resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
June, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 06
The World of the Injured Worker
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Author's note: This revised article was originally prepared by myself and Sherry Smith, LMT; it was presented to a three-member panel of the Florida Workers' Compensation Division, which included Insurance Commissioner, Bill Nelson.The panel was in the process of revising its 1997 "Florida Workers' Compensation Health Care Provider Fee For Service Reimbursement Manual" during a time when the workers' compensation system was trying to eliminate massage therapists from the original draft for changes in the system; needless to say, workers' compensation carriers in Florida are still reimbursing us. It pays to fight for your rights!
This article is directed toward those interested in working with injured workers. If you have not considered working with these types of patients, this article may help you understand why accepting some insurance for reimbursement is necessary.
I originally wrote this article with the Florida worker in mind, so some references may not fit the circumstances in every state; still, it is generally the same everywhere. Keep in mind that not all cases or conditions are the same, and this article focuses on cases involving the more serious or catastrophically injured worker. Health-care providers who specialize in work injury cases generally agree that the following summarizes the experiences of a typical injured worker.
The Typical Injured Worker Scenario
The Employee's Continuing Nightmare
At this point, the employee can experience any of the following:
Surveillance of Injured Workers
The insurance carrier's surveillance officer begins to film the employee engaging in activities such as attending a child's baseball game; walking with a cane through a fairground; or swimming.
Consider the following examples:
Injured employees may experience fear knowing that their every move may be filmed. They can't tell whether they are being stalked; are about to be robbed or beaten; if their children are in danger; or if it is just the carrier's surveillance crew filming their activities. This causes undue stress and fear for innocent employees who, through no fault of their own, were injured.
These stories go on and on. Surveillance films (paid for by the carrier) often present a distorted or incomplete report of the employee's activities, or are not even of the patient.
Searching for Normalcy
The employee will try to find some semblance of normalcy by trying to engage in daily activities as best as possible, even though these minor activities can cause undue pain. Unfortunately, the surveillance crew is not present to film this pain or disability. The employee's injury may allow him or her to engage in certain activities for short intervals when there is time available to recuperate. These activities may not allow for repetitive motion but may be necessary to begin the improvement process; however, the employee may not be able to perform on the job without ample rest time between activities. Once again, the insurance carrier's spot surveillance is taken out of context, and the employee is punished for trying to rise above his or her injury by beginning to participate in short and varied activities.
The Employee's Changed World
By now, the employee's world has changed - maybe forever - because of this injury. The employee's disability income does not meet financial obligations; disability checks that were initially on time become delinquent or are cut out completely at the whim of the insurance carrier or adjuster.
The employee's once-good credit rating is lost as bills are turned over for collection. Collectors call the home daily. The employee's spouse works, but can no longer carry the financial or emotional load alone. Family emotions and financial pressures continue to escalate. The employee receives the disability check late, or it is reduced or stopped completely. The utilities are shut off. The adjuster refuses the prescribed treatment plan, including medications, and the employee cannot purchase the prescribed medicines. The employee's spouse is leaving him or her, or contemplating doing so. The employee has no choice except to seek legal counsel. The children suffer from experiencing the discouragement, depression and other sorrows created by the situation.
Employee Seeks Self-Medication
To obtain some relief, the employee begins self-medicating with prescribed medications (if he or she can get them through workers' compensation coverage); over-the-counter medications, alcohol; or all of the above, to cope with the physical and emotional pain. Some employees become addicts.
To keep sane, the employee seeks the help of a mental-health counselor or is referred to one by the attending physician. The employee feels emotionally strung out, despondent, and sometimes suicidal. The system has created the need for these additional services.
And They Wonder Why?
Many months (frequently, more than a year) have elapsed since the employee's injury, and the employee feels as if the world is crashing down. Despite many forms of treatment, the employee's condition has not improved and has often intensified. The employee has begged for something to help him or her deal with the pain and get back to a life that includes work and normalcy. Despite what the employer or insurance carrier may think, the majority of employees do not like watching soap operas, feeling incompetent, and being out of the work atmosphere: It has been forced upon them by the system.
It is my belief that the majority of injured employees would rather work than be supported or made to feel the effects of despair, inadequacy, and self-doubt created by the system and this situation. And they wonder why they can't get an injured worker off of temporary or permanent disability to return to work.
No two cases are alike: Not all carriers defer treatment, and not all employees are completely honest; but there are a few exceptions, and it is those exceptions that get the most publicity. It is my opinion, from my years of observation, that employers and insurance carriers pay a much greater price to avoid paying for the catastrophic legitimate cases, than they lose on those who try to elude the system now and then.
I will be attending the annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conference again for the 19th year. (Incidentally, there are more surveillance exhibits there than other types of services.)
The Employee Finally Receives a Prescription for Massage Therapy
Watch for the continuation of this article in the August issue.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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