Bundled Medicare Services for Chiropractors

The use of, and billing of hot and cold packs in the chiropractic setting with Medicare patients is quite often misunderstood. More often than not it is overbilled, because it is difficult to appropriately establish appropriate rationale to prove medical necessity for this to be separately billed in the office. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has published this guidance for the proper use of the service:

“It is the position of the American Chiropractic Association that the work of hot/cold packs as described by CPT code 97010 is not included in the CMT codes 98940-43 in instances when moist heat or cryotherapy is medically necessary to achieve a specific physiological effect that is thought to be beneficial to the patient. Indications for the application of moist heat include, but are not limited to, relaxation of muscle spasticity, induction of local analgesia and general sedation, promotion of vasodilation and increase in lymph flow to the area. Indications for the application of cryotherapy include, but are not limited to, relaxation of muscle spasticity, induction of local analgesia and general sedation, promotion of vasodilation and increase of lymph flow to the area.”Continue reading

Tips For Chiropractors Integrating Their Practices

fhlf chiropractor integration tips

fhlf chiropractor integration tipsBy: Jeff Cohen

Inspired by many medical integration consultants and coaching organizations, chiropractors have vigorously pursued medically integrating their practices in the past handful of years.  Led by both the desire to provide effective healthcare solutions and to capture more of the healthcare dollar that their patients are already spending (elsewhere), chiropractors are smart to consider it…slowly!

Too often, there are stories of chiropractors who felt both excited and pushed to sign on the dotted line at integration seminars, only to find later on that (1) the advice they got upset their lawyers, (2) they didn’t understand the complexities and risks that accompanied their practice expansion, and (3) it didn’t work!  What are some of the greatest areas of disappointment for those where the integration didn’t go smoothly?

A. Using integration to fix an underlying business problem. For instance, if you’re medically integrating your chiropractic practice because your chiropractic patient volume has fallen off, first try to understand why your core business is down.  For instance, do you actively pursue marketing?  Is it effective?  What about someone inside your organization who is responsible for sales?  Do you have someone comfortable offering what you provide and talking money? Since it’s typical for medical integration patients to come from your core chiropractic business, a down chiropractic business will not deliver the patients needed to support a robust medical integration line of services and products; and

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Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Payments for “Physical Therapy Modalities & Services” Are Not Reimbursable When Rendered by a Massage Therapist in Florida

massage therapy and pip

massage therapy and pipBy: Zach Simpson

You may not be aware that the Third DCA ruled earlier this year that “Physical Therapy Modalities & Services” such as electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, heat, ice, and traction are not reimbursable under PIP when rendered by a massage therapist in any practice setting. Pointing in part to a law that took effect January 1, 2013 an appeals court sided with Geico General Insurance Co. in a dispute about paying for physical-therapy services provided by massage therapists to auto-accident victims.

Case Details

The Miami-Dade County case involved bills for three patients sent by Beacon Healthcare Center, Inc., under the state’s personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance system.

Physical therapy and physical therapy modalities (i.e. electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, heat, ice, and traction) were prescribed for auto accident patients by Beacon’s treating physician and medical director which were performed by massage therapists rather than physical therapists. Neither a licensed physician nor a physical therapist directly supervised the care performed by the massage therapists. However, when Beacon billed GEICO they noted that the supervising physician, and not the massage therapists, provided treatment.  The billing statements also indicated that the massage therapists performed physical therapy modalities under the direct supervision of the medical director, whose only responsibility was to review patient files monthly. Geico General Insurance Company denied payment, which led to Beacon filing a suit in Circuit Court.Continue reading