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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
April, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 04
Medical Codes for 2002
By Ed Denning, MEd, LMT
When I attended massage therapy school, I was provided limited information regarding medical codes, and part of what I did receive was incorrect. That background is what got me interested in reading and writing about medical codes.
If you used medical codes (CPT & ICD) in 2001, then you will use the same codes in 2002.There have been no changes.
Listed below are some of the codes most frequently utilized by massage therapists. The first list comprises codes that are useable by massage therapists; the second list consists of codes that are not recommended, and explains why they are not recommended.
97010 Hot and cold packs 15 minutes Self-explanatory
97124 Massage 15 minutes Lists specific strokes
97039* Unlisted modality 15 minutes Use of tools
* I include this code only because I know in some states, massage therapists may use devices that mimic massage techniques, or perform allowable therapeutic procedures. This requires constant attendance, and may require a written report and statement of justification.
97139 Unlisted Procedure 15 minutes Therapeutic procedures not covered by 97124 or 97140.
As with 97039, this code may require a written report and a statement of justification.
97140 Manual therapy 15 minutes Therapy not covered by 97124
97001 & 97002 For physical therapy only
97112 Not the code for neuromuscular therapy
97530 An occupational therapy code
99201 For physicians only (has a diagnostic component)
All of the abovementioned codes are derived from two manuals: The International Classification of Disease 9th Edition, Clinical Modification Manual (ICD 9 CM) and The Current Procedural Terminology Manual (CPT).
ICD 9 CM
The ICD 9 CM Manual classifies disease around the world. It is used by health care providers in any country involved in recordkeeping of diseases within the country. These classification codes have a history dating back to the early 1700s, when a French physician wanted to see if he could predict the mortality rate in newborn to five-year-old children. He was quite successful.
The manual is in its 9th edition. It has been highly successful at making statistical comparisons and recordkeeping between countries unified under a single system. It is because of the ICD Manual that we know that the particular diet prevalent one country suppresses the development of cancer, and in another country reduces heart conditions, and so on.
The ICD 9 CM Manual is produced by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has been working on an ICD 10 CM version, which the U.S. will eventually adopt. Versions of the ICD 10 are already in use in Canada and Australia. When it will be adopted in the U.S. is unknown at this time by this author.
Massage therapists are not qualified to select ICD codes. We are allowed to cite them if we have a qualified source. That's why massage therapists need to have a physician's script before they start therapeutic work. Massage therapists who wish to submit billing for insurance need only call the physician of record and ask for the ICD code used. Since the physician's office has a serious vested interest in correct coding, they will be happy to provide you with the correct code.
The Current Procedural Terminology Manual (CPT) is a manual of procedure codes. It was first released for publication in the mid 1960s. Its goal is to describe every medical "procedure" of any kind using a specific number. The CPT codes are now firmly entrenched in the insurance and medical communities. These industries communicate using the CPT and ICD codes. All serious medical practitioners know the codes for their modality of work.
Massage therapists may select from the CPT Manual any code that describes a "procedure" they utilized. You are responsible for the code you choose (or use). Because of the nature of "procedures," many of the codes are highly specific and can only be used by those with training in narrow specialties. The codes tend to be training-dependent. This isn't explained to novices trying to read the manual.
An example is the meaning of the word "physician." In a general dictionary, the word is defined as "a healer." In the CPT Manual, a medical definition is used: "a graduate of a licensed medical school." This is just one of many ways in which an interpreter of CPT codes can get into trouble. Unless you have experience or training that assists you in identifying the vocabulary with specific medical meaning, what appears to be a common word can have an uncommon meaning.
All of the codes that might be used by a massage therapist are in a three-page section of the CPT Manual entitled " Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation." These codes all begin with the digits 97. Any code that does not begin with 97 requires licensure beyond the training level of a massage therapist. Use of a code not appropriate to the licensure of the therapist is considered to be misrepresentation of licensure. Typically such use is referred to as fraud.
Those who do not want us to do coding like to use the "fraud" word prominently. Do you know of anyone personally who has been accused of fraud? Probably not. Nor is it likely that you could be accused of such behavior. To be fraudulent, one must knowingly misrepresent him/herself. If you make an error, that's not fraud.
Did you know that nearly (if not all) auto insurance companies cover massage therapy? Educate your clients! Learn about codes before you need them. Did you know that codes can change from year to year? New codes are added and old codes are dropped. It is the therapist's responsibility to know about such changes. We all need a reliable coding source to save us the frustration of rejected insurance forms due to a coding change.
Have you heard of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)? The result of federal legislation, HIPAA places a mandate on insurance companies to simplify and expedite insurance submissions. Although no one knows at this time what the repercussions of HIPAA will be for the average billing massage therapist, the law goes into effect by this time next year.
Joining one of the major professional massage organizations means that you are supporting the organizations that protect our future. They represent us in meetings with groups, organizations and at political events. They provide for our safety and protect us from inappropriate legal action. They research and provide services on a national scale. They are a valuable resource for the entire massage community. I encourage you to join at least one.
Ed Denning is a licensed massage therapist in Ohio. He is coordinator of the massage therapy program at Stark State College of Technology, and also serves on the Massage Therapy Advisory Committee of the Ohio State Medical Board.
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