resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Adjusting the Occiput on the Atlas
You may never see a particular set of patients in your office – the ones who are either afraid of neck adjustments or have had a bad experience. A vast majority of those who had a bad experience did not have a life-threatening vascular event.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Connections Worth Making
"If most doctors are like me, [they are] isolated physically and professionally. I do not make the time to connect with other doctors and also a lot of doctors do not want to be connected for a lot of reasons. Dynamic Chiropractic keeps me grounded and connected.
What's Triggering That Point?
An orthopedic friend recently saw a patient of mine. He felt an injection of a trigger point (TP) at the upper trapezius and surrounding areas was necessary, since that was the patient's area of chief complaint and there was a tender, radiating nodule.
Online Efforts That Convert Traffic Into Patients
Most chiropractors are using "dinner with the doc," "refer a friend," customer appreciation days, grand openings, health fairs, chamber of commerce meetings, and other networking events to get new patients.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Leg Length and Pelvic Fixations
A common component of low back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Signs of SIJ dysfunction can include fixation with reduced range of motion, and localized pain or joint laxity and inflammation.
A New Era of Injury Awareness Means a New Focus on Prevention
Despite a dramatic Super Bowl last month, the National Football League has taken quite a few hits lately concerning player injuries, particularly concussions.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 1)
Maintaining joint health should be a daily focus for athletes. Joint health is a complex issue for everyone, but for athletes it poses a greater concern.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
We Have Come a Long Way – But There's a Long Way to Go; Grounded and Connected.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
The Easy Way to Learn How to Document ICD-10
The 2015 Work Plan for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a focus on chiropractic services. This means chiropractors can expect to see more audits and reviews in the coming year because private payers pay attention to the OIG's focus as well.
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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