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A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 3
Dr. Nguyen Nghi (NVN) was born in Vietnam and is one of the most important scholars, writers, teachers and practitioners of modern time. Many of his theories and applications are the source of modern teachers from Europe and the United States.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
Medicine as Metaphor
The practice of medicine is both an art and a science. We study and learn the system so that when the time comes to apply it, there is a greater possibility of successfully helping others.
Abdominal Acupuncture for Eye Healing: The Sacred Turtle and Ba Gua Map
Our ideas about western medicine have shifted in recent decades, while the public is asking more from health care providers.
Can Acupuncture Treat Knee Pain?
Recently, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that, "neither laser nor needle acupuncture conferred benefit over sham for pain or function" among older chronic knee pain patients.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Colon Health and TCM
I still remember many years ago, the loud "Yuck" from my wife at the time when we were together watching the Chinese movie "Last Emperor."
Melatonin: A Promising Natural Agent in the Prevention of ALS
A number of years ago, experimental studies suggested melatonin could block key steps in the development of Alzheimer's disease, primarily by acting as a brain antioxidant and inhibiting the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.
Merger Creates New Model of Care
Two San Francisco powerhouses of holistic healing, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), are merging. Together they are building a visionary approach to applied integral health.
Online Marketing Basics: Google Ranking, Part 1
We all know there is so much opportunity with online marketing. And, let's face it, if you don't have a presence online with a website and social media, you are probably not where you want to be.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
The Integrative Medicine Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
The conversation is changing in the broader healthcare community with patients actually moving the discussion toward more integrative topics. Patients today want to know their options.
Adding Microneedling to Your Clinic for Results and Profit
Microneedling has taken the beauty world by storm over the last 10 years. Under the names dermaroller, microneedling or skin needling you will see these treatments listed in the services of nearly every fashionable beauty salon and day spa in the country.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
The Roots of TCM in Depression Treatment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there is historical precedent for the treatment of so-called "Shen" (Heart-Mind) disorder, or disorder/dysregulation of the spirit, which is also considered as distinct but not separate from the cognitive function of the brain.
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
The Art of Creating a Healing Space
I always advise my graduates to examine their group practice or treatment rooms with fresh eyes after they leave my CE workshops. I tell them, "Ask yourselves - is your space qi filled, welcoming and healing? Or is it cold and clinical?"
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Exploring and Learning from the Gift of Life
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to teach cadaver dissection classes and workshops with Stephen Cina at the New England School of Acupuncture over the past seven years, first through the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Program and later as a NESA elective course.
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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