resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Four Ways to Attract Patients
Acupuncturist A has been in practice for six years and has struggled since day one. She spends as much time and money on marketing as she can, but since her practice is slow, her budget isn't that big.
Six Things Every DC Should Know About the Zika Virus
The Zika outbreak continues to spread across the continental United States and U.S. territories. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing doctor of chiropractic.
Pediatric Asthma: A Case Study
I have had very good success with pediatric asthma, combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal products. Treatment is given over four to eight months, twice monthly, with herbal formulas rotated every month.
Workers' Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution
You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy: Multi-Faceted Approach Including Laser Therapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States1 and nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Many suffer from the disorder without ever identifying the cause.
National Board Apologizes for Testing Issues
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has issued a formal apology following a series of computer-based testing malfunctions that impacted two separate examinations (March and June 2016) and caused "widespread confusion and frustration" to the nearly 1,500 examinees taking the tests.
Update from the International AIDS Conference
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, brought together more than 15,000 of the world's leading scientists, activists, funders, policy makers, and consumers from 153 countries.
Treatment Success at the Won Institute
According to the World Health Organization's 2003 report titled, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials," acupuncture has been shown to improve many physical, emotional, and mental conditions.
Using the Lens of Chinese Medicine
One of the most common medications I see in clinical practice on a daily basis is fluoxetine or Prozac. Consequently, I hear many complaints concerning the side effects of this medication and am frequently asked by patients to help manage these side effects with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Pediatric Footwear: Function Over Fashion
As practitioners, it is not uncommon for parents to bring us their children to treat or ask us questions related to the pediatric population. Children's feet tend to be a perplexing region for parents and practitioners alike.
Natural Cancer Prevention: Pomegranate for the Prostate
In recent years, the ingestion of pure pomegranate juice (8 ounces per day) has been shown in clinical studies with human subjects to slow, and to some degree, reverse, the progression of prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North American men.
Going Beyond Just Feeling Good
We all know that most patients come to us for some pain complaint: neck pain, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc. We also all know that acupuncture is a great first-line care for these issues, as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Dysautonomia: The Medical Condition You May Already Be Treating
TCM practitioners have spent thousands of years healing patients without knowing or needing the names of their diseases as defined by allopathic medicine. We have syndrome names that are both poetic and efficient.
First Annual ICD-10 Updates Take Effect
Yes, there was an update to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1. It was a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and will take place every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Integrative Cancer Care: Chiropractic for Chemotherapy-Induced Hiccups
Hiccups (singultus) are a frequent occurrence during cancer treatment. The cause of the hiccups may be the chemotherapy drug itself, such as Cisplatin; or the prophylactic use of corticosteroids such as Decadron, which is used to prevent nausea and/or vomiting.
Getting Paid by Medicare Is Getting a Major Adjustment
The 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law to implement a new approach to clinician payments and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
ITB Syndrome: Treat the Tensor Fascia Latae
Iliotibial band syndrome is usually the result of repetitive knee flexion, such as in runners or cyclists. Pain may be experienced in the knee and/or the hip. The patient may express a sense of the hip dislocating, popping or snapping.
Decoding the Mystery of Medical Insurance Acceptance
In the constantly evolving profession of acupuncture, one of the least understood areas is medical insurance acceptance. The profession is filled with controversy surrounding this topic: Is it ethical?
Power to the Patient
Against a backdrop of splintered political parties, polarizations within nations, civil unrest, and distrust of established government (such as the growing anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment) comes the not-so-surprising finding that health care authorities and practitioners (with perhaps the exception of insurers) are turning over more and more powers to the individual patient.
Upgrade to "Parker 2.0" in Las Vegas
Continuing your education and refining your practice: two key elements of a successful chiropractic career. Parker Seminars promises both as it celebrates its 65th anniversary in Las Vegas next February, according to Parker University President, Dr. William Morgan, and seminar consultant Dr. Mark Sanna.
July, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 07
Accept Insurance for Reimbursement: Should I or Shouldn’t I?
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
We often have a tendency to look at only the surface of things. We jump to conclusions and immediately affirm that we don't want to deal with or get involved in whatever the problem is, before we really take the time to analyze the situation.
An example of this is when clients or others ask a therapist if they accept insurance for payment.Therapists immediately answer, "I'm not interested." Then often add either, "I know it won't work," or "I have heard others say it's not worth the hassle." Other statements include, "because there's too much time consumed in phone calls, paperwork, waiting for money, possible losses, preparation time, etc."
Let me ask you three questions:
Sounds silly, doesn't it? Not really, the money is there to collect from insurance cases. However, there are necessary steps to take in order to make it happen.
Insurance Acceptance is an Avenue
Insurance acceptance is not about taking insurance or medical cases. Accepting insurance for payment is an avenue to help more people, to increase your income, to open new doors for yourself and your patients, for doctors to refer, and for our profession as a whole. Insurance and medical referrals can be considered a business within your massage therapy business. Accepting insurance cases is not a means to an end. It's just another door to walk through to increase your clientele and income.
I hear those who say that accepting insurance will be the end for us, that we will have to accept insurance fees, if lower. They say we will end up having to do what insurance companies tell us to do. We are now independent and need to always fight for our right to remain independent, as well as working with individuals with or without injury or illness, and of course, to accept or not to accept insurance for reimbursement, if that is what we wish to do. Working with insurance-related patients, we need a physician's prescription, rightfully so in that we are not allowed to diagnose a medical condition. No one will force you to accept insurance for reimbursement - it is a choice you make.
When you decided to become a massage therapist, you did not have all the answers on how to do it, did you? You had to invest your time, you had to invest your dollars, then you had to be willing to learn the ropes, take the proper courses and tests to even get the first sense of direction. There were no guarantees. The same goes for the business end of accepting medical cases and insurance for payment, there are no guarantees, just open-door opportunities when and while they exist.
Accepting Medical Referrals and Insurance Is a Nine-Step Process
Before we go into the nine steps, let me ask you:
If you have answered yes to even a few of these questions with the exception of number 5, you might just be ready to learn how to take on a few medically referred patients and to accept insurance for payment from those whose insurance companies will reimburse you directly.
Remember, to bill insurance, you should know the ropes by receiving proper training. Know, too, that medical cases are legal cases and must be prescribed by attending physicians, documented properly and billed accurately; using only codes within your scope of practice. Also, you must charge fees that are ethical, customary and payable.
Know that not all kinds of insurance will reimburse you, not all patients have insurance and not all patient conditions are covered. We still are in the baby stages, taking one step at a time. We still are trying to be accepted and recognized in the insurance industry. To bombard the insurance companies with threatening or disrespectful behavior and brazenly overcharging and over-coding is not how we got this far.
Here are the nine steps to accepting insurance for reimbursement:
Good luck and let me know how the process works for you!
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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