Oregon Proposes New Massage Therapy Rules

Proposed massage therapy rules that may impact your practice were released February 2022 and primarily affect the following areas: board member stipends and duties, definitions, continuing education requirements, and communicable disease control measures. ABMP has summarized the rule changes for you below.

You can submit commentary to the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists showing your support or opposition to the proposed rules. ABMP has a sample advocacy letter that you may use to help write your letter. Written comments must be sent to ekaette.udosenata@obmt.oregon.gov no later than 10:00 a.m. PST on March 15, 2022.

Board member stipend (334-001-0055)
The proposed rules suggest increasing the maximum amount of board member stipends from $100 to $155 each day, so that they are the same as the current Oregon legislative per diem. This compensation will not be paid if a board member does not attend a meeting. The rules also outline official board member duties:

  • Scheduled board and committee meetings, including conference calls
  • Appointments with board staff for board-related business
  • Legislative testimony
  • Conferences and activities that the board has requested members attend as its representative

Definitions (334-001-0060)
The proposed rules replace “contact hour” and “non-contact hour” with the following definitions:

Supervised hours mean hours in class under the instruction and in the physical presence of an instructor, or hours in an interactive distance learning course.

Unsupervised hours mean education hours earned independently outside the presence of an instructor.

Continuing Education (334-010-0050)
The proposed rules suggest decreasing the number of contact hours (i.e., instructor-supervised, formal learning courses, seminars, workshops) necessary to meet continuing education requirements. Currently, a licensee must complete a minimum of 15 supervised hours and the proposed rules would decrease the minimum to eight supervised hours. In addition, there are still four hours of Professional Ethics, Boundaries, and Communication requirements, which must also be supervised hours. The proposed rules would also increase the number of unsupervised hours (i.e., informal learning presentations, webinars, seminars, meetings) to 17 hours to help fulfill continuing education requirements.

Communicable Disease Control (334-020-0055)
As massage therapists practice under the umbrella of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the board sought to incorporate OHA rules in the massage therapy rules.

The proposed rules amend this section to incorporate OHA rules on masking and vaccination to control communicable diseases. As such, to mitigate the spread of the communicable disease COVID-19, the proposed rules would consider failing to comply with any applicable OHA COVID-19–related rule as unprofessional conduct. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Failing to comply with OHA’s masks, face coverings, or face shields requirements
  • Failing to comply with OHA’s vaccination requirements