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S.F. No. 1310 - Registration of Massage and Bodywork Therapists (Third Engrossment)
Author: Senator Chris A. Eaton
Prepared By: Katie Cavanor, Senate Counsel (651/296-3801)
Date: April 8, 2016


Article 1

Massage Therapy Registration

S.F. No. 1310 establishes registration for massage and bodywork therapists, and provides for the regulation of massage and bodywork therapists by registration with the Board of Nursing.

Section 1 (148.981) provides that Minnesota Statutes, sections 148.981 to 148.9885, may be cited as the Minnesota Massage and Bodywork Therapy Act.

Section 2 (148.982) defines the following terms: "advertise," "advisory council," "applicant," "board," "client," "competency exam," "contact hour," "credential," "health care provider," "massage and bodywork therapy,"  "municipality," "physical agent modality,""practice of massage and bodywork therapy," "professional organization," "registered massage and bodywork therapist or registrant," and "state."

Section 3 (148.983), paragraph (a), lists the permitted massage and bodywork techniques and the applications that can be used on the client.

Paragraph (b) lists the prohibited practices. These practices include diagnosing illness or disease; altering a course of recommended therapy issued by a state credentialed health care provider without first consulting the provider; prescribing drugs or medicines; intentionally adjusting or manipulating or mobilizing any articulations of the body or spine applying physical agent modalities; needles that puncture the skin or injection therapy.

Section 4 (148.984) requires a massage or bodywork therapist to refer a client to a health care provider if the client''s medical condition is beyond the scope of practice established by this chapter or the rules of the board.

Section 5 (148.985) creates title protection.

Subdivision 1 states that an individual regulated by this chapter is designated as a registered massage and bodywork therapist or "RMBT."

Subdivision 2 prohibits use of "registered massage and bodywork therapist" or "RMBT" or any other words or symbols that indicate a person is a registered massage and bodywork therapist unless the individual is registered under this chapter.

Subdivision 3, paragraph (a), specifies that the registered practitioner shall be identified as a "registered massage and bodywork therapist" or "RMBT." 

Paragraph (b) permits the board to adopt rules to implement this section.

Paragraph (c) permits a practitioner who is credentialed by another state or holds certifications from professional agencies or educational providers to so indicate in advertising. Requires the name of the state and credentialing body to be clearly identified.

Subdivision 4 permits other credentialed practitioners to use massage and bodywork therapy techniques as long as the practitioner does not imply that they are registered under this act.

Section 6 (148.986) requires the board, with the advice of the Advisory Council, to issue registrations to qualified applicants. Lists the powers and duties of the board related to regulation of the profession.

Section 7 (148.9861) establishes a registered massage and bodywork therapist advisory council.

Subdivision 1 creates a five-member advisory council with two public members and three registered massage and bodywork therapists.  The members are appointed by the board.

Subdivision 2 establishes the process for filling vacancies.

Subdivision 3 requires the council to be organized under certain subdivisions of section 15.059 (Advisory Councils and Committees). 

Subdivision 4 requires the council to elect a chair.

Subdivision 5 requires the Board of Nursing to provide meeting space and administrative support to the council.

Subdivision 6 lists the duties of the council.

Subdivision 7 provides that the council does not expire.

Section 8 (148.987) establishes registration requirements.

Subdivision 1 requires an applicant to pay the required fees, submit to a criminal background check, and file a written application. Lists the items that must be included on the application form.

Subdivision 2 permits the board to deny an application for registration if an applicant has been convicted of certain crimes; has been subjected to disciplinary action under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 146A, if the board determines that denial is necessary to protect the public; or the applicant is under investigation for complaints related to the practice of massage and bodywork therapy.

Subdivision 3 lists the requirements for registration by endorsement, including payment of fees, criminal background check, proof of a current and unrestricted massage and bodywork therapy credential in another state, certain information relating to credentials and disciplinary action, and a history of drug or alcohol abuse.  States that registration issued by endorsement expires on the same schedule and renewed by same procedures as registrations issued under subdivision 1.

Subdivision 4 lists the requirements for registration by grandfathering. Permits application for registration by this method for two years after the first date the board has made applications for registration available. The applicant must pay the required fees, have a criminal background check, file a written application, provide proof that the applicant is qualified to practice, and provide certain information relating to credentials and disciplinary action and a history of drug or alcohol abuse.  Lists acceptable proof.

Subdivision 5 allows the board to issue a temporary permit to an applicant eligible for registration that is valid until the board makes a decision on the application for registration if the application is complete and all applicable fees have been paid.

Section 9 (148.9871) establishes expiration and renewal requirements.

Subdivision 1 states that registrations expire annually.

Subdivision 2 requires the registrant to complete a renewal application, submit the renewal fee, and submit any other information requested by the board.

Subdivision 3 requires the registrant to inform the board of any change in address within 30 days of the change.

Subdivision 4 requires the board to send a renewal notice to the registrant at least 60 days before the registration renewal date.

Subdivision 5 provides that the renewal application and fee must be postmarked on or before October 1 of the year of renewal, but if the postmark is illegible, then the application is considered timely if it is received by the third working day after the deadline.

Subdivision 6 allows a registrant to place a registration on inactive status and sets the criteria for reactivating the registration.

Subdivision 7 requires an individual to apply for registration renewal if registration has lapsed for two years or less; pay the required fees, including the fee for late renewal; and document compliance with continuing education requirements.

Subdivision 8 prohibits the board from renewing, restoring, or reissuing a registration that has not been renewed within two years. A former registrant must apply and meet the requirements then in existence for initial registration.

Subdivision 9 allows a registrant in good standing to request registration cancelation. If the individual seeks to re-register, the individual must complete a new application and fulfill all requirements then in existence for initial registration.

Section 10 (148.9881) instructs the board to take action on all applications for registration and determine if an applicant meets the requirements for registration or renewal. Permits the board to investigate the information submitted by the applicant. Requires the board to provide written notification to the applicant on action taken on the application. Provides the process for an applicant to appeal an adverse action.

Section 11 (148.9882) grounds for disciplinary action.

Subdivision 1 provides a list of the grounds for disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may be registration denial, revocation, suspension, limitation, or placing limitations on the registration.

Subdivision 2 provides that judgments or proceedings under seal of the court administrator or administrative agency that entered the judgment are admissible into evidence during a disciplinary proceeding under this section without further authentication and provide prima facie evidence of the violation.

Subdivision 3 authorizes the board to take action if probable cause exists for disciplinary action.

Section 12 (148.9883) provides that registered massage and bodywork therapists and applicants are subject to the disciplinary statutes under the board of nursing, sections 148.262 to 148.266.

Section 13 (148.9884) describes the effects on municipal ordinances.

Subdivision 1 preempts a municipality from licensing and regulating massage and bodywork therapists, including conducting a criminal background check and examination for a municipality's credential to practice massage and bodywork therapy.

Subdivision 2 states that nothing in sections 148.981 to 148.9885 shall be construed to limit a municipality from: (1) requiring a massage business establishment from obtaining a business license or permit; (2) enforcing health code provisions related to communicable diseases; (3) requiring criminal background checks of unregistered massage and bodywork therapists as part of applying for a license from the municipality; and (4) otherwise regulating massage business establishments by ordinance.

Subdivision 3 gives a municipality the authority to prosecute violations of this act, local ordinances, or other laws.

Section 14 (148.9885) creates fees.

Subdivision 1 provides a list of fees.

Subdivision 2 requires a late fee if the application for renewal is submitted after the deadline.

Subdivision 3 states that all fees are nonrefundable.

Subdivision 4 requires the board to deposit the fees in the state government special revenue account.

Section 15 sets deadlines for initial appointments and convening the first meeting of the Registered Massage and Bodywork Therapist Advisory Council.  Sets terms for the initial appointees to the council.

Section 16 makes this article effective August 1, 2016.

Article 2

Conforming Amendments

Section 1 (325F.816) prohibits an individual who has a business license from a municipality to practice massage from advertising as a licensed massage therapist unless the individual has a valid professional credential from another state, is current in licensure, and is in good standing with the other state.

Section 2 makes this article effective August 1, 2016.


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