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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 232: Massage therapists; complaints; unethical or unprofessional conduct; suspension; sanctions

Section 232. (a) The board shall conduct inspections and investigate all complaints filed relating to the proper practice of massage therapy, the operation of a massage school, and any violation of sections 227 to 236, inclusive, or any rule or regulation of the board. Such complaints may be brought by any person, or the board may, on its own, initiate a complaint.

(b) The board shall be under the supervision of the division of professional licensure and shall have all the authority conferred under sections 61 to 65E, inclusive. For the purposes of this section and sections 61 to 65E, inclusive, conduct which places into question the holder's competence to practice massage therapy shall include, but not be limited to: (1) committing fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a license; (2) criminal conduct which the board determines to be of such a nature as to render the person unfit to practice as a licensed massage therapist, as evidenced by criminal proceedings which resulted in a conviction, guilty plea or plea of nolo contendere or an admission of sufficient facts; (3) violating any rule or regulation of the board; (4) failing to cooperate with the board or its agents in the conduct of an inspection or investigation; (5) failing to fulfill any continuing education requirements set out by the board; (6) violating an ethical standard which the board determines to be of such a nature as to render the person unfit to practice as a massage therapist, including, but not limited to:

(i) inappropriate conduct or touching in the practice of massage therapy;

(ii) offering medical opinion or diagnosis; or

(iii) negligence in the course of professional practice.

The board may issue an order to a licensee directing him to cease and desist from unethical or unprofessional conduct if the board finds, after the opportunity for a hearing, that the licensee has engaged in such conduct.

[There is no subsection (c).]

(d) A massage therapist, whose license to practice is suspended for more than 1 year for professional misconduct with regard to insurance claims, shall not own, operate, practice in or be employed by another massage therapist, or a physical therapist or chiropractor, in any capacity, until the license is reinstated by the board. A massage therapist, whose license is suspended for a second offense with regard to insurance claims, shall have the license permanently revoked and may not own, operate, practice or be employed in a business that provides massage therapy, physical therapy or chiropractic care.

(e) Nothing in this section shall limit the board's authority to impose sanctions by consent agreement that are considered reasonable and appropriate by the board. Any person aggrieved by any disciplinary action taken by the board pursuant to this section or section 235 may, pursuant to section 64, file a petition for judicial review.