resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
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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