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Six Things Every DC Should Know About the Zika Virus
The Zika outbreak continues to spread across the continental United States and U.S. territories. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing doctor of chiropractic.
Pediatric Footwear: Function Over Fashion
As practitioners, it is not uncommon for parents to bring us their children to treat or ask us questions related to the pediatric population. Children's feet tend to be a perplexing region for parents and practitioners alike.
Workers' Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution
You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.
Power to the Patient
Against a backdrop of splintered political parties, polarizations within nations, civil unrest, and distrust of established government (such as the growing anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment) comes the not-so-surprising finding that health care authorities and practitioners (with perhaps the exception of insurers) are turning over more and more powers to the individual patient.
Dysautonomia: The Medical Condition You May Already Be Treating
TCM practitioners have spent thousands of years healing patients without knowing or needing the names of their diseases as defined by allopathic medicine. We have syndrome names that are both poetic and efficient.
Treatment Success at the Won Institute
According to the World Health Organization's 2003 report titled, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials," acupuncture has been shown to improve many physical, emotional, and mental conditions.
Pediatric Asthma: A Case Study
I have had very good success with pediatric asthma, combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal products. Treatment is given over four to eight months, twice monthly, with herbal formulas rotated every month.
Update from the International AIDS Conference
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, brought together more than 15,000 of the world's leading scientists, activists, funders, policy makers, and consumers from 153 countries.
Using the Lens of Chinese Medicine
One of the most common medications I see in clinical practice on a daily basis is fluoxetine or Prozac. Consequently, I hear many complaints concerning the side effects of this medication and am frequently asked by patients to help manage these side effects with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
National Board Apologizes for Testing Issues
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has issued a formal apology following a series of computer-based testing malfunctions that impacted two separate examinations (March and June 2016) and caused "widespread confusion and frustration" to the nearly 1,500 examinees taking the tests.
Integrative Cancer Care: Chiropractic for Chemotherapy-Induced Hiccups
Hiccups (singultus) are a frequent occurrence during cancer treatment. The cause of the hiccups may be the chemotherapy drug itself, such as Cisplatin; or the prophylactic use of corticosteroids such as Decadron, which is used to prevent nausea and/or vomiting.
Natural Cancer Prevention: Pomegranate for the Prostate
In recent years, the ingestion of pure pomegranate juice (8 ounces per day) has been shown in clinical studies with human subjects to slow, and to some degree, reverse, the progression of prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North American men.
Getting Paid by Medicare Is Getting a Major Adjustment
The 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law to implement a new approach to clinician payments and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy: Multi-Faceted Approach Including Laser Therapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States1 and nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Many suffer from the disorder without ever identifying the cause.
Upgrade to "Parker 2.0" in Las Vegas
Continuing your education and refining your practice: two key elements of a successful chiropractic career. Parker Seminars promises both as it celebrates its 65th anniversary in Las Vegas next February, according to Parker University President, Dr. William Morgan, and seminar consultant Dr. Mark Sanna.
U.S. Olympians Have a DC in Their Corner
It's probably old news to you that doctors of chiropractic play an increasingly prominent role in treating athletes, from youth sports participants to weekend warriors, to elite / professional competitors.
First Annual ICD-10 Updates Take Effect
Yes, there was an update to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1. It was a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and will take place every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Going Beyond Just Feeling Good
We all know that most patients come to us for some pain complaint: neck pain, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc. We also all know that acupuncture is a great first-line care for these issues, as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Four Ways to Attract Patients
Acupuncturist A has been in practice for six years and has struggled since day one. She spends as much time and money on marketing as she can, but since her practice is slow, her budget isn't that big.
ITB Syndrome: Treat the Tensor Fascia Latae
Iliotibial band syndrome is usually the result of repetitive knee flexion, such as in runners or cyclists. Pain may be experienced in the knee and/or the hip. The patient may express a sense of the hip dislocating, popping or snapping.
April, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 04
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Author's note: This month I would like to ask you, the readers, to let me know what you would like me to cover in upcoming articles for Massage Today.It can be difficult to cover issues that are beneficial to all, especially when I am not familiar with your state's rules, or your massage practice acts or laws, or what it is you would like to know more about. I want to be here for you and offer what is most important to each of you. So please keep your questions coming, and please be patient waiting for my answers!
Which Insurers Pay?
Probably the question most often asked of me is, "What insurance companies pay a massage therapist, and which ones do not?"
First of all, there are no lists of which insurance companies pay for our services and which do not. We should be so lucky to have it that easy.
The first thing you have to understand is that an insurance company may cover services of certain providers under certain conditions, and not in others. For example, an insurer may cover the services of a licensed massage therapist for a work-related injury under your state's workers' compensation rules. Yet this exact same insurer may not cover the same services where the coverage is through a major employer who is self-insured. Then again, this same insurance company may pay for the same services by the same provider, if the coverage is through an auto insurance policy.
Always Call the Insurer
It is imperative that you always call the insurance company's adjuster to obtain coverage information. You will need information such as, "is the patient covered under the policy? Are there benefits left? Is there a deductible? Has the deductible been met yet? How much is the co-pay, if any? If it is a workers' comp. Case, will the adjuster authorize you for payment for your services? Much more information is necessary, too much to cover in this article. This is to just give you an example of how much is required even before you begin to provide therapy for a medical referral.
Until you have gotten answers to these questions, you should not provide therapy for the patient in question, unless you are willing to accept the loss in case you are not covered for your services.
Remember, to bill your services to an insurance company, the patient's condition must be deemed medically necessary. For a case to be medically necessary, it must first be diagnosed as such by a licensed physician. You must have a prescription from the physician that states the diagnosis and gives you the order to perform the massage therapy-related services, the frequency and duration.
Knowing Medical Codes Is Not the Answer
It is evident by the many questions I receive from therapists around the country that they have access to medical codes, but no instructions on insurance billing as such. With no other information on insurance billing, reimbursement, and collection techniques except the possession of codes, they get themselves in trouble and ultimately get discouraged. In addition, when billing is done improperly, it sends out red flags to insurers that negatively affect all of us.
Please know that to have access to billing codes is only 1/16th of the battle of insurance billing. One must understand that accepting medical cases brings with it new documentation requirements, responsibilities, technicalities, legalities, and consequences of not doing it accurately.
Each subject I bring up can lead to further discussion, because with insurance billing one thing leads to another and another. That is why it is imperative that you have a better understanding of insurance than just knowing what codes are allowed for massage therapists and having forms to use. Please feel free to contact me, and I will do what I can to help, as much as I can in the time allowed for me to do so. I do not know all the answers, but when I don't know, I'll be sure to tell you.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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