Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2015

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48 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a y / j u n e 2 0 1 5 There usually comes a time in every massage therapist's career where she wonders if billing insurance companies for clients' care is the right move to make. It is a big decision, and requires a comprehensive understanding of the complex arrangement between the client, the referring physician (if required), and you. Insurance companies only pay for services that are considered medically necessary. Therefore, you must first accept that as a practitioner billing insurance for services, you are considered to be a health-care provider. You must be comfortable with the concept of being part of the health- care system. If that doesn't feel right for you, your answer is clear—you will not bill insurance for your services. Should You Accept Insurance? By Irene Diamond To Bill or Not to Bill You also need to educate yourself about the different types of coverage, and know the difference between first-, second-, and third-party billing. You must be willing and able to undertake a never-ending process of research: each state and each insurance company has its own policies and procedures, and you will need to stay compliant. You will spend a great deal of time researching laws, trends, and procedures for working with medical professionals, insurance companies, and attorneys—not just once, but continuously, as this information is always changing. Insurance billing is a huge topic, and we can only scratch the surface here, but this article will give you an overview of things to consider. 7 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF Before deciding whether this is the right move for your practice, consider these questions: 1. How often do my clients ask if I can bill their insurance? 2. How many of my clients have health insurance that covers massage therapy or other manual therapy? 3. Will my practice grow significantly if I offer insurance billing? Clients often ask if you accept their insurance. Billing Codes Two separate code systems are essential in medical billing: Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and International Classification of Disease (ICD).

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