Integrity in Healthcare: Manual Therapy
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This petition relates to a rule change at OBCE regarding a "Proposed Tiered Chiropractic Assistant Certification Program." As massage therapists who spend tens of thousands of dollars on education and a year of study or more to pass a licensing exam allowing us to safely perform massage or manual therapy, we are opposed to Chiropractic Assistants being able to perform manual therapy without a massage or Chiropractic license and training.
There a number of healthcare professions already which have more hours of medical training than massage therapists that are allowed to become LMTs through an addendum process in Oregon. This ensures at least the massage will be performed safely, but perhaps not as effectively as someone with double the hours of training as required with only an massage license.
Opening the door to CAs to perform manual therapy with less than 650 hours of training is doing a disservice to the public and to the massage profession. Patients exhaust benefits without relief from their condition and then have to see a more skilled therapist out of pocket. The public is routinely misled that people performing these treatments are equally skilled. The insurance companies allow chiropractors to charge up to $170/hour for a massage that they didn't perform by someone who is much less skilled, while paying them as little as $10/hour for that same hour of service. Massage therapists rates are yet more degraded by a lowering of the bar, leading to attrition of more skilled therapists in the field.
We ask that you consult with a focus group of massage therapists with at least 5 years experience before making this rule change.
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