The northern third of the planet's natural environment has slowed down for a winter nap, the quiet energy of the winter solstice has passed, and, for some, the festivities of a Christmas season are now memories. Meanwhile, NHPC staff are energized and looking forward to continuing activities on your behalf in 2015.
We want to keep the momentum going with our successful lobbying activities in 2014. Some of the planned activities this year include:
In addition to our external advocacy work on your behalf, we are also expanding our other member benefits this year. For example, in Member Education, we are planning conferences, workshops, and some online educational events to reach members in several different provinces.
At Connections Cafes this Fall, many of you voiced your interest in an extended personal health care plan. We are currently researching the costs of offering an extended health plan at an affordable rate.
We have begun a new "Modalities Catalogue" project, which will be available online and in print. It will highlight many different natural health modalities in order to help educate your clients and the public about the natural health profession and the kinds of services you may offer
And, as always, we are planning to continue to connect with you through the NHPC News, webinars, Facebook, telephone, email, and in-person.
We may be coming to your part of Canada this year doing member recruitment. In addition to school visits, we are promoting natural health at various health trade shows, hosting training events that potential members could attend, and connecting with informal groups that meet regularly.
As always, we are looking beyond the recruitment of massage therapists to practitioners who work with other types of natural health practices.
Internally, we are continuing to review and update a number of internal administrative processes, including our school credentialing process and membership eligibility requirements.
We have received positive feedback about the process changes we made for membership renewals—particularly about how easy it is to renew online so that you receive your documents immediately. Eventually, the NHPC will be moving to online renewals only (except in very exceptional circumstances), so we encourage you to use the online renewal the next time you renew.
In the meantime, thank you for continuing to email and phone us with your suggestions and questions. Many thanks to the volunteers in the organization, including the Board of Directors. On behalf of the staff at NHPC, I wish everyone a happy, healthy, abundant New Year!
Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
Medavie Blue Cross, one of the biggest third-party health insurance providers in Eastern Canada, has announced that it will begin recognizing the services of NHPC massage therapists, effective immediately.
NHPC massage therapy members who meet the 2,200-hour initial education and training requirement can immediately begin taking advantage of all the benefits of recognition from Medavie Blue Cross, including signing up for its direct billing system.
Massage therapists in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and New Brunswick must be registered with the regulatory college in their respective province to be an eligible provider for Medavie Blue Cross.
This great news comes at the end of a successful year for the NHPC in advocating for its members’ practices all across Canada. This summer we were pleased that our negotiations with TELUS Health Services resulted in eClaims for massage therapy members across Canada. The NHPC is looking forward to developing more relationships and expanding on its advocacy work across Canada.
For more information on other insurance updates and information with the NHPC, contact Paul Donovan, Insurance Relations Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (toll-free) 1-888-711-7701 ext. 222.
Medavie Blue Cross will begin processing all claims for Veterans Affairs of Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2015.
Beginning on January 19, 2015, Medavie Blue Cross will begin processing all claims for Veterans Affairs of Canada (VAC), the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). This includes all claims from recognized massage therapists across Canada.
Claims from VAC, CAF, and the RCMP previously were submitted to the provincial Blue Cross organizations for reimbursement. Medavie Blue Cross is hoping to make the process of covering VAC, CAF, and RCMP easier by having all claims go to one source.
Any paper claims can be mailed to Medavie Blue Cross directly:
Medavie Blue Cross
Federal Administered Programs
644 Main St.
PO Box 220
Moncton, NB E1C 8L3
Anyone with questions about this new claims process for VAC, CAF, and RCMP with Medavie Blue Cross are encouraged to contact them directly at 1-888-261-4033.
For more information on other insurance updates and information with the NHPC, contact Paul Donovan, Insurance Relations Coordinator, at email@example.com or 1-888-711-7701 ext. 222.
STAMINA® Academy Inc. is continuing to offer its free introductory workshop, this time in Medicine Hat, AB, on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.
This workshop is presented by the most talked about presenter at the 2014 Annual National Conference. It provides both demonstrations and hands-on experience on the signature STAMINA® techniques focussed on the impact of fibre directional movements on muscle function and stability.
Participants in this free introductory workshop will learn how STAMINA® massage techniques quickly reduce myofascial hypertonus, trigger points, inflammation, and joint restriction while down regulating the ANS reflex response. The treatment techniques address the root cause of MSK pathologies with less strain on the therapist and are applicable to all massage styles.
To attend this free introductory workshop, register online or by phone directly with STAMINA® Academy Inc. at 1-855-320-2177.
Located in the popular 124 Street area of Edmonton, this renovated Princeton Place space offers unique advantages to the right small business or association.
1,500 square feet of open space facing ast, with the option of an additional 550 square feet that includes an office and work area.
For a tour of the space, contact the office:
Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
6th Floor, 10339 124 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5N 3W1
Phone: 780-484-2010 ext. 221
We are very pleased to report that the TELUS Health eClaims Solution final written agreement with the NHPC has been signed and TELUS Health is now preparing to launch this service to the NHPC membership.
The insurers have approved NHPC massage therapy members with a minimum education of 2,200 hours. In addition, we are particularly pleased that the insurers have also extended their approval to include NHPC members who have successfully completed the Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE).
At this time, members who have been exempted by insurance companies are not eligible for the eClaims service. However, we will continue to advocate to the insurance companies on their behalf. As well, TELUS Health has informed us that all Quebec massage therapists are not eligible.
If you are a massage therapist and are not eligible for this service, we encourage you to consider the CEE. Visit the Centre for Learning for details on applying, receiving credits, and insurance provider policies.
Members in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Maritime Provinces, and the Northern Territories can register for eClaims starting September 15, 2014.
Members in Alberta can register for eClaims starting September 30, 2014.
Please note: Eligible members that practice in regulated provinces (BC, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador) must register under their provincial regulatory body, not under NHPC.
Thank you for your patience while we waited for the final written agreement.
Alberta Blue Cross has contacted the NHPC with information about fraudulent activities that massage therapists may not be aware are considered illegal. They have shared a list of common claims that they are urging all message therapists not to make:
Alberta Blue Cross would also like to remind all massage therapists that they actively investigate and pursue all fraudulent activities, which can result in losing eligibility status with Alberta Blue Cross and Civil or Criminal prosecution.
To help ensure that all claims made by massage therapists remain legitimate, please keep proper Client/Patient Health Records. These should include the client’s name and ID number; the date, time, and duration of treatment; the fee for treatment; the results from assessment techniques used by the therapist; and a summary of techniques used and areas treated.
Confidential reports for fraudulent activity can be made directly to Alberta Blue Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Alberta Blue Cross Fraud Hotline at 1-866-441-8477.
For more information on what Alberta Blue Cross considers to be a fraudulent claim, contact Alberta Blue Cross directly toll-free at 1-800-588-1195.
Join the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) and STAMINA® Academy Inc. at the NHPC's Knowledge Centre (6th floor, 10339 124 St., Edmonton, AB.) on September 26, 2014, for a free introductory course from the most widely acclaimed workshop provider from the 2014 Annual National Conference.
This free two-hour introduction will show you how STAMINA® massage techniques quickly reduce myofascial hypertonus, trigger points, inflammation and joint restriction, while down-regulating the Autonomic Nervous System reflex response.
At the 2014 Annual National Conference, the STAMINA® workshop was one of the first to sell-out and had one of the largest waiting lists. STAMINA® Academy Inc.'s two-day workshop at the NHPC Knowledge Centre was one of the quickest events to sell-out at the NHPC's headquarters.
Register directly with STAMINA® Academy Inc. online or by phone at 1-855-320-2177.
The NHPC was pleased to meet with Saskatchewan members and visit a massage therapy school on our visit there last month. We are currently taking actions related to matters that our members said were important to them.
We would also like to provide information on the use of the term "Registered Massage Therapist" (RMT) in Saskatchewan. Currently, the Government of Saskatchewan does not regulate the practice of massage therapy and there is no regulatory College in Saskatchewan. Therefore, no association has claim to the designation "RMT" over any other organization in the province.
What this means is that if you are a massage therapy practitioner registered with the NHPC in Saskatchewan, you can refer to yourself as a registered massage therapist because you are registered with the NHPC.
We look forward to supporting all our members through insurance and advocacy work throughout the next year and beyond.
The Natural Health Practitioners of Canada and TELUS Health Solutions have reached an agreement for the TELUS Online Billing Service. For the agreement to be finalized, it requires the insurance companies' legal departments to do a final review of the agreement.
We're currently waiting for that process to be completed and for the formal written agreement to be sent to us by TELUS Health Solutions. Once it has been signed, we will release all the details to our members.
We appreciate your patience while we wait for the written agreement to come from TELUS.
If you have already applied and been granted a CEE exemption from Sun Life, this does not affect you.
As we have previously communicated to our members, the Sun Life deadline to apply for Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE) exemption was December 31, 2013. This deadline has passed, but we are still advising our members to submit their applications for exemption immediately to Sun Life.
We have previously communicated detailed information to you via email so please check your NHPC emails for this information.
If you do not apply for exemption or if Sun Life does not approve your application for exemption, the only way Sun Life will continue to recognize your practice is if you either:
Please review Sun Life’s exemption criteria.
We encourage all members who have not already applied for CEE exemption with Sun Life to apply directly to Sun Life immediately.
To apply for exemption, please send all your massage therapy training certificates and credentials, NHPC membership certificates, continued education certificates, and other letters of exemption directly to Sun Life.
The NHPC has no information on the status of pending exemptions or why exemptions may be rejected. All information regarding Sun Life’s exemption process is available solely by contacting Sun Life.
Sun Life has given two options for NHPC members to contact them:
The NHPC continues to advocate on your behalf for full recognition from all insurance providers across Canada. If you require any further information about this deadline or other aspects of the exemption process, please do not hesitate to contact the NHPC office as soon as possible.
All members must be Regular Members in good standing to be eligible for exemption with Sun Life.
Sun Life's Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE) exemption criteria fall into two basic categories:
Automatic exemption applies to any NHPC massage therapy Regular Member in good standing who has:
A Case-by-Case Evaluation will be considered for any NHPC Regular Member in good standing who:
To apply for exemption with Sun Life, please email your documents to email@example.com or fax them to 1-855-208-6032 or
1-855-273-2976. Your documents should include:
The NHPC welcomes its new Executive Director Kelly Sloan
New leadership will cultivate transparency and community with NHPC members
The Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) is excited to welcome Kelly Sloan as the Association’s new Executive Director. Sloan brings more than 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector to this leadership role.
Before joining the NHPC, Sloan served as Executive Director to the Edmonton YWCA, the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Northern Alberta Chapter.
Sloan credits her collaborative leadership style to her Saskatchewan roots, where she learned to cultivate the values of honesty and community. “I look forward to joining the NHPC’s team of dedicated employees and Board of Directors and working on behalf of our passionate community of natural health practitioners,” says Sloan.
The addition of Kelly Sloan as Executive Director means that Acting Executive Director Michele Huszar will resume her role as the NHPC’s President of the Board of Directors. Acting President Michelle Blanchard will also return to her role as the Board’s Vice President.
The Association looks forward to starting the new year with strong leadership committed to professionalism and natural health.
For inquiries or interview opportunities, please contact:
Public Engagement Coordinator
A number of enhancements are coming soon to Alberta Blue Cross’ online health provider system. These features will make it easier for providers to submit claims online and more convenient for patients, as they only have to pay what their benefit plan does not cover.
The most recent enhancement allows providers to submit claims for members who are also insured by other benefit carriers. For example, if a patient’s primary benefit plan is administered by another carrier and Alberta Blue Cross is the secondary payer, providers can submit the difference online to Alberta Blue Cross. Other future enhancements to our online health provider system include single sign on and cancellation functionalities. More details will be available later this year.
The Alberta Blue Cross web site also features a directory of providers who offer online claims submission. Today, over 90 per cent of claims are submitted directly to Alberta Blue Cross at the time of service from most health providers.
If your office isn’t already submitting claims online to Alberta Blue Cross, get started today. Join the thousands of providers who are benefiting from this service.
Visit the Alberta Blue Cross health provider web page to view the user guides and complete the registration forms. Please send your completed registration and authorization for direct deposit forms to Alberta Blue Cross at your earliest convenience.
When Alberta Blue Cross receives your application, you will be provided with a password to access the web site. You will also receive a free countertop display to remind your patients that your office offers online claims submission for Alberta Blue Cross plan members.
If you have any questions, visit the Alberta Blue Cross health provider web site or contact Alberta Blue Cross Health Provider Relations at 780-498-8083 (Edmonton and area) or 1-800-588-1195 (toll free).
Sun Life does not recognize previous members of the Alberta Registered Massage Therapist Society (ARMTS) as part of its automatic exemption criteria for the Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE).
This will not affect any NHPC members who meet other relevant criteria and have already been exempted by Sun Life; and it may not necessarily affect NHPC members who were members of ARMTS. Members of the NHPC who were previously members of ARMTS and were trained in Canada may have enough longevity in their practice to be considered for exemption by Sun Life.
Most of those affected are NHPC members trained outside of Canada. Unfortunately, Sun Life will still not recognize foreign training as part of its exemption criteria and this is simply beyond our control.
This clarification only relates to Sun Life's criteria and only affects member exemption status with Sun Life. Any members exempted by Manulife and Alberta Blue Cross will continue to be recognized by those insurers.
The full list of previous organizations that Sun Life still recognizes for automatic exemption is as follows:
For more information regarding this or any other insurance-related matter, please contact our office at 1-888-711-7701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting in 2014, the Government of Manitoba will enforce its new Regulated Health Professions Act, which will restrict all health professionals from using the word "registered" unless they are part of a regulatory college.
The Government of Manitoba has yet to establish a regulatory college for massage therapists. The Regulated Health Professions Act is not regulation and is not establishing a college of registered massage therapists.
The NHPC has successfully argued that our members recognized to practice massage therapy should be unaffected by the new legislation. The Government of Manitoba has agreed to make an exception for some NHPC members.
Massage therapists who have completed 2,200 hours of initial education and training or written the CEE will experience no change. However, any massage therapist who does not meet these criteria is restricted from using "registered" and "RMT."
Any massage therapist who does not use the terms "Registered Massage Therapist" or "RMT" will not be impacted by this legislation.
Though this act is not regulation and the Government of Manitoba has yet to decide whether to establish a college of registered massage therapists or not, this act is legislation that must be followed by all practising massage therapists. This is not in any way regulation.
For more information about the Regulated Health Professions Act or any other Government initiative that affects natural health professionals, please contact Kathy Watson at email@example.com or 1-888-711-7701 ext. 228.
Over the past several months, the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) has worked diligently with Alberta Blue Cross to negotiate extended eligibility criteria for massage therapists.
As of October 1, 2013, the following criteria will now support eligibility for the three member categories below:
NHPC members, regardless of training and who are in good standing prior to January 1, 2011, will be considered eligible providers under Alberta Blue Cross's private and provincially-sponsored benefit plans.
These practitioners will not be required to demonstrate competence beyond the existing requirements of NHPC membership.
NHPC members, regardless of training, who joined from January 1, 2011, up until September 30, 2013, will be eligible providers under Alberta Blue Cross's private and provincially-sponsored benefit plans until December 31, 2014.
To remain eligible beyond December 31, 2014, these members must either:
NHPC members who join the NHPC on or after October 1, 2013, and who want to be considered eligible providers under Alberta Blue Cross's private and provincially-sponsored benefit plans, must either:
As an Association, we continue to recognize the competency of all our members through our credentialing and member application processes. In addition, the listed requirements allow members to meet Alberta Blue Cross eligibility standards
There is no application process required for eligibility as the standards are based on competence as assessed by the NHPC through requirements for membership in good standing.
We already send Alberta Blue Cross lists of eligible massage therapists and this list will simply be modified to reflect eligibility according to the new criteria. There is no additional paperwork for you.
Until September 30, 2013, all existing NHPC massage therapists who are in good standing with the Association will retain their eligibility with Alberta Blue Cross.
New members who join on or after October 1, 2013, must have completed 2,200 hours of formal training at a credentialed, recognized Canadian training institute or school, or must complete the Competency Equivalency Exam in order to gain recognition from Alberta Blue Cross.
No. The Government of Canada controls the criteria of its various health benefit plans.
If you have any questions regarding the Alberta Blue Cross eligibility, please contact our office at:
Toll free: 1-888-711-7701
Sun Life's Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE) exemption criteria fall into two basic categories:
Automatic exemption applies to any NHPC member in good standing who is recognized by the NHPC for Massage Therapy and who meets either of the following:
A Case-by-Case Evaluation will be considered for:
If you identify with either of these scenarios you can submit a request for CEE exemption and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
There is no exemption form for applying for an exemption with Sun Life. Instead, to apply for exemption please submit your diplomas, credentials, continued education certificates, a record of your current employment and work history, and any other CEE exemption approval letters you may have received.
Documents should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NHPC has been in continued negotiations with Sun Life regarding their policy for foreign-trained massage therapists. At this stage, massage therapists who were trained in foreign countries must successfully complete the CEE or obtain 2,200 hours of recognized Canadian training in order to gain recognition from Sun Life for reimbursement of their services.
If your client claims are currently being approved by Sun Life
If you lack 2,200 hours of training and have neither passed the CEE nor been exempted from having to do so by Sun Life, your eligibility with the insurer will expire January 1, 2014.
If your client claims are NOT currently being approved by Sun Life
You will become eligible only if you upgrade to 2,200 hours of training, pass the CEE, or are exempted by Sun Life from having to challenge the CEE.
For any further questions, contact our office at email@example.com or 1-888-711-7701.
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2013 AGM held June 21, 2013, in Edmonton, Alberta. The AGM acknowledged the many activities of the past year and laid the groundwork for the success of future NHPC initiatives.
The meeting met quorum. Membership accepted the 2012 financial statements and voted in favour of bylaw amendment #1 (which is outlined in full on page 32 of the 2013 Annual General Meeting Booklet).
In addition, the NHPC Board formally acknowledged and said farewell to Stephanie Nunez-Braatz, whose completion of six years of service on the Board has contributed to the success of the Association.
The Board announced the appointment of its newest member, Colette Pierce, of Miniota, Manitoba. Colette is a long-standing member and volunteer of the NHPC. The team is excited to welcome Colette to the Board.
The meeting also included a forum for questions and answers, and many members took the opportunity to voice their appreciation, questions, and concerns.
Finally, after the meeting was adjourned, members teamed up with the NHPC Board, Committee volunteers, and staff to participate in an interactive planning session to brainstorm how the NHPC can achieve its goals regarding membership expansion, public engagement, and strategic relationships.
The ideas and suggestions from this session will contribute to Vision 2020, NHPC's new strategic plan for 2014 to 2020. Members contributed such great suggestions that we plan to reach out to other members who could not be present with an invitation to contribute. Watch for more information.
The commitment and creative spirit of our members was, as always, evident at this year's AGM and we cannot express enough appreciation for member attendance, participation, and continued support. This is the reason why this year we celebrate 25 years as an Association.
On June 25, Executive Director and Registrar, Colleen MacDougall, tendered her resignation after 12 years of service to the Association.
Michele Huszar, President of NHPC will step in as acting Executive Director and Jan Bagot, Complaints Director, as acting Registrar until the roles are filled. Vice President, Michelle Blanchard, will step up as President of the Board of Directors to support Michele Huszar's temporary placement in the role of Executive Director.
The Board and staff of the NHPC thank Colleen for her leadership and wish her every success in her new career path. If you wish to send your regards to Colleen, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The updates let candidates know what to expect during the CEE practical and include important information on examination protocols and processes. CEE candidates should review these carefully, as they can affect their ability to complete the examination.
When the practical component locations and dates are confirmed, candidates who have completed the written component will receive an email inviting them to reserve a seat through their Test Run Online (TRO) account.
Candidates will need to bring another person with them to the CEE Practical to act as their Standardized Client for demonstration of different techniques and assessments during the exam.