As the United States struggles with an epidemic of opioid use and its devastating effects on lives, society and the economy - it's important to consider the role massage therapy can play in pain management. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal government department that administers the Medicare program, recently issued guidelines that named massage therapy as a medically-approved, non-opioid treatment alternative.
In the past year, AMTA has dramatically expanded its Government Relations outreach both at the state and federal levels with the goal of actively engaging leaders about massage therapy's research-informed role as an alternative or complement to opioids for pain management.
Based on the recommendations from CMS, AMTA is reaching out to nearly 700 Medicare Advantage plans around the country, with the goal of educating these providers about making massage therapy a covered benefit. While coverage of massage therapy is not automatic, AMTA is strongly encouraging Medicare Advantage plans to consider it within their 2019 and 2020 coverage.
AMTA also continues to work with other Federal agencies such as the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH); the US Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Pain Task Force; the FDA to make sure that massage is included in any, and all recommendations for non-pharmacological approaches to pain management.
Learn more about Massage Therapy as an Alternative to Opioids. »