RMTAO Executive Director Andrew Lewarne, along with other members of the management team of the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (CMTA), met with representatives from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) on Monday.
The insurance audit process was discussed in an attempt to reduce inconsistency between insurance companies. The CMTA will continue to work with CLHIA to ensure that the internal audit processes of insurance companies do not attempt to supersede the legal requirements of RMTs, including those outlined by the regulator and in the legislation such as patient privacy or record keeping requirements.
Reimbursement to massage therapy students in unregulated provinces was also discussed. In provinces in which massage therapy is not regulated, there are massage therapy associations with membership requirements adhering to the interjurisdictional competency requirements, thus allowing insurance reimbursement for treatments provided by their members. However, in several of these provinces some massage therapy students, after one year of study, have been providing treatments at a far lower rate which have been reimbursed by insurance companies. This could result in a lower average allowable reimbursement rate for all massage therapists in Canada. CLHIA will be recommending to its members to stop the reimbursement of claims from those that do not meet the interjurisdictional competency requirements, which is expected to maintain levels of reimbursement for RMTs across Canada.
Further, the CMTA renewed the discussion regarding the Professional Credentialing Tracking Program by which RMTs would be able to voluntarily report when their registration number is being used fraudulently. CLHIA will be in touch with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to review the revival of this program.
The CMTA will be following up with the representatives from CLHIA to ensure that all of the required information is provided, and will continue to ensure that massage therapists are fairly compensated by insurance companies.