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Advocacy with Integrity

The MTAM is a recognized leader in evidence-based advocacy. Our Association is regularly called upon to provide information and advice on behalf of our members and the profession. We use common-sense, quantitative data, facts, and transparency in all of the work we do on behalf of members. We work with integrity to ensure fully qualified massage therapists can help more Manitoban's be healthy and are seen with respect by the public and other health care professions.


Summer 2018 advocacy focus: Challenges with ads on Kijiji
 

Kijiji is an online classified advertising service that operates as a centralized network of online communities, organized by city and urban region, for posting local advertisements. It is a fully-owned subsidiary of eBay launched in March 2005. (wikipedia)

 

The Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba receives a number of complaints from the public and from our members each year related to people advertising massage but who are ultimately selling sex or who are using the RMT title to sell related services but are not fully qualified as a massage therapist.

 

The MTAM has advocated with Kijiji and they updated their policy which was helpful for a short time:

 

Kijiji's Policy / Terms of Use (excerpt):

 

Massage Services

  • Ad images are to be limited to head shots or photographs of the facility (no full body images)
  • Note: Ads posted by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) who is able to provide insurance receipts for customers is permitted
  • Note: Massage as part of an aesthetics package by a registered Aesthetician, but not offered on its own, is permitted

___

Although we were pleased to see some specific rules applied to this, un-qualified advertisers or sex sellors are now just adding "RMT" to their ads to get them approved. This has been very confusing to the public. The MTAM has followed up with Kijiji, and will continue to come up with a solution for this. 

 

In the mean time, qualified RMTs should know that their ads are being compared to those who are not-legitimate on this web space. If you would like help to come up with some other places to market or ways to differentiate yourself as a professional, please contact us.

 

Building ties with Health Benefit Providers

Health Benefit Providers and third party administrators across Canada attended two updates with the MTAM via webinar in January and in March. With our thanks to everyone who attended — we were delighted to have so many representatives from the majority of organizations across Canada.

 

The first presentation was a Manitoba Regulation update and was well-received. The second presentation was a follow up to the insurers general questions and interests in

  1. Explanations for less-than-30 minute Massage Therapy treatments.
    The MTAM polled members on what type of massage therapy is being done in smaller/shorter treatments so we were able to define this for the health benefit providers. Children’s massage, seniors, infants, and a myriad of other very reasonable treatment types are of shorter duration and our clarifying list made sense to them once they understood the basis.
     
  2. Ideas and best practices to avoid inadvertent approval of student massage work — many insurers prefer not to approve massage claims that were provided by anyone not appropriately qualified but some do not have the processes or resources to audit or follow up. MTAM is working with some of these insurers to help them simplify and update their processes.
     
  3. Confusion around Osteopathy and Osteopathic Manual Practitioners. This inspired more questions and so the MTAM is now working on gathering all the facts related to his health care to present this information to the public, insurers, and our members. 

 


Finding out more about Audits, meetings with CHLIA
 

On a national level the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (CMTA) met with Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CHLIA) to discuss a number of topics including finding ways to ensure audits are more consistent.

 

The hope is to bring all the information to the table to find solutions to the insurance audit process which currently seems arbitrary and dependant on the individual assessor rather than a coherent, concise, and transparent process.  CHLIA has been engaging in a committee process to lay out a national strategy/criteria for the collection of information, standard recording processes, and standardized registration practices. 

 

The CMTA will be sending them our information to assist in that process including the regulatory requirements that are non-negotiable. These would include the requirement of patient consent that is no more than six months old, and the requirement that the records provided are relevant to the period the client has been with the insurers plan unless otherwise expressed by the client in writing and dated within six months of the request.

 

The CMTA also presented a number of other advocacy points to CHLIA -- thanks for the work of both of these important groups to helping all RMTs,

 

PARTNERSHIPS

We are all stronger, when we work together.

We are proud of the relationships and partnerships we have with other Massage Therapy Association's across Canada and are a proud member of the 
Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance
We work with other health care therapies in this province including the Manitoba Physiotherapy Associationthe Manitoba Athletic Therapists' Association, and the Manitoba Chiropractor's Association.


CASES IN THE MEDIA

The MTAM keeps up-to-date on all court cases, incidents, and situations related to massage, massage parlours, body workers, and to cases that involve massage therapy health care practitioners in Manitoba. 
 
When cases are being investigated or are in the court system, we will not comment specifically to respect the integrity of that case or investigation. The MTAM believes it is inappropriate to comment publicly on cases sub judice. Publicly discussing cases sub judice may constitute interference with the legal process.
 
Visit our In The News page for current headlines. 
 

SUPPORTING OUR MEMBERS

The MTAM undertakes a variety of advice, mentorship and advocacy on behalf of our members:

--We give members step-by-step ways of managing legal challenges, we can help them to find affordable legal help, coach and assist in preparation when then need to testify or hand in their SOAP notes for a case

--We coach clinic owners and individual therapists how to report incidents when they have been propositioned, assaulted, or mistreated by a client.

--The MTAM has been working with Clinic Owners and Spas to build better employment and independent contractor situations for RMTs and help the organizations manage human resource challenges.

--We consult and discuss to help businesses improve work situations, treat MT's more fairly, and to be sure that pay, work conditions and contracts are fair.

--Our Associate Membership ($50) is our way of inviting Clinics, Spas, Wellness Centres and other organizations to be a part of this community. To attend events and take part in key discussions that affect the profession.

--The MTAM also has a Practice Manager and several Practice advisors to help members with all of their practice-related questions, to review contracts, navigate starting their business, and to mediate challenging situations with co-workers or owners.


INSURANCE PROVIDERS

The MTAM works closely with all major insurance benefit providers, third party administrators and similar organizations. Each month we send an updated list of our members to all major benefit providers so they are able to quickly and efficiently process claims made by patients. 
 
The MTAM educates members and helps with individual cases of insurance fraud or suspected fraudulent practices within clinics where our members work.
 

NATIONAL CONNECTIONS

We continue to work with our colleagues across Canada and will use this space to update on things of importance to RMT's across the country. Currently, the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance represents over 15,000 Massage Therapists across the Canada.