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Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01
Work More for Less
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
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, NCTMB.
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