resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 previous articles by Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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