resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.).
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!
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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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