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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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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.
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.
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.
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."
September, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 09
CPT Code 99201 and All 99 Codes
By Ed Denning, MEd, LMT
Some massage therapists are being encouraged to use 99201 and other codes that begin with 99 to report office or other outpatient visits for the evaluation and management of new patient.I strongly recommend not using any codes beginning with 99 by any massage therapist who is also not a physician. These are physician codes only.
Going beyond opinion, I cite the following information:
1. Page 9 of the 2002 CPT Manual* lists and defines code 99201 in this manner: Office or other outpatient management of a new patient, which requires these three key components:
2. Page 6 of the manual defines medical decision-making in this manner:
Medical decision-making refers to the complexity of establishing a diagnosis and/or selecting a management option as measured by:
Pay special attention to how the three qualities of medical decision-making noted above tie together. They are listed with semi-colons and the word "and," meaning that medical decision-making must include all three qualities. There is no selectivity in the statements. All three must be present present for proper use of the code.
Straightforward medical decision-making has a component that requires the clinician to make decisions regarding "the risk of significant complications, morbidity and/or mortality ..." Massage therapists are not qualified to make decisions regarding complications, morbidity or mortality.
Additionally there is a table on page 7 of the manual that I believe clearly ties straightforward decision-making with decisions regarding complications and/or morbidity or mortality.
For the reasons listed above, I urge all massage therapists who do billing to stop using 99 codes. Even if the use of such codes is accepted by an insurance company, it carries with it a risk that a change of policy, applied retroactively, could result in significant problems for the therapist. It is your responsibility to use the correct code. If an insurance company tells you to use a 99 code, get the company's recommendation in writing.
For those who want to use CPT codes that apply to office visits, at this time my only recommendation is that you appeal to your associations to pursue the creation of CPT codes designed specifically for massage therapy. Only associations would be able to get new CPT codes approved by the American Medical Association (AMA).
It is not difficult or dangerous to use CPT codes, but like anything else, it takes time and patience. I recommend that massage therapists use only those codes for which there is documentation. Using a code that has not been established through documentation is to assume (perhaps naively) that you have been taught correctly.
*American Medical Association, Current Procedural Terminology, CPT 2002 Standard Edition; Chicago, Illinois 60612.
Ed Denning is a licensed massage therapist in Ohio. He is coordinator of the massage therapy program at Stark State College of Technology, and also serves on the Massage Therapy Advisory Committee of the Ohio State Medical Board.
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