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Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
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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