resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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 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.
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.
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
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.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
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.
December, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 12
2013 Heroes of the Profession
Defending Massage Therapy In a Florida Court of Law
By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor
For more than a year now, attorneys Luke Lirot and Adam Levine, massage therapist Vivian Madison-Mahoney and CEO of Advanced Diagnostic Group, Kevin Johnson, have been waging a legal battle against the state of Florida on behalf of the massage profession.The fight to stop the harmful affects of HB119, which prohibits the state's massage therapists and acupuncturists from billing personal injury insurance, continues today as the appeals process winds its way through the Florida court system. With no end yet in sight, these four have vowed to continue the fight until justice is served. And that's why they are the 2013 Massage Today Heroes of the Profession.
The Florida PIP Defense Fund, a group assembled specifically to fight this bill, learned in the waning days of 2012 that the federal court canceled its hearing scheduled for December 27, 2012, and issued an order denying its motion for a preliminary injunction.
Attorney's Luke Lirot and Adam Levine then filed a motion to reconsider and they are also filed a response to defendant Kevin McCarty's request for dismissal on the day the case was due to be heard in Federal Court.
Lirot and Levine explained that, "we believed that these health care provider's rights, which are protected to due process and equal protection, were violated when Florida determined that in order to prevent fraud, all licensed massage therapists and acupuncturists should no longer be permitted to provide care to those injured as a result of a motor vehicle collision."
In April, Circuit Judge Terry P. Lewis issued a partial injunction against the Florida Personal Injury Protection law, putting a halt - at least temporarily - to the portion of the law that requires a finding of an emergency medical condition as a prerequisite for payment of PIP benefits and that prohibits payment for services provided by massage therapists, acupuncturists and chiropractors.
The state's Office of Insurance Regulation quickly filed an appeal, which meant claims could not be filed and payments could not be received on PIP cases until the next ruling was rendered.
Fast forward to September 17th, where Adam Levine, appearing with Luke Lirot, argued before a three judge panel to uphold the ruling by Judge Terry Lewis vacating the automatic stay in his previous ruling. Levine presented the argument that "the Act is unfair because it singles out licensed massage therapists and acupuncture physicians to deny compensation for providing care and because they limit the care a chiropractor may provide. The Act is unjust, because it requires all citizens to purchase $10,000 in coverage, but only requires the insurer to provide $2,500 in benefits. Finally, the Act is unreasonable because the limitations and restrictions imposed by the Act have nothing to do with fraud prevention or good medical care."
Fighting the Good Fight
So, why did these four individuals come forward to challenge this law? "I am a first hand witness as to the phenomenal benefits of our valued hands on work to improve or correct soft tissue damage. I've been accepting a variety of insurance cases since my first week of being licensed in 1984, treating hundreds of injured patients referred by physicians," said Madison-Mahoney. "When it became very obvious that our leaders were not standing up for us, who could not see the potential damage and did not hear the cries of those who needed our help, I searched for a Constitutional, First Amendment Rights Attorney."
"I have always viewed myself as a staunch defender of 'the little guy' and I have fought governmental abuse in every aspect of my practice for over 25 years," said attorney Luke Lirot. "The 2012 PIP Act looked like a complete deprivation of the rights of medical professionals and consumers for the benefit of insurance companies, driven by political expediency. This was a constitutional case right down my alley."
"In this case, getting involved was an easy decision because this case is one excellent example of how the government has lost track of its most basic mission - to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of its citizens," said attorney Adam Levine. "Here, the government appears only interested in supporting private business interests to the detriment of its citizens."
Where the Case Stands
According to Lirot, "on October 23rd, we received the decision from the First District Court of Appeals reversing the lower courts order for Temporary Injunction. This is something that we expected because, when the lawsuit was filed, it was predicated primarily on the healthcare providers 'right to work' theories. The 'access to the courts' argument was based on a facial constitutional challenge, which, at the point in time when the case was filed, since the legislation was not yet in effect, we had no one that had been denied coverage. The trial court based its injunction order on this important issue, but did not remark on any of the other primary arguments, thus the appeal went up on this sole issue."
"For the last year we have had our share of wins and losses, but the overriding fact is that our legal challenge is based on constitutional issues that affect providers and consumers alike. In its decision, the 1st DCA reversed the temporary injunction because they concluded that the Plaintiff healthcare providers lacked sufficient standing for an injunction on the sole issue of access to the courts. They said nothing about the merits of the other important issues raised, and, from an ideological standpoint, they actually recognized that the arguments raised were entirely correct, it was just the fact that the healthcare providers had not themselves been the victims of not having had their own 'access to the courts' rights limited. The decision essentially held that an injured person adversely affected by the 2012 PIP Act could bring their own constitutional challenge based on a violation of the constitutional right of access to the courts. We intend to file a Motion for Rehearing with the First District Court of Appeals."
A Team of Heroes
"We were/are simply doing what we think is right. The real heroes are those that stood up, like Vivian Mahoney and Kevin Johnson, and said - wait - this makes no sense. Those heroes are the ones that work tirelessly trying to raise support for our work. Unfortunately, we are facing both the government and the largest, most heavily funded lobby in Tallahassee that the government prefers to support over its citizens," said Levine.
"I don't feel I am any kind of a hero, I could just see the big picture, the handwriting on the wall if you will. I want to add a very special thank you to each and every donor, those who shared our information and who believed in us and our fight. It doesn't cease to amaze me how many massage therapists and chiropractors from out of the state of Florida (from 42 states) donated as well," said Madison-Mahoney.
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