AMTA-KY Government Relations Report 09/4/2021

Ann Boone, AMTA-KY Government Relations Chair

On 8/31/2022, AMTA’s Government Relations and our lobbyist team, Babbage Cofounders, spoke with Commissioner, Thomas B. Miller, of the state Revenue Cabinet and his team regarding HB8. Commissioner Miller’s team is made up of Richard Dobson, senior staffer and is responsible for HB8’s implementation, Gary Morris, long-time Revenue Department manager and Barbara Barnes, Revenue Cabinet Deputy Commissioner. They are dedicated to the industry’s thoughtful input in order to gain some clarity on how to move forward as this law goes into effect. 

As the law stands, as of 1/1/2023, many services will be subject to a state sales tax. Massage Therapy is included in this law. The exception is in cases where there is proof of “medical necessity”. As a profession, we would argue that ALL massage therapy is “medically necessary”. We all have clients who are seeking Massage Therapy for very different reasons although the outcome is essentially the same: better overall quality of life. Whether seeking a respite from their daily stresses, pain management or support as they seek to eliminate the necessity for opioid medications, one might argue that all of these reasons justify “medical necessity”. This is only the short list of the many reasons, as professionals, we are seeing an increase in medically complicated clients. The reasons aren’t always purely physical. Depression and anxiety are at an all-time high. I, personally, have clients who are referred by their psychologists and psychiatrists for Massage Therapy to help with mitigating these often life-alternating conditions. 

Our meeting was a fact finding, jumping off point for both the AMTA and Revenue Cabinet teams. In addition to those HCPs (Health Care Professionals) who are already licensed to prescribe (e.g., PCPs, Chiropractors, Osteopaths), we are seeking to expand the list of those who may prescribe Massage Therapy to include Athletic Trainers and other professionals who are trained to understand how it benefits their clients/patients. We explained that the feedback we’ve received from physicians is that this law will place an unnecessary burden on an already stressed medical system for them to have to see more patients due to increased prescription demand. In addition, many PCP’s are not educated about the benefits of Massage Therapy nor are they aware of the plethora of current research on opioid mitigation and general pain management. 

Both teams expressed gratitude in gaining clarity on what we do and what may be expected around this law. Our team is working on a presentation of evidence-based information to present to the Revenue Cabinet and its team when we next meet. 

Our next meeting is to be announced.

In service, Ann

Ann E. Boone, LMT, NCMTB
AMTA-KY Government Relations chair

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