Colorado HB16-1320 Overview

• Alternative and complementary health care practices that include touch or touch to affect the human energy systems currently remain as practice exemptions by statute in the Massage Therapy Practice Act with two exceptions:  Asian Bodywork and Polarity Therapy have been deleted from statute. Practice exemptions are now subject to regulation by DORA rulemaking authority.

• The Colorado Natural Health Consumer Protection Act currently recognizes the practice of massage therapy as defined in Article 35.3 of Title 12, C.R.S. as amended by House Bill 16-1320 excluding acknowledgement of practice exemptions.

Why HB16-1320 continues to impact alternative and complementary practices:

  • In April 2016 House Bill 16-1320 Concerning the Regulation of Massage Therapy to Modify Practices That Are Linked to Criminal Behavior was introduced.
  • HB16-1320 includes an amendment concerning alternative methods that employ contact as it provides DORA the rulemaking authority to revoke practice exemptions under certain circumstances.
  • On June 8, 2016, Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB16-1320 making the following significant change regarding practice exemptions to the Massage Therapy Practice Act:
  • 12-35.5-110. Section 4(2) if there is a continued pattern of criminal behavior with arrests, complaints regarding sexual misconduct, or criminal intent that is related to human trafficking disguised as a legitimate exemption, the director may, at his or her discretion determine that a practice is no longer exempt from licensing pursuant to paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of this section.
  • Previous statutes have not exposed practice exemptions to revocation nor DORA rulemaking authority.
  • It is not the act of a legitimate practitioner–but the actions of those involved in human trafficking claiming to provide services disguised as a legitimate practice exemption — that have the possibility of revoking the entire practice class.

Read signed version of HB16-1320 in pdf format.