resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
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.
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.
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.
December, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 12
What Is HIPAA, and How Does It Affect You? Part I
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
I am asked frequently about the HIPAA rulings regarding electronic transactions and privacy rules. Because of this, I decided to do some research to obtain some answers to common questions I hear, especially regarding rules which might affect us as massage therapists and bodyworkers.
I wrote to "Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services" (CMS) to inquire as to the necessity of alternative medical providers (massage therapists included) having to comply with HIPAA Rules.Their reply is as follows, along with information on HIPAA in general.
With the above response provided to me, I was able to gather a large amount of additional information from a variety of their websites. If you wish to obtain more information than what I have provided within this article, please connect to the websites or call the phone numbers provided herein.
Question: What Is HIPAA?
Answer: HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for implementing various unrelated provisions of HIPAA, therefore HIPAA may mean different things to different people.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA, Public Law 104-191), signed by President Clinton on August 21, 1996, aims to improve productivity of the American health care system. The law encourages development of information systems based on the exchange of standard management and financial data using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). It also requires organizations exchanging transactions for health care to follow national implementation guidelines for EDI established for this purpose. For more information, please go to http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/admnsimp/.
The Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, Title II) require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health plans, and employers. It also addresses the security and privacy of health data. Adopting these standards will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation's health care system by encouraging the widespread use of electronic data interchange in health care.
HIPAA Rules Regarding Providers Who Do Not Submit Claims Electronically
Question: If I am a provider who does not submit any electronic transactions, do I have to comply with the HIPAA Administrative Simplification regulations, or submit an ASCA compliance plan to get an extension?
Answer: No. All of the HIPAA Administrative Simplification regulations apply to all covered entities. Health care providers who transmit health information in electronic form meet the final rule definition for a covered entity. If you do not transmit such information in electronic form, you are not a covered entity and HIPAA does not apply to you. Therefore you do not need to submit a compliance plan to request a compliance extension.
The Administrative Simplification Compliance Act (ASCA) prohibits Health & Human Services, (HHS) from paying Medicare claims that are not submitted electronically after October 16, 2003, unless the Secretary grants a waiver from this requirement. It further provides that the Secretary must grant such a waiver if there is no method available for the submission of claims in electronic form, or if the entity submitting the claim is a small provider of services or supplies.
In this case, small provider of services or supplier means:
Entities that qualify for this waiver do not need to submit a compliance plan and will be allowed to continue to file paper claims for Medicare payment. The Secretary may grant such a waiver in other circumstances. HHS will publish proposed regulations to implement this new authority.
Note: Since we as massage therapists at this time, do not bill for Medicare services, we do not have to be concerned with any of this documentation that pertains to Medicare. However, you may work in an office that does work with Medicare, therefore I have included this information.
Question: Are small providers exempt from HIPAA?
Answer: No. Any provider who transmits any of the designated transactions electronically is subject to the HIPAA Administrative Simplification requirements, regardless of size.
Small providers are exempt from the ASCA provision that excludes paper claims from Medicare coverage effective October 16, 2003. Small providers will be able to continue to submit paper claims.
Note: See ASCA definition of small provider or supplier in paragraphs above.
Question: Does the ASCA extension affect the compliance date for the HIPAA Privacy Standards?
Answer: No. The compliance date for the Privacy Standards is still April 14, 2003 or, for small health plans, April 14, 2004.
Question: What is the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Compliance Act (ASCA)?
Answer: In December 2001, the Administrative Simplification Compliance Act (ASCA) extended the deadline for compliance with the HIPAA Electronic Health Care Transactions and Code Sets standards (codified at 45 C.F.R. Parts 160, 162) one year, to October 16, 2003 for all covered entities, other than small health plans (whose compliance date was already October 16, 2003).
To receive an extension, covered entities must submit their ASCA compliance plans on or before October 15, 2002.
ASCA requires that a sample of the plans be provided to the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), an advisory committee to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The NCVHS will review the sample to identify common problems that are complicating compliance activities, and will periodically publish recommendations for solving the problems.
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), information held by the federal government is available to the public on request, unless it falls within one of several exemptions. The model form is designed to avoid collection of any information that would be subject to exemption, such as confidential personal or proprietary information. If such information is submitted, both the FOIA and the ASCA require that it be redacted before the files are released either to the NCVHS or to the public.
Question: Do all covered entities automatically get an ASCA extension?
Answer: No. Covered entities must submit a compliance extension plan to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before October 16, 2002 to get an extension.
Question: Where can I get a copy of the ASCA compliance form?
Answer: The form was released on March 28, 2002 and is available on our website at: www.cms.hhs.gov/hipaa/hipaa2/ASCAForm.asp. The form was published in the Federal Register on April 15, 2002.
Question: Can I file the ASCA compliance extension form electronically?
Answer: Yes, electronic filing of compliance extension plans is encouraged, although plans submitted on paper also will be accepted. To submit a form electronically, go to www.cms.hhs.gov/hipaa/hipaa2/ASCAForm.asp.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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