resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
CPT Codes Revealed
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
I have received many, many questions (via email and phone) regarding CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) Codes and massage therapists. This article is intended to help answer some of those common questions.In particular, I've been asked numerous times about a massage therapist's ability to use CPT Code 97140 (Manual Therapy Techniques) versus a physical therapist's ability to use it.
97140 Vs. 97124
The CPT Code Book definition of 97140 is: "Manual therapy techniques (e.g., mobilization/manipulation, manual lymphatic drainage, manual traction), one or more regions, each 15 minutes."
You may also document myofascial release using this code. Most of us perform more than just basic Swedish massage when providing treatment to medically prescribed cases with a written prescription from the treating physician indicating diagnoses, duration and frequency. However, if what you perform is basic Swedish massage, then use CPT Code 97124.
CPT Code 97124: "Therapeutic procedure, one or more areas, each 15 minutes; massage, including effleurage, petrissage and/or tapotement (stroking, compression, percussion)."
Often insurance companies will deny the massage practitioner the use of 97140, stating that it is a "PT Code" (i.e. physical therapy) and therefore, not in "your scope of practice". This is not true if you have training in myofascial release, manual therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, manual techniques such as neuromuscular therapy, structural alignment or other deeper tissue techniques, and if your training is sufficient to benefit the patient's medical condition. If you can stand up in a court of law and explain what you do, how you do it, why you do it and how it benefited the patient, then feel free to use 97140. If not, be safe and stick with basic Swedish massage, CPT 97124. These are the determining factors, and should never be whether or not it might pay more.
Documentation is the key. With 97140, one must document the region (in conjunction with the prescribed diagnosis), exactly what was performed, and the time spent on each body area (e.g., 15 minutes). Remember when we are billing insurance, we follow the CPT, ICD-9 and other insurance-related rules and regulations. Fifteen minutes is 15 minutes, not 8 minutes or other Medicare rules. This is the same information I provide to fraud investigators and insurance adjusters when they have invited me to do presentations for them.
Please note the following statement is taken straight from the AMA CPT Coding Manual (2011 ed., located in the introductory pages). This is the same information that I use to help many massage therapists across the country to be paid on denied claims for using CPT Code 97140.
Current Procedural Terminology
About 97001: Initial Evaluation and 97002: Re-Evaluation.
It is suggested these codes be used by PTs even though the CPT Code Book states no codes are for any specific provider group and even though massage therapists across the nation are using this code, I highly suggest (based on information received from the insurance industry) that for now we not use these codes.
The reason we suggest not using 97001 and 97002 is because in the CPT Code Book it is followed by codes specifically for Occupational Therapy (97003-97004) and then for Athletic Training (97005-97006), thus indicating the codes are specific to those licensed in those professions. Had there been only the 97001-97002 codes, it might be different.
About 97799: Unlisted Physical Medicine Procedures and/or Rehabilitation.
This code is required to be submitted BR "by report". Massage therapists providing an initial evaluation/assessment should have a sufficient report in the first place. There is also not a fee schedule for this code so ask an insurance adjuster in advance.
I hope all of this information helps you to better understand these codes. Just know that insurance adjusters are not trained in our type of work therefore are looking for (and have the right to ask for) additional information prior to reimbursement of claims. This is for the protection of policyholders as well.
Get Proper Training
One more note on insurance reimbursement. Billing insurance for reimbursement is much more than knowing a code and having a specific form; it is about knowing the guidelines inside-out and upside-down. Get proper training just as you did in order to provide hands-on services. Training and licensing is to "protect the public". Since we are treating ill or injured people and billing for payment from their insurance monies, consider knowing insurance billing for the same purpose: to protect the public as well as yourself.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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