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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.).
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.
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
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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