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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.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
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.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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 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.
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.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
November, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 11
Take the Fear Our of Billing Insurance
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Have you been finding, as I have, that the days, weeks and months just keep going by faster and faster? All while each of us are trying to figure how to make a living and keep it going from one day to the next?
When it came to the money, it was always tough for me, day-by-day, wondering where the next dollar would come from, how to feed my daughters, put gas in my car, how to survive the holidays, even sometimes how to buy the next tube of toothpaste or roll of toilet paper. I know this is not new, so many of you have gone through, or may right now be going through the same thing and I certainly empathize with you.
December 17th 1984, I received my massage therapy license. After only three months in the business, I was able to repay the doctor who purchased my first massage table for me to get started. I was able to keep the clients I had obtained by hiring another therapist to provide their service while I was on vacation and I learned then how to begin to build a business, not just "do massage."
Shortly thereafter, my business began to grow as doctors began to hear of my good work and that I accepted some insurance for payment. By 1997, I counted 172 different doctors who had referred patients to me and my massage establishment. Over the years, it grew to right at 500 client/patient visits a month. Yes a MONTH! We were treating (with full hour or more sessions), 28 to 32 patients/clients a day. Like birds of a feather, they flock together. Patients tell doctors, doctors tell other doctors and attorneys, attorneys tell attorneys, insurance companies refer policyholders, and so on.
The Secret to Success
Build a great reputation and your business builds itself! I had a tremendous cash-based, outcall business. However, it was during the second week of receiving my license in hand that I received my very first insurance case. I tried this on a whim and a prayer. I took on this case knowing NOTHING about insurance billing and at that time no one to my knowledge in the country was actually accepting, billing for and being paid by insurance for massage therapy services. I had to learn it step-by-step, the hard way. Doctors from all specialties began to refer their patients to us. (Us, being myself, 8 to 14 of my on-call therapists and my office staff, consisting of an office assistant who did all of our insurance billing and collections.)
So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I KNOW what it is like to scrape with the chickens, while your heart and mind want to soar with the eagles. I know what it's like to work hard, doing 8-hour or more massage sessions in a day, from one house call to the next, each from one to two hours, bumping your butt on door knobs, squeezing you and your table in the tightest places, walking up flights of stairs, standing on hard marble floors, putting up with the weirdo's, working until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., trying to raise three daughters and sometimes my granddaughter. I know what it's like to cry yourself to sleep because your hands ache so bad you wish you could cut them off. I know what it is like to do a massage to put gas in the car, the next massage was to feed the kids, the next massage was to buy more massage equipment or supplies, and so forth. But when the insurance checks began to arrive, it was like heaven had smiled down upon us. Life turned around on a dime for us.
This is what accepting and being paid by insurance is all about. Accepting and billing insurance is not about hard work, paperwork, how much time you spend on the phone or dealing with doctors and attorneys. It is about the good you get from it; the income, the helping of others who would otherwise never know what massage even was, or who could have never afforded it on their own. It's the freedom from wondering what will happen from one day to the next or to just get by, squeezing it out of life, as life has squeezed it out of you. When done accurately, ethically, timely and when you are ready, it can be your life changer, too!
An Example You Can Relate To
Pretend you are out in a desert, walking for hours, dying of thirst. Suddenly, you see ahead of you 10 water wells with eight of them having a notice on them of "empty." The other two assured you that you were in luck. Which of the 10 wells would you go to? Common sense, a desire for success, the fulfillment of needs and desires, for life sustaining support all are there before you just for the taking and accepting insurance is no different. You do not have to walk in the sand and heat and worry if it is out there for you. You may have to do some minor investing in time and money to get the knowledge, but then when you have it, the money is just a matter of following the procedures, guidelines, laws and rules. If you are not accepting insurance at this time, if you have tried it and for whatever reason have not been successful, If you wanted to try it but listen to the naysayers, those who did not do it or did not do it right, I urge you to take a chance again, accepting only those cases (wells) which have the money (water) for you to enjoy and survive on!
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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