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TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
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.
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.
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.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
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.
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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
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.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
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.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
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.)
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
January, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 01
Insurance Acceptance and the Economy
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Unfortunately for some, the time has come. During these economically difficult times many therapists are expressing to me that they are now more than ever so grateful that they had taken the time and made the investment to learn how to accept, bill and be paid by some insurance for their client's therapy. At the same time, many therapists are now calling to request information about insurance billing, asking how they too can accept insurance because their clientele has dropped considerably due to the current economy.
Here is an example: A physician writes a prescription for a patient who is covered by insurance for an injury case. It doesn't matter that the patient may have lost their job, may have difficulty paying bills, buying groceries or gasoline. If they are legitimately injured, have insurance and their physician writes a prescription for medically necessary treatment, and you are the massage therapist willing to learn to properly accept and bill their insurance for reimbursement, you will be the one getting paid!
I'd like to share a true story with you; many of you will recall Hurricane Andrew. On Aug. 24, 1992, just before dawn, this hurricane nearly wiped Homestead, Fla. off the map, slamming into the entire city of 26,000 people as a Category 5 storm. Winds of up to 155 mph caused the loss of 23 lives, leaving no building untouched with damages costing insurance companies $26.5 billion. During the next recovering year or so, the insurance companies were holding onto their money in the process of deciding how they were going to cover and recover their losses due to this massive storm. Causing devastating financial hardship to several physicians, it was reported that many of them left Florida due to late or nonpayment of claims.
My massage therapy establishment was unbelievably successful. At the time of Hurricane Andrew, we were treating 23 to 27 insurance patients a day. During this time, insurance was slow to pay and we had a very difficult time keeping our heads above water. It was without a doubt a disheartening time. It was even more disheartening when I had to hold a meeting with the massage therapists working for me to inform them that we had two choices: close our doors or pay them $15 a session instead of the $25 to $35 some of them were making. I promised them if they would stay and accept $15 per session while we were going through these hard times, I would pay them the balance owed plus a $5 bonus per session, if and when we pulled through this crisis.
Not one therapist left me, and in about six months I was able to pay every one of the 12 therapists the entire amount I had promised! Not only did I pay the therapists but also my incredible landlord, a chiropractor, who knew my word was my bond and trusted me to pay when I could. As my rent of $3,900 a month began to get several months behind it became a very scary situation. Through it all, I kept my faith that all would work in our favor, and it did! I paid the doctor in full including even the free month he offered me.
Is accepting insurance always easy? Is life always easy? Are there ever any guarantees? No, but as in any situation, you have to do what you have to do. Preparing ahead is always best but if you have not been accepting insurance for your clients, why not start planning now to help in those times where money is tight? In economically hard times, I found that even the Palm Beach residents held on to their money or tried to get the best discount rates when they paid cash for their massage services.
Over and over, I thank God for opening those insurance doors and for physician referrals because it was only through this avenue that we were able to grow. It was only through this avenue that I was able to have several therapists working for me so that I was able to be with my family and by my youngest daughter's side when she was in an accident, spending months in intensive care and years in rehab centers. It was the kindness of not only friends and family but of our wonderful, caring patients and their referring physicians that helped see us through those very trying times.
It was only through this avenue that I was able to help so many injured and disabled patients through their physical, and even some of life's, challenges. When their insurance companies discouraged them, I was able to lift their spirits, show them the way, help them fight for their rights and otherwise, help them through their own trying times. I was able to learn and grow and am now able to help several other therapists to find a new life as I was so fortunate to do through accepting insurance for reimbursement.
I would like to wish everyone a very safe, healthy and prosperous New Year and thanks to all of my readers for your kindness and support in 2008!!
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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