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Your Billing Questions Answered
I hear a lot of the following questions: I am afraid I may doing something illegal. I have heard I cannot have different fees for the same service.
It's Time to Review
It is amazing to see the changes that are occurring in the acupuncture profession. Let's look at some of the news and events that have contributed to this growth and awareness.
Targeting the Bad Apples in the Bunch
While everyone was focused on the conversion to ICD-10, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services released a new report on chiropractic titled "CMS Should Use Targeted Tactics to Curb Questionable and Inappropriate Payments for Chiropractic Services."
The Concussion-Subluxation Complex
In the Aug. 1, 2014 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, I reviewed some of the literature demonstrating the role of the chiropractic adjustment in post-concussive care.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: An Underappreciated Element of Men's Health
As a clinician with many male patients -- and as a man myself -- I am all too aware of the fact that we like to convince ourselves that we are doing great, when that may be the farthest thing from the truth.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 2
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Exercise and Nutrition According to Your Yin/Yang Body Type
There are countless new exercise and nutrition plans out there, emphasizing the latest ground-breaking research and claiming to revolutionize the way we view health.
The Modern Application of Ancient Mei Rong
Chinese Medical Cosmetology (Mei Rong) has a well-documented and venerated history dating back to the Qin (221-206 BC) Dynasty.
Footsteps of the Sages: An Apprenticeship with Dr. Kezhan Zhang
When I met Dr. Kezhen Zhang in May 2013, I was his translator and the integrity, creativity, and passion he demonstrated as a practitioner and advocate of the medicine convinced me to travel to Beijing to study with him.
Diagnose Sprain Injuries in MVA Cases With Dynamic X-Rays (Pt. 1)
Am I the only person to notice hospitals are doing a seemingly insufficient job lately in their initial radiological workup of motor vehicle accident (MVA) victims?
Mechanism: Experimental Approaches to Understanding Acupuncture, Part 1
The clinical benefits of acupuncture are difficult to ignore, but also can be difficult to explain to a Western audience. For nearly 50 years, relentlessly inquisitive scientists and physicians have been working toward a conceptual model to explain acupuncture.
Too Many to Remember: Tips to Revive Your Ortho / Neuro Test Skills
When I was at Palmer in the mid-1980s, we were given a set of notes in one of our diagnostic courses. The notes covered approximately 70 orthopedic and neurological tests for various regions of the body.
Chinese Herbs and Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Case Study
"Mary M."* recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Even the former sheriff dropped by to kiss the hand of this diminutive retired teacher, to honor the years she interpreted for him during interviews with Latinas and Latinos.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the West
We know acupuncture and Oriental medicine as the indigenous medicine of East Asia; in particular China, Korea and Japan are the countries of origin of this wonderful healing system.
F4CP Making a High-Impact Impression
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released details of its 2016 strategy, certain elements of which are already in play. The strategy includes ads, posters and other resources available to all F4CP members.
Tailor-Made Knee Pain: The Sartorius Muscle
A patient was referred to my office after receiving treatment from various providers with no results. The patient was training for the Olympics as a marathon runner and was unable to run or walk without severe medial knee pain.
Syncretism: Acupuncture and Public Health in Cuba
"Syncretism" is defined as a union of diverse tenets or practices. On a recent trip to Cuba designed to demonstrate the integration of Traditional Medicine and biomedicine, our group witnessed this union firsthand.
Making Sense of an Increasingly Obvious Conclusion
Where's U.S. health care heading? Like it or not, the list of telltale signs is growing to a point that stands out to even the most myopic observer. Consider this list of facts as you look into the future of health care in the United States:
Dietary Fat and Prostate Cancer: An Important Update
K.M. Di Sebastiano and M. Mourtzakis published a review paper examining the role of dietary fat on prostate cancer development and progression late last year that does a stellar job of summarizing the available data on fat and prostate cancer.
Born to Energize the Human Spirit: Recollections of Sig Miller
Sig Miller, longtime executive director of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC), passed away on Sept. 17 after a long battle with cancer.
Which Way is the Energy Going? Are You Burning Yourself Out?
One of the simple methods that I use to define Yin/Yang theory to patients is to ask the question, "Which way is your energy going?"
Pro-Con: Swaddling for Newborns
The practice of swaddling has been used for thousands of years and was popular until the 1700s, when it was slowly abandoned by many cultures that considered it old-fashioned or barbaric.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 1)
It doesn't matter if you come to my practice for pain relief, weight loss, healthy aging or something else. The formula I talk about for each patient's fitness strategy is pretty much the same.
North Carolina Acupuncture Board Files Dry Needling Lawsuit
In early September, the NCALB filed a complaint against the North Carolina Board of Physical Therapy Examiners over the issue of dry needling, a form of acupuncture that uses solid needles to puncture the skin and muscle tissue to relieve pain.
July, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 07
San Francisco Passes Controversial Massage Ordinance
By Editorial Staff
The Golden Gate Bridge. Lombard Street. Cable cars. San Francisco, long known for its distinct charm and appeal, has a little something for everyone. And effective July 1, 2004, "The City by the Bay" will add a controversial massage ordinance to its long list of unique characteristics.
In December 2003, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown passed the ordinance, which, among other things, shifts massage permit authority from the San Francisco Police Department to the Department of Public Health (DPH), and creates a two-tiered massage permit system that recognizes "therapeutic massage practitioners" on the one hand, and "adult entertainment massage workers" on the other.
According to information posted on the San Francisco Massage Ordinance Web site, the ordinance was created out of the need "to regulate adult entertainment massage and, in particular, massage parlors, which were perceived as a cover for prostitution-related crimes and as a magnet for activities ...that degrade the quality of life in a neighborhood." And though it was not intended to regulate massage practitioners, "therapeutic practitioners have been directly affected by the ordinance," nonetheless.1
The San Francisco Coalition of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Practitioners -- an alliance of professional massage therapists created to protect their interests -- did not believe in the necessity of city massage regulation; however, the coalition ultimately consented to the ordinance because of ensuing politics: "Most San Francisco elected officials have no desire to wipe out the massage parlors, so the net result is that therapeutic practitioners have to coexist, for the time being, with adult entertainment practitioners. We have come to the best compromise that we believe possible at this time."1
On the San Francisco Ordinance Web site, the coalition cited the following reasons for supporting the ordinance:
Under previous local legislation, all massage therapists were referred to as "masseuse/masseur" and required to have 70 hours of massage education. Under the new two-tiered system, the first level of practitioner, the "general massage practitioner," is required to have 100 hours to practice, while the "advanced massage practitioner" is required to have 200 educational hours.2
The ordinance also adds the "solo practitioner massage establishment" - a third business-permit option - to existing "massage establishment" and "outcall massage" options. The solo massage establishment business permit is available only to advanced massage practitioners and subject to fewer regulatory conditions.
While the ordinance may ease the permit process and clearly distinguishes therapeutic massage practitioners from adult entertainers, its implications do not sit well with some Bay Area massage therapists, especially since adult entertainment massage is often - though not always - associated with prostitution.
"Giving San Francisco's 'sex slave' rings, a compromise gift is not my idea of good massage legislation," said Brian Goodwin, BA, NCTMB, a massage therapist for over a decade. "I'm not necessarily saying California's massage law has to follow paths used by other states, but I do think any massage law should help protect the public. The new San Francisco massage law may offer the public a license to look at, but a license [that] represent[s] nothing."3
However, David Palmer, founder of the TouchPro Institute and co-chair of the coalition, sees things differently. "Legislation in the massage field is a complex issue," Palmer said in a phone interview with Massage Today. "The primary reason for all massage legislation is because of prostitution. Because prostitution is illegal, [some] are using massage as containers for business. In order to control adult entertainment, [we] need to regulate massage parlors...San Francisco is unique in that the Board of Supervisors does not see massage parlors as a 'legal' issue; they prefer to see massage parlor prostitution decriminalized except when there is a victim [of a crime]."4
According to Palmer, San Francisco city officials are primarily concerned with human trafficking offenses and the proliferation of sexually transmitted diseases. In order to address these issues, "San Francisco has not chosen to take a standard route to separate or distinguish adult entertainment from therapeutic massage," he said.4
And though Palmer admits the ordinance is "not a perfect solution," he believes it is a "clear step forward," and insists it is not a setback for the massage profession or future massage regulation. Instead, Palmer believes the ordinance benefits therapeutic massage practitioners, especially in regards to establishing private practices.
Palmer also stressed that the ordinance had the support of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals -- something Goodwin finds disheartening. "Months back, I wanted to get my picture taken setting my AMTA certificate on fire, and get [the photo] published," he said.
Goodwin has since taken a less drastic approach of conveying his distaste for the AMTA's support of the ordinance by simply withdrawing his membership.3
Conversely, Palmer is unfazed by critics. "San Francisco is a trendsetter," he said. "The message going out is that we've grown up in the past 20 years in this culture. San Francisco is saying, 'We trust [that] our citizens can make the distinction [between adult entertainment and therapeutic massage].'"
Palmer believes the ordinance is just the first of many transitions relative to San Francisco massage regulation. "It's not the last word in massage," he said. "But it's a good first word."
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