AMTA Encourages CMS To Provide Medicare Coverage For Massage Therapy

AMTA submitted a comment letter, along with the Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM) and other health care leaders to offer feedback to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the 2022 Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and other changes to Part B Payment Policies proposal. AMTA is encouraged that the CMS MPFS (Medicare Physician Fee Schedule) recognizes that adequate treatment of pain is a significant public health challenge, and increased emphasis on more comprehensive pain management is greatly needed.

As the U.S. population continues to age and qualify for Medicare coverage, federal leaders must address the serious challenges that exist within the current Medicare program. Untreated and or inadequately treated pain conditions can translate into increased costs for the Medicare program as well as reduced quality of life for Medicare beneficiaries. Since massage therapy is a widely recognized, safe, and effective option for helping patients with managing pain, AMTA encouraged CMS to take steps to address existing coverage gaps in Medicare Part B for massage and to recognize the role licensed massage therapists play as complementary and integrative care providers.

AMTA previously submitted public comments during the PMTF’s (Pain Management Task Force) deliberations, and supports the final report issued by the task force. The PMTF report focuses on the need for a multi-modal, multi-disciplinary approach to pain treatment and identifies five broad treatment categories, one of which includes complementary and integrative health care approaches and specifically lists massage therapy among the necessary treatment options. In addition, AMTA requested in the MPFS comment letter that CMS move forward with implementing the PMTF Report recommendations for coverage and the use of complementary and integrative therapies such as massage for pain management.

AMTA will continue to urge CMS to initiate appropriate coverage and reimbursement policies for massage therapy when provided by a state licensed massage therapist for pain, address gaps in access to care, and enhance primary care provider awareness on the benefits of massage.

As your nonprofit professional association serving massage therapists, AMTA is proud to be leading the conversation on the benefits of massage therapy as a covered health care service under Medicare. We are dedicated to this issue, investing membership dollars back into the profession for research, advocacy and promotion of massage for pain management. Learn more about AMTA's efforts in this area and explore resources on massage therapy for pain relief.