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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
Will Health Care Reform Benefit Massage Therapists?
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
As the American Medical Association stated in its AMA News: "Your guess is as good as anyone's." Well if they don't know, I'm sure I don't know. However, I am trying to keep you in the loop as much as I can in these early stages of health care reform.
First, I want to thank all of you wonderful readers who have taken the time to correspond with me in reference to my articles. Next I want to thank Massage Today for allowing me to share insurance and other business-building ideas as a columnist since its January 2001 inception. Also, I wish everyone a beautiful, safe, healthy, successful and happy new year.
Reading, studying and watching every health care news article, subscribing to dozens of Web sites and health care reform outlets and sitting in on many conferences to keep up on this health care reform stuff has been overwhelming, and I am ready to pull out my hair. But I love it, what can I say? I love trying to find any and all loopholes we might possibly be able to crawl through. About three of the health care reform bills state that discrimination will be eliminated. This means that all state-licensed or certified health care providers will have to be recognized and reimbursed. The House and Senate bills may ultimately not be our answers, even though some information like this may be extremely helpful. Then again, what would be their definition of "health care provider"?
I will be asking for assistance with some projects from each of you who really want to increase your clientele and your income as you move ahead in the health care arena. It will not be easy. It will be fun, rewarding and time-consuming. Are you willing to help? If so, send me an e-mail at . I will save your e-mail after I read it and will be back to you with any updated news and with information on the help we need to move us forward.
Today, I attended an hour-long health care telephone conference on the federal ERISA Guidelines. ERISA (Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act) is the federal act that governs many issues of employer and employee finances. For us it means that if we are not allowed to be insurance company "in-network" providers who will reimburse for services in employer group plans, we are losing hundreds of thousands of client prospects and income dollars because the majority of those covered by insurance are through their employer group plans. Since ERISA is a federal law, it supersedes state laws that require insurance companies to reimburse massage therapists, such as in Florida and Washington.
In reflecting on the ERISA call, it seems that hour and 10 minutes was much of a waste. The presenter (though obviously extremely knowledgeable on ERISA), was speaking in what seemed to be a foreign language. He also had to present a week's class in an hour. Needless to say, he rushed through it so fast that it was not only impossible to understand him, but it was impossible to keep up with the presentation he zipped through with only one or two seconds per slide. I have downloaded some of that presentation that was sent in advance and try to match my seven pages of written notes to the 165 slides in the presentation.
However, the good news is that he allowed us to ask questions. I and one other gentleman had the only two questions he accepted. My question: Why doesn't the ERISA Self-Insured Employer Group Health Plans directly reimburse health care providers who are state-licensed and/or certified? Meanwhile, ERISA is willing to reimburse other health care providers, often costing more, who in turn hire the state-licensed providers to do the actual work?
His answer, the best I could decipher it at high speed and in a foreign accent was this: "They [ERISA] will pay for the services a state-licensed provider provides, but if you are not a provider in the network, they will send the patient the money. The patient will then most often take the money and run." He then added, "You can get the patient's credit card on file. Then, if the payment is sent to the patient and they don't bring in the check, you can charge their credit card."
The best part of that conference is now I have his e-mail and phone number. He told me to contact him off line and he will discuss it more thoroughly. Time allowing, I will get to that this before my next article.
I want to always be sure that we as a profession can find any loophole to slide through and not be eliminated as practitioners who are directly reimbursed for the services we perform.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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