resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
May, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 05
Scope It Out
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB
Ignorance is only bliss until reality smacks you in the face. As promised last time, the discussion of regulation (licensure) continues. This month's subject is scope of practice, an area in which we really are punishing ourselves and decreasing our ability to help the public, due to the poorly written laws we are passing.
Another purpose of licensure is to define the scope of practice of a particular profession.To use more accurate terms, scope of practice defines the extent of the monopoly granted by the state. Of course, the MDs who were first to the trough have a virtually unlimited scope of practice. That was their goal in creating licensure: a complete monopoly, along with the elimination or complete control of all competing forms of health care. It still is their goal, and universal access to health care may give it to them if we are not diligent. Every other profession has their scope limited by their licensing law.
Most professions desire as much extension of a scope of practice as they can get and always are working to expand it. Sadly, ours is not this way nationally. Our national leadership has given up huge aspects of our scope for no apparent reason, other than to just pass something. For example, any muscle-bound meathead at a health club can do specific stretches on anyone who walks in the door, but we pass laws for ourselves that prohibit us from doing specific stretches or joint mobilization. This has got to stop and should be reversed.
Our profession has failed miserably when it comes to defending our scope. I have watched it shrink to a shadow of what we should be able to do. In most licensed states, we no longer can do what massage therapists of the 1950s and 1960s did very well - without licensure. Our national leadership's willingness to restrict our scope of practice actually is endangering the public and limiting the care the public can receive. If alternative disciplines give up scope of practice, where can the public receive it? The public frantically is searching for alternatives to the current health care system, which is the single biggest killer of Americans. That's right. According to their own figures, allopaths kill more than 250,000 people each year; yet allopaths call alternative practitioners "quacks." By passing laws that end our ability to perform what historically has been the scope of massage therapy, we are forcing the public back into the hands of the allopaths - to face cuts, burns, poisons and even death. "Sorry, we used to be able to treat the soft-tissue conditions of scoliosis, but our new law won't allow us to manipulate the spine. So, I guess you will have to go get rods installed." How does it feel, Indiana?
By not having a logical, aggressive plan to pass uniform legislation for massage in every state to protect and expand our scope, our national leadership is depriving the public of the soft-tissue care it seeks, needs and deserves. In the process, our leadership slowly is killing the therapeutic side of our profession. It's the first-door-provider, therapeutic massage practice that the public needs and that allows massage therapists to make a comfortable income. Every massage licensing law should give us first-door access to the public, along with the right to assess, examine, manipulate and otherwise treat connective tissue with whatever means, techniques and equipment we are trained in. Training should be able to come from school or post-school sources. Stretching, movement and alignment techniques are necessary for proper and complete soft-tissue care, and should be included in our scope. While we might have to do it subtly, language-wise, this is the outcome we should achieve. Anything less is merely a self-imposed tax on our practice with no resulting benefit, except maybe to our egos - "I'm licensed."
If the massage profession is going to impose licensing, it should benefit from it, not suffer from it. Remember, the purpose of licensure is to benefit the profession and to protect it from the public and other professions. Don't say that when you are trying to pass a bill, but it is the reality of the situation and needs to be kept in mind. Every professional benefits from good legislation and suffers from poorly written laws.
At one time, I was a huge proponent of licensure. However, in the past few years I have been on the opposing side of several laws, because the laws were so poorly written that, had they passed, they would have been more of a burden than a benefit. Be alert as to what is being proposed in your state. Don't let a law restrict what you can do more than if you didn't have the law. Wakeup out there! A bad law is worse than no law.
Speaking of bad laws, Indiana is in the process of passing one. It will be another patch in the quilt of completely incompatible laws we have imposed on ourselves. It will be nothing but a burden on practicing therapists, but the schools are going to love it. Allowing schools to do whatever they want is all that is important, right? Indiana therapists, if there still is time when you read this, I encourage you to fight the legislation. If it's already passed, read this and weep.
So, what is the point of all this licensing discussion, other than just the educational aspect of it? Well, colleagues, it's about paradigms and what our profession once was, could be, but instead is becoming. Not enough ink to write on that until next time.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB.
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