resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
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 previous articles by Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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