resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
February, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 02
What Will Happen to Insurance in the Future? How Will You Be Affected?
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Have you ever seen (or set up) an extensive domino arrangement? It can take hours, sometimes even days to set them all up in one design. But if someone accidentally touches one, especially at a strategic location, slowly but surely they will all tumble down.
As I read, check, and listen to reports about insurance companies, this sort of "tumbling" event seems an inevitability in the coming months and perhaps years.Don't be surprised if you hear more and more reports of losses from insurance companies and increases in premiums, not just because of the "Attack on America" on September 11, 2001, but also because it is just a "good" time to do so.
I predicted the downfall of the managed care system in the Florida workers'compensation arena the very day we heard it presented at one of the annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conferences. The changes brought outcries from patients, insurance adjusters, physicians and employers alike.
In 2001, the rules were changed to eliminate the mandatory regulations for employers to use the managed care system when seeking medical care for their employees. When people band together, things can change!
The problems and losses insurance companies are facing today will necessitate changes to provide future coverage in all aspects and types of insurance coverage, including auto; home; business; health; disability; and life insurance.
These changes may be beneficial in the long run, as insurance is long overdue for a good overhaul. I feel that you will find insurance companies and employers alike looking for alternative ways to be creative. This will be necessary especially in health insurance for employers to be able to continue in the future to afford to offer coverage for their employees.
However, these kinds of changes also scare me, because it appears from what I have read that the costs will be shifted more to those who are ill, injured or in need of coverage or prescriptions. Within this system, how will those who make little wages ever be able to afford to cover their own medical expenses, when they already have problems meeting the minimal expense of their portion of policy premiums under the current system?
Changes will be necessary for you and I to be able to afford coverage. It will be necessary for those who have no insurance to be able to receive coverage. Somewhere, sometime, someone will come up with the right solution -- and then someone else will find a way to cancel it out!
Remember years ago when Hillary Clinton came upon the scene and tried to make sweeping changes in the insurance industry? Shortly thereafter, managed care ensued, or as some called it, managed cash, for some of the executives and corporate offices of the managed care companies. One of the major insurers even reported that it cost them over a million to save even less than that.
My suggestion is that everyone drop all policies and let the insurance companies chips fall where they may. Then maybe we can get some creative ideas from the insurance companies that work for everyone! Or maybe we'll find that the money we save from insurance premiums will for all of our losses and medical needs! However, that is probably not going to happen, because too many of us are motivated by fear, fear of failure, fear of losses, fear of dying and fear of leaving others to do without.
How Will These Changes Effect You, the Massage Therapist?
That depends, it depends on if we are all willing to band together and insist that we are a part of the health care system, especially when what we do is deemed by diagnosis to be medically necessary and prescribed by physicians.
We are health care providers, in addition to being able to offer or include a variety of diverse services such as spa treatments. This puts us in a wonderfully unique position, unlike other health care providers. It is a position we need to protect and preserve!
It really bothers me that some therapists are content to accept referrals by being listed in insurance company provider directories. This is not health care coverage. This is insurers' getting massage therapists to acknowledge that we are willing to set our fees at a much lower rate, in order to "possibly" obtain a few clients who happen to see us in their provider directory. (Doing this willingly is to reduce our own fees, not the insurance companies reducing them for us, as some fear will happen).
Under the above-mentioned circumstance,s we are not providers in the medical sense of the word. We are basically discounters for our services for those insurance subscribers, whether or not they have a medical condition.
It is just a way to offer our services to a select group, while in turn, the insurance companies eliminate reimbursement for medically necessary, prescribed services that they pay others for, whether or not they are trained or licensed to perform the service.
True medical coverage is when the policy reimburses a provider of services all or a portion of the bill for a medical condition from the insurance policy proceeds, not when the policyholder, subscriber or member pays the full cost, whether or not it is discounted.
Let me leave you with this thought to ponder. Massage Therapy Code 97124 has been a covered procedure listed in the American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology Code Book (CPT) for many, many years. This code was a reimbursable code long before massage therapists' ever contemplated billing for it.
If the procedure of massage therapy is considered a reimbursable, medically necessary treatment for an illness, injury, or other diagnosed medical condition, then please tell me why those of us who are trained, licensed or otherwise qualified to perform massage not be reimbursed for it by insurance?
A final note: Some insurance companies and adjusters do recognize the benefits of massage therapy. For more than 16 years, they have not only been willing to reimburse a massage therapist for this service, but many of them refer patients to massage therapists.
I mention this to emphasize that many years of hard work and major progress will all come to an end if we do not band together for our rights and for the elimination of discrimination against us. Whether massage therapists should accept insurance for reimbursement or receive medical referrals is and should always be a personal choice.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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