SNHD transitions into new Health Card program requirements

As you may have heard, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) has, as of January 2, 2013, discontinued its requirement of obtaining a “Foodhandler/Massage Therapist” category of Health Card.  Amongst the elimination of the health card for a number of other categories, Massage Therapists and Reflexologists are no longer required to renew or can initially-apply for a Health Card under these categories.

Dr. John Middaugh, Interim Chief Health Officer for SNHD, on January 3rd, 2013, officially contacted our Government Relations Consultant Sally Hacking with the news and she passed on the SNHD document declaring the department’s transition into re-purposing their resources to address more-focused Foodhandler and Body Art categories, among others.

The AMTA Nevada Chapter would like to remind Massage Therapists: the SNHD still recommends immunization through vaccines and the SNHD provides such services at low- or no-cost (to those who qualify) and that, as a Massage Therapist, your employer may be required to require you to obtain a Foodhandler-category Health Card if you are subject to food-handling in your employee responsibilities.

You may contact the SNHD with further questions at www.SNHD.info or (702) 759-1201.

Southern Nevada Health District proposes new, additional regulation for Massage Therapy

Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) notified the public of their intent to ratify regulation of Massage Establishments, Reflexology Establishments, [Independent/Outcall] Massage Therapists, and Colon Hydrotherapists on January 10, 2012, in Southern Nevada, comprised of the county of Clark.

The AMTA Nevada Chapter has reviewed the proposed legislation and can summarize the effects of the proposed regulation on its professional members [within the jurisdiction of SNHD] – following are some main points of the regulation:

  • Affects Reflexologists, [Independent/Outcall] Massage Therapists, Colon Hydrotherapists, and Massage Establishments.
  • In addition to all Massage Establishments, requires outcall “licensed massage therapists” and “licensed reflexologists” to hold a “massage establishment Health Permit”
  • Attempts to regulate Massage Therapists [and Massage Establishments] in the same manner as is currently legislated through NRS.640c and NSBMT NACs (staff on-site & equipment/safety/cleanliness requirements, fees & fines, and some professional standards)
  • States that each day after the first 90 that the regulations are in effect and an outcall massage therapist or massage establishment is not SNHD-permitted is a separate violation.
  • Cites “fees” for initial assessment, renewal (every XX year), and fines associated with violations and that non-compliance will predicate a cease-and-desist and/or revocation/re-application for massage/reflexology establishment health permit.
  • Requires “20 foot-candles” of light in a therapy room, 300% more light than in the NSBMT NACs of “5 foot-candles” of light in a therapy room.
  • Section 8.1.2 makes the “Responsible Person in charge” of a Massage or Reflexology Establishment responsible for undefined “other requirements” in addition to other regulatory body’s requirements for professional and legal practice of massage & reflexology.  Unresolved violations of keeping all permits, licenses, or credentials for everyone at the Establishment gives the SNHD the authority to shut down the Establishment until violations are resolved with each/every “affected agency of jurisdiction”.
  • New Build-outs/Construction of Establishments will have another jurisdiction (the SNHD) to apply through, propagating more [undetermined] fees and additional time frames in which initial assessments and inspections are subject to.
  • Does not outline a Schedule of Fees and does describe innumerable instances/conditions in which fees will be applied.

The AMTA-NV Chapter supports the current state licensure regulation of massage therapists in Nevada through the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapists authorized and empowered by our State Legislature and Governor-appointed state massage board members affecting professionals throughout the state of Nevada AND local business license departments that regulate the taxation and safe practice of massage therapy through its application processes.  It is understood that the nature of the proposed regulation by the additional entity of the SNHD is redundant, provincial, and a duplicate credential that will be required for massage professionals to practice. 

Additionally, any verbiage in the proposed SNHD regulation regarding “Massage Therapy” may be removed to regulate Reflexology and Colon Hydrotherapy, so only one regulatory agency will have the authority to manage a profession/business category regarding massage therapy and the promotion of public health and safety.

For Concerned Individuals:

The AMTA Nevada Chapter strongly encourages its members, massage professionals, and the general public to evaluate the proposed impact of the additional regulation on the profession, practice, or patronage of massage therapy and RESPOND in an appropriate manner and timely fashion to the SNHD.

Responding to this proposed regulation is TIME-SENSITIVE – the last day that written opinions will be accepted for the record is February 2nd, 2012.

Contact information and a sample opinion letter are below.

The Workshops, at which public opinion will be HEARD, are in Las Vegas (Jan 30 & 31), Laughlin (Feb 1), and Mesquite (Feb 2):  Appear and be ready to speak your opinion according to the Workshop Agenda (below).

Resources for proposed SNHD regulation:

  1. PDF – public workshop announcement: http://amta-nv.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/AGENDA-Massage-Therapy-Workshops-01-30-2012.pdf
  2. PDF – public notice of proposed regulation:  http://amta-nv.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Public-Notice-Workshop-Massage-Regs-BOH-meeting-02-23-2012.pdf
  3. Link to online version of proposed regulatory rules:  http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/download/eh/Massage-draft-regs-1-13-12.pdf
  4. Sample Letter of Opposition: (download)
  5. Opinion Letter of the AMTA/Nevada Chapter (download)

Southern Nevada Health District contact:

Glenn D Savage, REHS, Environmental Health Director, PO Box 3902, Las Vegas NV 89127

 

If you have questions regarding this post, the proposed SNHD regulation, or the AMTA Nevada chapter, please contact Government Relations: David Otto at DavidOtto@amta-nv.org

modified Jan 25, 2012 14:21