2014 was a year of many partnerships and collaborations for the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). The association connected with organizations within the profession to advance massage therapy education and standards; collaborated with a wide variety of health care associations and organizations to increase the integration of massage therapy into health care; partnered with major media and online companies to educate consumers on the health benefits of massage; and, continued its partnerships to promote and expand clinical research on the benefits of massage therapy.
These efforts are just part of how AMTA is pursuing its vision that, as the most trusted professionals in massage therapy, AMTA members are integral to health care and wellness.
Eight important AMTA partnerships and collaborations
1. American Red Cross – AMTA finalized a unique national partnership to collaborate on massage therapy services for Red Cross Volunteers. The agreement outlines ways for AMTA chapter community service teams to connect and collaborate with the Red Cross locally in both emergency and non-emergency community events. AMTA chapters and Red Cross offices will now have standardized information to activate and deploy massage therapists as situations dictate it.
2. American Medical Association – AMTA is continuing its representation to the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Health Care Professional’s Advisory Committee. AMTA’s representative gives direct input into decisions related to CPT code use by massage therapists. This is of direct benefit to massage therapists who seek insurance reimbursement.
3. WebMD and Health.com – AMTA provided consumer information on the health benefits of massage therapy and how to find a qualified AMTA massage therapist through click-through messages on these two important consumer health websites.
4. Collaboration with major health care associations for top quality education at the AMTA national convention – This year, AMTA collaborated with both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Heart Association to provide relevant resources for AMTA members.
5. Massage Therapy Foundation – AMTA continued to be the primary benefactor of the Massage Therapy Foundation with financial support exceeding $450,000. The association also directly supported the MTF Boston Marathon and AMTA’s runner, Kristen Lutz.
6. Greenville Rehab Center/ Team Roger C. Peace – AMTA’s is now a co-sponsor of the Roger C. Peace paracycling team and is funding the gathering of data on the impact of massage therapy on the conditioning and performance of these professional athletes.
AMTA’s name and logo will be prominently displayed by the athletes as they compete and massage therapy will be closely associated with their training and conditioning in this first of a kind study in 2015.
7. American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) – AMTA was an active participant in the AAFP national conference, providing information on research supporting the value and effectiveness of massage therapy and educating physicians on how to find AMTA members for referrals.
8. Affordable Care Act (ACA) & Massage Therapy – AMTA led an analysis of the effects of the ACA on massage therapists and developed a publication addressing the value and efficacy of massage therapy provided to a wide range of health care organizations and insurers. The collaboration included work with Discern Consulting (Evolving Health Care Opportunities- ACOs) and John Dunham & Associates (Economist).
“AMTA is the only massage therapy organization to collaborate with so many different partners to advance our profession and promote massage therapy to consumers and those who refer consumers to massage therapists,” says AMTA President Nancy M. Porambo. “This was a banner year for AMTA as we broke new ground in our national collaborations. We are committed to advancing our profession and serving our members in new ways and these relationships are part of what makes AMTA a unique force for our profession.”