resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
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.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08
Hey, Doctor Wanna-Be's
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Want to be just like doctors? Here's your chance! At least once a week, I get something in the mail urging me to sign up in a managed care network. One network went so far as to threaten me by giving me a deadline that I had to have its forms completed and filed so it could meet some regulation.
These are usually followed by phone calls: "Mr.Stephens, did you get our application form in the mail?" The incredible opportunity offered to me is: 1) to do more paperwork, and 2) to charge patients less money who belong to the network's "group." My response to these offers is to send back their postage-paid envelopes empty. I do not believe in discrimination -- for example, charging one rate for purple people and another rate for green people. People in an insurance group are "purples"; they get the good rate. People not in the insurance group are the "greens"; they pay extra.
I can justify rate adjustments based on real need. However, these approved-provider, managed-care and insurance discounts are not based on needs. In reality, the affluent belong to the plans and the poor do not. Why give the rich a better deal? Participation in the discrimination created by these plans is immoral and unethical.
This unethical behavior ultimately comes home to roost in lower moral and job satisfaction, as documented by a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Doctors have been involved in these unethical schemes far longer than massage therapists have. Here's what we have to look forward to as we become more and more entangled in the allopathic insurance web. We will be just like doctors in this way. Won't that be great?
Physicians Report Declining Morale, Cite Dissatisfaction with Managed Care
Ninety percent of physicians who participated in the Kaiser study said that the overall morale of their colleagues has decreased in the last five years. A smaller percentage, although still a majority (58 percent), said that their own enthusiasm for practicing medicine has lessened during that time. Among the factors cited for the decline in morale are the number of work hours physicians spend on administrative activities; the lack of professional autonomy; their potential income over the next five years; and the amount of time they have for nonprofessional interests, family and friends.
The survey also indicated that managed care is a major source of doctors' woes. Three-quarters of the physicians surveyed said that managed care has had a negative impact on the way they practice medicine. Specifically, 95 percent said that managed care has increased their paperwork, and 88 percent said it has decreased the amount of time they can spend with patients. Although the physicians surveyed did credit managed care with increasing the use of practice guidelines and disease management protocols (these are currently being developed for massage... sigh), 73 percent said that managed care has decreased health care quality overall.
For more results from this survey, go to: www.kff.org/content/2002/20020426c/.
So, doctors are getting bummed out having to do all the paperwork, being told what they can do and how much of it they can do, and having to work more and more for less and less. See what happens when you let insurance companies and the government get between you and your patients? You lose. Ultimately, so do the patients. Third-party reimbursement (insurance) is like a drug to both the patient and the practitioner. The best response to the temptation is to "Just Say No!"
For those of you who care about health freedom, which should be all of you, it is time for an update on the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA). I mentioned this act earlier in the year. This sinister legislation was developed by power-hungry public health bureaucrats and is being pushed onto every state. These opportunists have been planning this for a long time and are using the current crisis/panic state of people to fulfill their dream of complete state control over your health. After all, they believe they know what is best for you. MSEHPA will severely infringe on citizens' medical privacy and freedom to choose their health care. If you believe in mandatory vaccination, this bill is for you. If you like martial law, ruled by public health officials, you will love this bill. If you believe in freedom of choice in health care, this bill will be terrifying to you. Are you in a licensed state? If this bill passes in your state, you and all health-care facilities, doctors, and health-care providers will have to agree to abide by the MSEHPA during declared public-health emergencies to maintain licenses to practice or run a health-care business. This means you!
This bill will, by careful design, greatly diminish Americans' health freedoms -- including the freedom of doctors and other health care providers. Under the MSEHPA, doctors could be required to administer treatments to which they object. This legislation clearly would infringe on doctors' and other health care providers' freedom of conscience. Moreover, the draft legislation does not state clearly that it will uphold existing state laws that provide for exemptions to vaccination. However, it does state that individuals who refuse medical examination and treatment (including vaccination) could be quarantined or isolated. For the sake of your patients and your practice, you had better get out and work against this bill. In states that have already enacted this legislation (Maryland, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah), it is too late for you. In states that have introduced MSEHPA (Arizona; California; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Maine; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New York; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Tennessee; Vermont; and Virginia) - you folks better get to work! You still have a chance to save yourselves.
This legislation won't make any headlines. You will never know it passed, until one day they pull it out and stick it to you. MSEHPA is inactive or has been defeated in Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Congratulations -- you saved yourselves! Stay alert, they will bring it back again if more states pass it.
Your responses to my columns on massage education have been immense and positive. Hopefully, many of you are organizing to enact improvements in your state. Next month, I will present a vision of massage education. Stand by for "Beyond the Rub."
Hope you have had wonderful summer. Have a great Labor Day.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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