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A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients, in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Calculating Billable Units
I recently learned of an office that was audited based on the number of acupuncture sessions performed in one day. Is there a maximum number of sessions that can be performed in one day?
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
What Does Success Mean to You?
Recently, I was asked to speak to young, budding businesswomen about running a successful business — and at first I thought, "Me? You want me to speak to others about success?!"
Breath: The Movement of Oxygen and Energy
I remember with surprising clarity the first time a patient started crying during an acupuncture treatment I was giving. This is now quite a long time ago, back in 1999, when I was a student.
How One Little Symbol (#) Gets You More Patients
Are you struggling to get more fans or followers for your acupuncture practice? Or are looking for ways to simply connect with your patients? Or do you just want to know how to keep them engaged (comments, retweeting, liking and sharing)?
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 2
A talented young woman presented herself with emotional mood swings, which included being nervous, anxious and jittery.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
The Source-Luo Point Combination
The luo collaterals are part of the acupuncture channel system presented in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu (The Nei Jing). The function and clinical application of the luo mai are primarily presented in chapter 10 of the Ling Shu, however, they are also found in others chapters in the Su Wen and the Ling Shu.
Use Technology to Gain New Patients and Improve Efficiency
From the smartphone in your pocket to your microwave oven, advancements in technology have made almost every aspect of our lives easier.
The Year to Make Things Happen
It is hard to believe that the Year of the Ram – 2015 is half over. Time seems to be moving especially fast. This is the year for things to happen for the acupuncture profession.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Acupuncture and the Pulse
In 1991, I attended a martial arts workshop hosted coincidentally by Sung Baek, a martial artist and the head of his lineage as a Korean trained acupuncturist. I was enamored by the details Sung could attain from the pulse, as told to me by some of his apprentices.
The Nectar of Plants: Essential Oils and Chinese Medicine
Essential oils are a very hot topic these days, especially with the likes of the Ebola virus and the resurgence of measles lurking in our awareness, but when I first became interested in Chinese medicine, essential oils weren't on the radar screen for acupuncturists.
The Modern Acupuncturist
You studied ancient Chinese medicine, but I'll bet you don't practice it! Contrary to popular belief, our medicine has evolved A LOT over the years. Let's take a brief walk through history and discover the differences between ancient and modern acupuncturists.
Acupuncture in the U.K. Today: A Personal View
When asked to write a short piece on the current state of the U.K. acupuncture profession, my first response was to say it has all been relatively quiet.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
TMF 2015 Scholarships
The Trudy McAlister Foundation (TMF), a nonprofit organization established to support students who are on track to make contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of Traditional Oriental Medicine, has announced the 2015 scholarship recipients.
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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