Scheduling the Jurisprudence Exam
Sharon Oliver, Executive Director reported on the situation along with Grant Gerber, Board Counsel. Getting the test scheduled has been unexpectedly challenging. A couple of location options have been identified in addition to the Patterson Avenue office building where the tests are regularly held. Ms. Oliver was optimistic that they would be able to announce testing dates soon.
The challenges are primarily around space, safety, and cleaning. The room at Patterson Avenue office building that is generally used will only hold 10 people including the Proctor, the best location available will only hold 20. Currently there are 53 individuals waiting to take the test. To allow for safety and social distancing multiple testing times are being planned. Social distancing, masks and screenings are expected to be required due to the pandemic.
The Advisory Board has been asked to take a look at the Regulations around moving from Active LMT or RMP status to Inactive. Essentially, if someone is interested in going Inactive doing so is clear and easy during the renewal period. The confusion comes when they are requesting Inactive status the rest of the time.
AMTA Maryland has requested that the regulations be modified to allow that: When an individual applies for Inactive Status the fee paid would include the remainder of the current cycle as well as the following two year cycle.
The Board voted to hold future virtual meetings via the Zoom.us platform.
2021 Leadership positions for the Board have been presented by the Nominating Committee, the MBMTE will vote at the September meeting. Nominations:
Board Chair: Caitlin Thompson, LMT
Vice Chair: Paula Jilanis, LMT
Secretary/Treasurer: Kirsten Bodnarchuk, LMT
The board has been working on a few items for the 2021 Legislative session. Specifically the Rap Back bill we have discussed before that will allow the MBMTE to use the Central Repository for fingerprints and give them criminal history updates at any time a licensee or registrants situation changes. AMTA has supported and sponsored this legislation in the past, it didn't get far enough in 2020 to pass in the short session.
There are also a number of definitions and language changes that look good, as well as the removal of the language that allowed Insurance companies to not reimburse for massage. Removing that language will not force them to reimburse, however it will remove the automatic option.
AMTA-Maryland will be looking over all of the potential legislation along with National and our Lobbyist and will have more information for membership later in the year.
Moving from RMP to LMT
The Licensing Committee reported that they have made some determinations about CE classes and RMP petitions to move to LMT status. At this time there is a clear pathway to advance to LMT and if you are interested in that process you are encouraged to contact the MBMTE office for further guidance. If you are considering taking advanced level CEs specifically for advancement, please remember to submit them for approval in advance.
Mark Weir the Investigator has been promoted to Investigator Supervisor and an additional Investigator will be hired.
The position of Licensing Coordinator has been open for some time due to hiring freezes, the Board is now able to hire from the pool of qualified candidates and that will happen (thankfully) before the renewal cycle begins.
One Tier System - brief update
AMTA-Maryland and AMTA National are a part of the Stakeholder's group that is working in an adisory manner with the Board to develop new standards and policies for a one tier system in Maryland. This is a huge undertaking with many things to be considered. The primary topics are:
- Criteria to become an LMT when that is the only licensure available in MD.
- Process and requirements for moving current RMPs to LMT status
- Timing of all of this (it will be years)
- Feasibility of requiring COMTA certification of schools or curriculum
This is a long term process, AMTA-MD is honored to be a part of the process, if you have thoughts or input you are always welcome to email Amelia. Please note though, until the process is further along we are not announcing anything, because there isn't anything to annouce, we are part of the discussions.
Pilot School Programs by Franchise(s)
The Board is aware that there is at least on pilot program by a massage franchise that is working to create their own massage school. From the little that is known the education part would be conducted virtually by out of state educators and the hands on training would take place in franchise locations. The Board is actively seeking more information. From what we can see, this framework does not appear to meet the educational requirements in Maryland.
The Per Diem committee has made some recommendations to update the Board's per diem policy, they will be discussed at the next meeting. All the MBMTE Board Members are volunteers and a per diem is generally paid when they are traveling or attending meetings, and Board approved events and trainings.
Next Public MBMTE Meeting will be held in August
August 26th at 10am all the info will be here a few days in advance.