Today the Florida State Massage Therapy Association issued a call to action regarding Florida Senate Bill 1860, which if passed would exclude massage therapists from reimbursement related to personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

According to an article published by The Insurance Journal, SB 1860 “seeks to reform current law by cracking down on fraud and medical costs through implementing medical fee schedules, licensing medical clinics that provide PIP benefits, and requiring insurers to promptly pay claims.

“To that end, his bill specifies that all PIP medical treatments are reimbursed at Medicare levels and eliminates massage therapists and acupuncturists as PIP medical providers,” the article continued.

The FSMTA’s call to action reads:

At the direction of our Lobbyists and approval from our FSMTA Executive Board, the following is recommended and requires action from you … here is what needs to be done this week.

Call or email the members of the Senate Budget Committee (contact information below). Be sure to identify yourself by name and city. Ask the members to remove the exclusion of massage from SB 1860. (Talking points provided in script below).

Send your patients/clients/customers and colleagues an update on this issue and encourage them to call as a consumer. It affects your patients’, friends’ and families’ freedom of choice if they were to ever need PIP-covered care

Contact your local state Senator personally, if he/she is not on the committee below, let him/her know that this bill is in committee and concerns you greatly, use the talking points below.

Feel free to contact FSMTA with any questions you may have at 877-376-8248.

Background

SB 1860 IS OF GREAT CONCERN TO THE MASSAGE PROFESSION. It specifically excludes massage from PIP coverage. It has passed the first hurdle unaltered and next goes to the Budget Committee. The video of the Banking and Insurance Committee is HERE. Our lobbyist, Janet Mabry, starts around the 61.00-minute point.

WE CONTINUE TO NEED LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPISTS, THEIR PATIENTS AND FRIENDS TO TAKE ACTION TODAY. This bill, if passed as is, damages our profession AND takes away choices from consumers. Our medicine is too valuable to let this happen. The next committee to hear this bill is the Budget Committee. This committee does not have a meeting on the calendar yet, but they can call a meeting with 2 days’ notice and bring up the bill. It could happen this week.

Suggested Script

Be cordial and speak from your heart:

Hello my name is _________. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and live in _________.

I am calling regarding Senate Bill 1860, dealing with Personal Injury Protection, specifically about the exclusion of massage therapy from PIP coverage.

While I appreciate the effort to alleviate the terrible increase in PIP fraud, SB 1860 unfairly punishes Licensed Massage Therapists and consumers involved in auto accidents, and several groups of healthcare practitioners in the State of Florida.

Licensed Massage Therapists were required several years ago to have a referral from an MD, chiropractor or dentist in order to treat PIP patients.

Massage Therapy is an effective, safe and drug-free modality for treating chronic and acute pain.

Please ask the sponsor to amend the legislation to remove the unfair restriction on Licensed Massage Therapists.

Please feel free to contact me at _____________ with any questions you may have.

Thank you.

YOUR NAME

PLEASE CALL AND/OR EMAIL the committee members below and ask them to oppose the language that takes Massage Therapy coverage out of PIP.

The names below in red text make up the Senate Budget Committee:

JD Alexander: alexander.jd.web@flsenate.gov; 850-487-5044

Thad Altman: altman.thad.web@flsenate.gov; 850-487-5053

Lizbeth Benacquisto: benacquisto.lizbeth.web@flsenate.gov; 850-487-5356

Michael Bennett: bennett.mike.web@flsenate.gov; 850-487-5078

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