Massage Meeting. The purpose of this meeting was primarily to discuss a few outstanding WAC rule issues. Here are the WACs that were discussed:
The full article is here: 111519 - Board of Massage Meeting Notes
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Advocate for Massage Therapy as a Recognized & Respected Healthcare Profession