Renewed Effort to Combine Boards in Wisconsin

Under current Wisconsin law, massage and bodywork therapists are regulated by the state's Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Affiliated Credentialing Board (Massage Board). Last year, we let you know about a bill introduced in the Wisconsin legislature which proposed to combine the Massage Board with the boards of several other professions. ABMP opposed that bill, and the bill failed in the state legislature last year. However, the legislature is trying again this year, by proposing to combine several professional boards as part of the state's 2017-2018 budget bill.

Currently, the Massage Board is composed of seven members: four massage therapists, one representative of a for-profit school, one representative of a non-profit school, and one member of the public. The Massage Board oversees licensing, disciplinary actions, and rule making regarding massage therapy. The new proposal would eliminate the Massage Board, along with the boards that regulate physical therapists, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers, and transfer the boards' functions and duties to a newly created Medical Therapy Examining Board, which would be one board regulating all four professions. Under the bill, the membership of the Medical Therapy Examining Board would be composed of two physical therapists, two occupational therapists, two athletic trainers, two massage therapists or bodywork therapists, and one public member.

ABMP opposes this bill. The regulation of massage therapy encompasses issues which are very different from those involved in the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training. Massage therapists should be regulated by members of their own profession, who understand that profession, not by members of other, quite different, professions. Click here to read ABMP's letter to Wisconsin legislators voicing our opposition. Click here to read the proposal to combine boards within the 2017-2018 state budget bill.

Please contact your state legislators' offices to voice your opposition to this proposal. You can locate the telephone number for your state legislators' offices here. You can also contact Governor Walker here.