Bill Proposes New Licensing and Registration Requirements
Maryland HB 1157 was introduced in the state legislature this month by Delegate James Hubbard. If passed, the bill would change Maryland’s massage practice law by:
- Requiring that all license and registration applicants submit to a criminal history records check as part of their application;
- Specifying that the additional 60 hours that must be obtained from an institution of higher education in order to be licensed (but not registered) must include at least 24 hours in one or more of eight specified content areas, or the license applicant must have obtained 24 additional hours of continuing education in at least one of those content areas; and
- Increasing the number of hours required from an approved massage school from 500 hours to 600 hours, for both licensure and registration.
These changes would affect new applicants only.
ABMP supports the addition of a criminal background check requirement for massage therapy applicants. However, we are opposed to the state adding new complexity to its already complicated two-tiered massage law. Instead, ABMP has suggested that the legislature take this opportunity to do away with the two-tiered system altogether, and replace it with a simpler system comprised of one credential only: licensed massage therapist. Doing so would remove the unnecessary distinction between therapists who do and do not work in “health care settings,” would provide one clear title for the public, and would streamline administrative procedures for the Board staff.
ABMP also believes that any increase in the entry-level hours requirement should be supported by actual research. To that end, we are advocating for a standard which would require new applicants to complete a 625 hour massage program, which is in line with the results of the Entry-Level Analysis Project’s (ELAP) extensive research into the educational hours needed to ensure safe, competent entry-level practice. To read the final ELAP report concerning entry level hours, click here.
Click here to read ABMP Director of Government Relations Jean Robinson’s recent letter to Delegate Hubbard regarding HB 1157.
We will continue keep you informed of developments on HB 1157.