Member-Results: Summer 2020’s Surveys “Massage as Healthcare” and “Online Elections”

One of the great things about being an AMTA member in Nevada is that the national AMTA-organization supports the fair regulation of and the movement forward of the massage therapy profession in Nevada. One of the easiest ways to see that is in how the chapter is able to and moves forward ideas from our members to the organizations, legislators, and public that are served by its members and the profession in Nevada, like through member-Surveys and speaking during Public Comment at our Nevada State Massage Therapy Board meetings.

In 2020, there have been a couple of issues and resolutions the chapter’s leadership team wanted to explore, and especially through surveying its members, regarding

a) moving the massage therapy profession in Nevada forward, and

b) the way the chapter operates regarding electing its leadership, in the future.

The Results of these Surveys and what they could mean for the AMTA Nevada Chapter’s members, the profession in Nevada, and the Nevada massage-receiving-Public are outlined in the following:

a)

The chapter Board of Directors was presented, by the Government Relations Committee, an idea of How massage therapy could be viewed – legally – in order for it to be regulated as it has been for 15 years and additionally be recognized by lawmakers, other healthcare professions, and the Public as a form of healthcare in Nevada…without a ‘medical’ classification. This could be achieved by being included as a profession (like Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Athletic Trainer, Music Therapist, etc) within NRS 629.031. On July 23rd (& for 10 days), the Chapter asked this question:

“Would you support the profession of Massage Therapy in Nevada to be included in the category of “Provider of healthcare,” as described in and related to NRS 629 “Healing Arts Generally”?”

The chapter preceded the member-Survey with some background:

Currently, in NV:

  • Massage Therapy (MT) is considered a Personal Service;
  • A NVMT performs work that can be billed using a [medical] NAICS Code, CPT Codes, and is recognized by the WHO (ref: ICHI Beta 3) all of which provide bases for remuneration;
  • Recent events have restricted access of MT by patients/clients who would otherwise need MT to maintain their good health status;
  • The NSBMT’s requirement of “550 Education Hours” et al for eligibility to perform any type of MT (from relaxation to healthcare-related) applies to all Applicants, regardless of their intent for performing MT;

…all with the intent to either bring up to speed and/or put – in a contemporary-context – information that may have been helpful to our members in answering the survey-question.

In the members’ response, there was an overwhelming number of Respondents (142, 13.4% of the 1056 Survey-invitations Sent) who, at 98.6% (140 of them), responded “Yes” to the chapter’s Question. Fifty-eight (58) Comments were added to the “Yes”es, to elaborate why each Respondent answered “Yes”, primarily indicating that massage therapy has health[care] benefits.

2020 AMTA-NV Survey Results - Massage Therapy As Healthcare

This information was summarily presented by the Chapter President, Elizabeth Benion, in an Open Letter to the Nevada State Board of Massage Therapy on August 19th, 2020, in the morning’s Public Comment, with a request for the Board to consider the process of moving the massage therapy profession forward, in the direction of being considered healthcare in Nevada. Already on the Agenda was an Item of Discussing the potential of Massage Therapy in Nevada moving toward being recognized as healthcare, officially – check it out in the Chapter’s NSBMT Meeting Notes for 8/19/2020. Stay tuned for more of this developing topic in our profession in Nevada.

b)

Since 2020 made allowances for non-live, chapter activities to take place online – in an electronic format: leadership Elections, Annual Meeting, etc – the Chapter Board of Directors was interested to find out if the members would want to continue an online-portion of 2020’s chapter governance, being: holding Annual Elections online. They thought this method of conducting chapter-business for its members in the electronic age might be worth considering, since the national AMTA organization also conducts its National [Board of Directors] Election online and support many state-chapters in conducting their Annual Elections online already, so on August 1st, they asked:

“Starting with (and continuing, annually) the 2022 Election for open chapter

leadership positions, would you support Voting Online for your chapter

Leadership?”

The chapter preceded the 10-day member-Survey with some background:

Currently, in the Nevada Chapter:

  • Every year since 1999, member-elected leadership Positions are filled during a live-Election, held during the chapter’s Annual General Business Meeting at the AMTA-NV State Convention;
  • A President-appointed Commission on Candidacy accepts & vets Nominations and provides ballot material for use during the live-Election;
  • During the chapter’s 2020 Annual Elections, the membership was able to elect their leadership through an online-Election process, due to a determination of and guidance by the National AMTA Office, due to a pandemic that restricted live events;
  • The chapter’s Standing Rules do not allow regular, online-Election measures, only live-Election measures;
  • The Nevada Chapter would need to, by member-Approval in a Vote taken at the next [live] Annual General Business Meeting, change the Standing Rules, to change the way Elections are held, from live-Election to online-Election measures.

Of the 63 recorded Responses sent to 1056 Member-Recipients (6% Response-rate), 51 (81%) answered “Yes”. Of the 13 Comments that elaborated on their Choice (Yes or No), the support for online-voting mostly favored “convenience” and “participation of all”, while a minority of the Comments expressed a live election is acceptable.

2020 AMTA-NV Survey Results - Chapter Online Elections

In order to change the way the Nevada Chapter members vote during Annual Elections, the Chapter needs to change its Standing Rules to reflect its Election practice – for the record and per proper governance-procedures.

As a result of this survey, the AMTA-Nevada Chapter Board of Directors has convened the Standing Rules Committee, which is currently reviewing and redrafting Nevada’s Standing Rules to reflect Online Election procedures. The membership is slated to vote to pass the proposed, new Version of the Standing Rules in mid-2021, to be effective with 2022’s Annual Elections.
The AMTA Nevada Chapter Board of Directors wishes to thank all participating members for their input in taking action to move the profession of massage therapy in Nevada forward.