resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01
Work More for Less
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB
Recently, a small group in the massage profession (less than 20% according to one questionnaire) has tried to promote the concept that we should rapidly do everything necessary to become accepted as providers by third-party payers.
Third-party payers are also known as either some form of insurance company or the government.Understand that neither of these organizations have any interest in providing benefits to consumers. Their interest is to take as much from consumers as possible and give as little as possible back. Think about this and remember it always.
There are many types of insurance. The most sinister is health or medical insurance, which will be more accurately referred to in this article as "sickness insurance." It is a part of the sickness industry that manages sickness and makes no significant income from healthy individuals. Sickness insurance is the banker (arguably the extortionist) for the allopathic medical system that treats symptoms, primarily with drugs and surgery: in other words, MDs, HMOs and hospitals. The sickness industry and its banker have no inherent desire for there to be healthy people, because it makes little money from them. They control people's sickness (managed care). They hate competition. They have sworn to eliminate all competing forms of health care. (That's us!) If they cannot eliminate the competition, they will attempt to suppress or control them. (That's us!) Do not fall for the reasonable sounding argument that sickness insurance wants to pay less claims and healthy people file less claims, therefore insurance wants healthy people.
The sickness insurance system was created by the medical industry to collect as much money as it can from as many people as possible, and funnel that money to the sickness industry. The insurance company gets to invest the premiums paid, to make as much money as possible for its owners or shareholders on the money while it holds it. When it doesn't have enough money to meet the appetite of the sickness industry and reward its owners, it raises premiums. Then the sickness industry raises its rates, which causes premiums to go up even more. Does this pattern sound familiar?
Other types of insurance in the health care arena, like workman's compensation and other personal injury or liability insurance, are somewhat different and are not part of the focus of this discussion.
It is quite amusing that many other health care professionals are trying to get out of the sickness insurance system and get back to working for the patient for fair and reasonable rates. Providers with other licenses (nurses, physical therapists, etc.) are changing professions and becoming massage therapists to get away from the control of insurance and Medicare/Medicaid restrictions. They are getting out of the sickness system so they can help more people. Why are massage therapists clamoring to get in? They want more money. They say it is to help more people, but it really is for the money. They will be very disappointed if they get their wish.
Chiropractors fought their way into the system through the legislatures and the courts. Has it brought them any better acceptance by the allopathic, medical-sickness industry? Very little, if any. DCs are ensnared in the sickness insurance system. It looked like they would make a lot of money from insurance, and initially, many did. However, now that the vast majority of DCs are dependent on third party payment and their patients addicted to it, the third parties are paying less and less. Recently, DCs are being charged fees to belong to provider networks. The numbers of visits per year or per occurrence are being limited. In California, American Specialty Health Plans (ASHP) has just "renegotiated" the fee for a chiropractic office visit. The fee has been lowered from $38 last year to $26 this year, a 30% decrease.1 This will probably trigger similar reductions by other plans and possibly Medicare and workers' compensation Want to work more and more for less and less? Want to make 30% less per year?
Do not be so idealistic as to believe that once a significant number of massage therapists are providers, networks won't treat them like they do the DCs. In fact, it has already started. Several networks are recruiting massage therapists. The contract requires the therapist to offer significant discounts to their published fees and not to charge over a specified amount. A clause in the small print says that the network can reduce the amount the therapist may charge whenever the network desires. The light at the end of the insurance tunnel appears to be a train.
The public has discovered massage. They are flocking to massage therapists and paying for services with their own money. Why interrupt this trend? Why get in the way of patients taking responsibility for their own health. The only thing that can stop the wave this profession is riding now is if its ego demands acceptance from the sickness system. That will never be accomplished. Why? Because massage is a health care system. We are an alternative. We are not complementary. Massage has the potential to become the premier wellness modality.
Health is not a right, it is an individual responsibility. We should support people in taking this responsibility, not help keep them in the sickness system. It is best to run away from sickness insurance and fight against government-controlled health care. Massage therapists should focus on better education and higher standards, not on appeasing or conforming to the sickness industry. We must strive to provide better health and wellness information and services to the public. We are a totally different paradigm. We are "health care"; they are "sickness care." The massage profession has emerged. It will continue to grow and blossom as long as it supports individuals taking responsibility for their own health. It will wilt and possibly die if it succumbs to the temptation of money from the sickness industry.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB.
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