How to Get Medical Massage Referrals
Massage has been shown to help improve medical issues like lower back pain, injured muscles, poor circulation, and migraines.Often, your medical insurance may only cover massage therapy sessions if you get referral from your primary care doctor. You can speak to your doctor about getting a referral and confirm your medical insurance will cover the therapy. You can then locate a reputable massage therapist and book your first appointment with them.
Getting a Referral from Your Doctor
Schedule an appointment with your doctor.You should discuss your injury or condition with your doctor, who will then provide a referral for a massage therapist. Many insurance companies will not cover the cost of massage therapy without a referral from your doctor.
- When scheduling your appointment the receptionist may suggest seeing a specialist, depending on your condition. Be sure to see the right doctor for your specific needs.
Ask your doctor for a referral.Once you meet with your doctor about your condition or injury, be sure to ask her for a referral for massage therapy. You must have a referral in order to have your therapy covered by your insurance. Your referral is your only way of proving that medical massage therapy sessions are a medical necessity.
- For each session of massage therapy you receive will require a valid and current Rx or referral. Your referral must have the following information: start date, number of visits prescribed by your physician, frequency of sessions, and diagnosis codes referencing your injury or condition.
- The diagnosis codes are the most important part of your referral because you need them to claim the massage therapy sessions with your insurance company.
Get recommendations for massage therapy clinics.Your doctor may know of good massage therapy clinics in your area or clinics that focus on the type of injury or condition you have. He may also have professional relationships with certain massage therapists. Discuss your needs with your doctor to see if he knows of a massage therapy clinic that would work well for you.
- Getting recommendations from your doctor is also a good way to ensure you are seeing a reputable massage therapist. Often, doctors will only refer therapists who are known for their professionalism and skill.
Locating a Massage Therapist
Confirm the therapist’s services will be covered by your insurance.If your doctor refers you to a massage therapist, you should make sure the therapist’s services will be covered by your medical insurance before you book your appointment. You can do this by contacting your medical insurance company and confirming that massage therapy is covered by your plan. You should also ensure your insurance will cover services from a particular massage therapist. Doing this will ensure you are not stuck footing the bill for your massage therapy.
- Many insurance companies are starting to cover massage therapy as part of their health plan, partly due to the popularity of this therapy.
Check that the therapist is licensed in your state or area.You should also confirm the credentials of the massage therapist before you book an appointment with her. You can contact the local licensing board for a list of licensed massage therapist near you.
- You can also ask the massage therapist for confirmation of her credentials. She should be able to confirm she is licensed and certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The massage therapist should also be able to tell you where she was trained and what accredited program she graduated from.
Discuss your treatment options.Many massage therapists are trained in specific massage techniques. You should ask the therapist what types of techniques he offers and discuss a treatment plan that is right for your injury or condition.
- There are a variety of different massage techniques and methods, such as Swedish medical massage, shiatsu, connective tissue massage, and reflexology. The therapist should be able to recommend a massage type for your injury or condition.
- You should also make sure you feel comfortable with the massage therapist before you book your appointment. You should consider if you would prefer a male or female therapist and if the therapist has worked with individuals with your injury or condition before. You should also go for a therapist who answers all your questions willingly and seems accommodating to your needs.
Making the Appointment
Check if the therapist bills directly.The massage therapist may be able to bill your insurance company directly, saving you the hassle of having to claim the therapy yourself through your insurance company. You should check that the massage therapist offers this option when you book your appointment with her.
- You may need to provide your medical insurance number and other information about your insurance company so they can be billed through the therapist.
Request a “superbill” and claim the therapy yourself.A superbill is a form provided by your massage therapist to then allow you to claim his services through your insurance company or your employer yourself. Superbills are used by medical practitioners who do not work directly with insurance companies. You should submit your superbill to your insurance company as soon as possible to get reimbursed. Superbills will contain the following information:
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your provider’s name
- Your provider’s license number, NPI number, tax ID number
- Your provider’s address
- Your diagnosis code
- The treatment you have received
- The cost of the treatment
- The amount paid for the treatment
- Signature of your provider
Bring your referral with you to your appointment.You should bring a copy of your medical massage referral with you to your massage therapy appointment. This will allow your session to be considered a medical massage, with a referral from your doctor for the therapy.
- The referral may then be used by the massage therapist when it comes time to bill you for their services at the end of the session.
Video: How to get Massage Referrals from local doctors and GPs
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