resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
October, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 10
Claims of Commission
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
In pursuing a career in alternative health as a massage and bodywork practitioner, one usually does not consider being sued for professional malpractice. A lawsuit against you or your practice is sometimes unimaginable, but surprisingly enough, it can happen.We live in such a monetary-driven and litigious society that claims may still occur. Being sued for malpractice can result in repercussion not only at a professional level, but on a personal level as well. What are the most common claims against massage therapists and how can we avoid them? What preventative steps can we take to keep us from being affected at either the professional or the personal level?
Malpractice and/or liability claims are generally categorized into malpractice, criminal or civil. Malpractice includes acts of commission and acts of omission. Commission acts are unintentional or intentional acts performed by a therapist that result in some type of harm to the client. Acts of omission involve a failure to refer clients out when indicated or some type of missed assessment in initial treatment of client. These acts are more common among primary care physicians such as a doctor, chiropractor or acupuncturist.
Criminal suits are usually claims that involve some type of illegal implication and ramification related to unprofessional illegal conduct. You should be aware that most malpractice insurance policies do not cover you for these types of lawsuits. These illegal acts are usually excluded in malpractice insurance policies. According to the Medical Council of New Zealand, criminal acts range in severity. The lowest level is nonphysical contact and involves the use of inappropriate, disrespectful or demeaning language. More serious misconduct involves the use of inappropriate touching and/or draping techniques. The most severe acts involve engaging in a sexual act with a client. When any type of sexual misconduct takes place, the issue is no longer in the realm of malpractice, but now becomes a criminal issue. This long-standing issue is very controversial and will be discussed further in future articles.
This month, let's discuss acts of commission, which can further be defined as any harm resulting from a failure to perform a degree of learned skills ordinarily possessed by reputable massage and bodywork professional. Before I go into detail about the most common commission-type claims, I want to emphasize the importance of attaining and upholding professional liability insurance. Malpractice liability insurance protects therapists by providing for legal needs in the event you are named in a lawsuit. Liability insurance is mandatory to satisfy licensing requirements in states such as Massachusetts, Missouri, South Dakota and Wisconsin, and even in some local permitting regulatory agencies in California. Spas, clinics and other places of employment will typically require therapists (whether independent contractors or employees) to carry insurance in order to protect themselves and their customers. There are several different associations and insurance companies that offer liability/malpractice insurance policies. Policy terms and amount of coverage are generally standardized. Price varies according to membership benefits.
According to the president of the American Massage Council, Phil Stump, the most common claims involve an act of commission in treatment that resulted in physical injury to the client. A majority of these claims involved burning or bruising to the client. Other common claims involved some type of injury to the neck, ribs, and thoracic or lumbar spine. Here are some examples of recent claims and tips to avoid this from happening in your practice:
Client who is injured by burns:
Client who is injured by bruising:
Claims involving injury of neck, spine or ribs:
Next month, we will discuss claim prevention through practice management and the significant value of establishing routine policy procedures. We will also discuss acts of omission, and the importance of staying within one's scope of practice. Ultimately, we are the creators of our own destinies by establishing and following our own professional standards. It is through these principles by which we conduct ourselves that the solid foundation of a lasting career can be set.
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