Massage therapists rely heavily on various types of insurance coverage to fund care for patients. Employee health benefit plans, claims for auto insurance and worker’s compensation are all potential sources of funding for massage therapy treatment. In a survey commissioned by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, 75 per cent of patients or clients use employee workplace benefits to pay, or partially pay, for their care.
With job-related stress accounting for an estimated $16 billion in Canada ($300 billion in the United States) and repetitive strain injuries (RSI) estimated to affect one in 10 Canadians, massage therapists have an opportunity to position themselves as allies with industry in keeping claims for workplace injury – and ancillary costs in lost workdays, turnover and employee dissatisfaction – down.
Despite the impact of these workplace-related illnesses, many employee benefit plans are being scaled back. Employers are wanting reliable outcome measures and proof that their invested dollars are yielding healthier, more productive employees. Coupled with an increase in massage therapy insurance fraud, RMTs are at risk for losing a major source of funding for patients.
(read the remainder of this article, including the actions of the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance, online at Massage Therapy Canada here)