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Massage Therapy July Update

Tuesday, July 7, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheri Ryan
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With the recent deadline of July 1, 2015 for the licensing of Massage Therapist now past, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some information for what to do next.  

All MTs seeing patients in your office should either have submitted their applications for licensure to the Alaska Board of Massage Therapists or be actively licensed in another state (with higher requirements than Alaska).  It is imperative if you are billing insurance for services provided by a massage therapist in your office that you verify the licensure status of these health care providers.  Questions regarding massage therapist licensure should be directed to Susan Johnson at (907) 465-3811.  

Final fees have been signed into law, with an effective date of August 1, 2015. All individuals who have submitted an application will receive notification to submit fees on or after August 1, 2015 as follows:

MASSAGE THERAPIST APPLICATION (July 1, 2015 – September 2017)

Initial Application Fee:
License Fee:
Fingerprint Fee:

 

$200

$350

$60

TOTAL FOR MASSAGE THERAPIST LICENSE

$610

 

Once State of Alaska Massage Therapist licenses have been issued, some insurance companies will require that billing be handled differently.  Which insurance companies and when is still very cloudy - not all policies in Alaska have massage therapists currently listed as eligible providers.  ACS is working with Aetna (largest 3rd party administrator in State) to try and provide a listing and updates on which policies will accept billing with the massage therapist as the provider vs. the Doctor of Chiropractic.  It will be a slow transition as policies go through the process of expanding their provider listings to include massage therapists.  I will try and get this information out to you as it is provided.  

If you are or will be billing for services provided by massage therapists who are independent contractors, I strongly suggest that you speak with your accountant regarding this practice and follow through on any necessary changes.  

A first step in this process of change would be to apply for NPI numbers for the massage therapist employees in your office if you have not already done so.  Here is a link to CMS information on who can receive an NPI number and how to apply.  http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/HIPAA-Administrative-Simplification/NationalProvIdentStand/downloads/npi_fs_geninfo_010906.pdf    

A second step would be to contact any insurance companies that you are a preferred provider with as the massage therapists in your employment will need to go through the credentialing process and be added under your contract.  Premera Blue Cross/Blue Shield has already put out a statement regarding this in their May Medical Network News - Massage therapists who work for a Premera-contracted provider must be credentialed and added under the contract once they obtain their license. Premera will no longer allow claims for services rendered by the licensed massage therapists to be billed under the supervising provider’s name.  Independent massage therapists who want to contract with Premera need to complete a credentialing application and request a contract. 

Third step - breathe.  This will be a slow change with quite a few road bumps but know that the Alaska Chiropractic Society is here to help with the transition.  Communication is KEY!  ACS is here to help chiropractic offices network and I encourage you to share new information regarding this transition with your fellow members!  Just contact Debbie Ryan at (907) 317-4486 or Sheri Ryan at (907) 903-1350 with information and we'll get the word out.  Working TOGETHER, we are STRONGER!  

Sincerely, 

Sheri Ryan
ACS Executive Administrator
sryan@akchiro.org


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