resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
CPT Codes Revealed
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
I have received many, many questions (via email and phone) regarding CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) Codes and massage therapists. This article is intended to help answer some of those common questions.In particular, I've been asked numerous times about a massage therapist's ability to use CPT Code 97140 (Manual Therapy Techniques) versus a physical therapist's ability to use it.
97140 Vs. 97124
The CPT Code Book definition of 97140 is: "Manual therapy techniques (e.g., mobilization/manipulation, manual lymphatic drainage, manual traction), one or more regions, each 15 minutes."
You may also document myofascial release using this code. Most of us perform more than just basic Swedish massage when providing treatment to medically prescribed cases with a written prescription from the treating physician indicating diagnoses, duration and frequency. However, if what you perform is basic Swedish massage, then use CPT Code 97124.
CPT Code 97124: "Therapeutic procedure, one or more areas, each 15 minutes; massage, including effleurage, petrissage and/or tapotement (stroking, compression, percussion)."
Often insurance companies will deny the massage practitioner the use of 97140, stating that it is a "PT Code" (i.e. physical therapy) and therefore, not in "your scope of practice". This is not true if you have training in myofascial release, manual therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, manual techniques such as neuromuscular therapy, structural alignment or other deeper tissue techniques, and if your training is sufficient to benefit the patient's medical condition. If you can stand up in a court of law and explain what you do, how you do it, why you do it and how it benefited the patient, then feel free to use 97140. If not, be safe and stick with basic Swedish massage, CPT 97124. These are the determining factors, and should never be whether or not it might pay more.
Documentation is the key. With 97140, one must document the region (in conjunction with the prescribed diagnosis), exactly what was performed, and the time spent on each body area (e.g., 15 minutes). Remember when we are billing insurance, we follow the CPT, ICD-9 and other insurance-related rules and regulations. Fifteen minutes is 15 minutes, not 8 minutes or other Medicare rules. This is the same information I provide to fraud investigators and insurance adjusters when they have invited me to do presentations for them.
Please note the following statement is taken straight from the AMA CPT Coding Manual (2011 ed., located in the introductory pages). This is the same information that I use to help many massage therapists across the country to be paid on denied claims for using CPT Code 97140.
Current Procedural Terminology
About 97001: Initial Evaluation and 97002: Re-Evaluation.
It is suggested these codes be used by PTs even though the CPT Code Book states no codes are for any specific provider group and even though massage therapists across the nation are using this code, I highly suggest (based on information received from the insurance industry) that for now we not use these codes.
The reason we suggest not using 97001 and 97002 is because in the CPT Code Book it is followed by codes specifically for Occupational Therapy (97003-97004) and then for Athletic Training (97005-97006), thus indicating the codes are specific to those licensed in those professions. Had there been only the 97001-97002 codes, it might be different.
About 97799: Unlisted Physical Medicine Procedures and/or Rehabilitation.
This code is required to be submitted BR "by report". Massage therapists providing an initial evaluation/assessment should have a sufficient report in the first place. There is also not a fee schedule for this code so ask an insurance adjuster in advance.
I hope all of this information helps you to better understand these codes. Just know that insurance adjusters are not trained in our type of work therefore are looking for (and have the right to ask for) additional information prior to reimbursement of claims. This is for the protection of policyholders as well.
Get Proper Training
One more note on insurance reimbursement. Billing insurance for reimbursement is much more than knowing a code and having a specific form; it is about knowing the guidelines inside-out and upside-down. Get proper training just as you did in order to provide hands-on services. Training and licensing is to "protect the public". Since we are treating ill or injured people and billing for payment from their insurance monies, consider knowing insurance billing for the same purpose: to protect the public as well as yourself.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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