Massage Therapy No No’s

June 11th, 2013

For those of you who receive regular massage therapy treatments, you know the amazing benefits it can provide.  If you are fortunate enough to have a health plan that reimburses you for your massage treatments, you are, as I am sure you know, incredibly lucky.  Hopefully we can keep this good thing going for many years to come!

The massage association, also known as the RMTAO, works very hard with insurance companies to give massage therapy a bigger piece of the insurance coverage pie.  Some of my clients have $350 worth of coverage per year, some $500, others $1000.  The more the better, so the people who use massage can continue with treatment and so brand new patients can give it a try.  Unfortunately, insurance fraud in our industry in a very BIG problem and sort of threatens all of the work the RMTAO is doing.

I know, it seems absolutely crazy that such a terrible thing can exist, but it does.  You may have even committed fraud yourself and not even know it.  Here are some examples of fraud and how you can help us put a stop to it.

A client is scrambling to use up his or her benefits by the end of December before they renew and can’t fit all the required appointments in.  The client asks the therapist and/or receptionist to post date the insurance receipt until January so it can be claimed the next year.  Innocent enough eh??? Nope. Fraud.

A client’s health benefit package only covers up to a certain amount per treatment.  The client asks if an hour long massage they have just received can be divided into two 30 minute treatments instead of the hour. You guessed it, fraud.

Jimmy’s Aunt Molly gave him a gift certificate for a massage for Christmas this year, but Jimmy doesn’t dig massage.  Jimmy heads to the clinic where the GC was purchased and asks for an insurance receipt for a massage he doesn’t intend on having.  The clinic issues that receipt with a dollar amount on it instead of making it clear it was paid by a gift certificate.  Jimmy submits that receipt and scores the cash. Fraud.

Husband comes into the clinic for a massage as per usual.  When the treatment is complete, he states that he has tapped out his coverage for the year and to just put his wife’s name on the receipt as she never goes. Fraud.

A strapping young lad has just started a new job, past his probation and the health benefits are now active.  He notices he has $500 worth of coverage for massage therapy, however, he doesn’t like to be touched and will not be using the coverage.  He could use the money though and approaches his neighbourhood clinic for help.  He asks the receptionist and RMT at the clinic to issue receipts and falsify other records so he can get reimbursed for massage treatments he didn’t and will never have.  Fraud.

These things are happening all the time and we need to work together to put a stop to it, or at least reduce it drastically.  Do not frequent clinics or spas that behave this way and educate your friends and colleagues that have made these requests as to why this is wrong.  Let’s keep massage therapy alive and well for generations to come and respect those who work so hard to help you!!!  You can contact the CMTO for assistance if you suspect or witness insurance fraud.

At Forces of Nature, all of the practitioners follow the rules and do their part to keep their professions strong.  This way, we can continue to our best work for all of our clients, so come and see us soon!!!!


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