resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
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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