Urgent Request To Support Safe Harbor For Alternative Healing Practitioners In Massachusetts!
Please help us pass S.1329/ H.2244, An Act Providing for Consumer Access and the Right to Practice Complementary and Alternative Health Care Services at the September 21 hearing.
We need your help now to pass a safe harbor bill that will protect holistic health practitioners from unnecessary licensing and provide safe harbor for them against charges of practicing medicine without a license in Massachusetts.Protecting practitioners legally makes Massachusetts an attractive location for practitioners to set-up or maintain an alternative healing practice. This allows Massachusetts residents to continue enjoying easy access to the widest selection of holistic practitioners possible at the most affordable rates.
You can help with passage of this bill by registering to give written or oral testimony, in-person or virtually, and adding your valuable citizen comments to the discussion of why this is an important issue for you. See sample below. The more people who show up in person at the Boston State House or virtually on September 21 to give testimony, or who send in written testimony, the better are the chances for bill passage.
Register Now To Give Oral Testimony at the State House (or Virtual) and/or Send Written Testimony to the Members of the Joint Committee on Public Health in Support of this Bill!
Why This Bill Is So Important
The practice of complementary and alternative health care is not a protected right in Massachusetts, which may be interpreted as the provision of healthcare service only a licensed professional (MD, chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, etc.) may perform. This threatens practitioners with fines, penalties, and restrictions, despite their methods not posing an imminent risk of harm to the public’s health and safety.
There are more than 100 unlicensed complementary and alternative health care professions practiced in Massachusetts. Major teaching hospitals including Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham and Women’s, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic utilize unlicensed complementary health care professionals. It is an industry that supports thousands of families, while providing safe, effective, valuable and affordable healthcare options for Massachusetts residents.
This safe harbor bill provides legal protection for unlicensed practitioners from charges of practicing medicine without a license by clarifying existing law, and setting common sense boundaries that practitioners must maintain including prohibited acts and mandatory professional disclosures. It costs the state of Massachusetts zero dollars to implement.
If passed, Massachusetts would join eleven other states in protecting the tens of thousands of complementary and alternative professionals such as Reiki practitioners, herbalists, homeopaths, traditional naturopaths, Ayurveda practitioners, energy healers, wellness consultants, and many others who provide the care we need.
Last day to register to give in-person or virtual testimony is Monday, September 18. Written testimony can be submitted at any time. See details below and register now!
Public Hearing Date: Thursday, September 21, 2023
Location: A-1 and Virtual
The State House
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA. 02133
***INSTRUCTIONS FOR REGISTRATION / TESTIMONY***
DEADLINE TO PRE-REGISTER: Persons planning to testify virtually must sign up no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 18, 2023. Individuals and groups testifying in person are strongly encouraged to register using the form above prior to the deadline. Registration by the deadline is required for those who wish to testify virtually during the live hearing and encouraged for those who wish to testify in person. Persons who do not have a Google account or do not wish to use the Google form can submit testimony and/or sign up to testify by emailing: JointCommittee.PublicHealth@malegislature.gov. Please indicate whether you plan to testify in person or virtually. Participants who indicate that they plan to testify virtually will receive an invitation to the hearing with instructions via email after the deadline closes.
SAME DAY SIGN-UP FOR IN-PERSON TESTIMONY ONLY – IF TIME ALLOWS: Individuals who miss the deadline to pre-register for testimony may appear on the day of the hearing and sign-up to speak in person on forms provided by committee staff outside of the hearing room. Time permitting, when all pre-registered individuals have been called to testify, the Chairs will then call any individuals who sign-up on the day of the hearing.
WRITTEN TESTIMONY: If you would like to provide written testimony, please include the bill number in the subject line of the email, as well as your name, address, phone number, and organization, if any, on the submitted testimony. Written testimony is encouraged and will continue to be accepted after the hearing until the relevant bill is acted upon. Such testimony may be submitted via email to JointCommittee.PublicHealth@malegislature.gov. Please include “Public Health Committee Testimony, [S.1329/ H.2244] in the subject line of the email. Those who plan to submit only written testimony may do so before or after the signup deadline.
Individuals testifying should limit their remarks to 3 minutes. All panels should limit their testimony to a total of 6 minutes.
Sample To Use For Your Testimony
(Month) (Day) (Year)
The Joint Committee on Public Health
The State House
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
RE: Testimony in Support of S.1329 and H.2244, An Act Providing for Consumer Access and the Right to Practice Complementary and Alternative Health Care Services
Dear Chairs and Members of the Committee:
My name is (your first and last name) (or I am writing on behalf of a business or organization) and I am a (type of practitioner, teacher or consumer) who resides in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Do not add where you reside if you do not live or work in MA. Please note, that anyone in the US can join in writing a letter of support)
State why you support protecting unlicensed alternative and complementary health practitioners. Include a personal story, perhaps how you or someone you know benefited from this care. Tell the Committee why the issue is important to you and how it will affect you, your family, and your community (and/or organization or business).
Example: I want to voice my strong support for S.1329 and H.2244, as it will protect existing holistic practitioners in the state, and encourage new ones to set up practices. As healthcare and insurance costs spiral out of control, more and more people are taking charge of their health by using alternative health practitioners for symptom relief, and seeing the benefits for it. I have personally benefited from several different energy medicine practitioners over the past 20 years to address arthritis, plantar fasciitis, hot flashes and more, and am ever grateful for the wide and abundant variety of practitioners I have access to. My sister in Kentucky can’t even find one practitioner within 30 miles! As stress in our lives increases and disease rates soar, easy access to holistic health practitioners keeping residents healthy is something every state should want to encourage by offering safe harbor protection to practitioners.
Please vote yes on S.1329 and H.2244. Thank you for your time and consideration of this issue.
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