Massage therapy is on the verge of finally having its “moment” in American healthcare. Will your organization be ready?
If your managed healthcare organization sees the trend and is exploring partnership opportunities with an established nationwide massage therapy service provider, you have come to the right place.
Body Well Therapy has been pioneering the business of managed massage therapy services, including prescribed medical massage and insurance billing, since 2005. A product of the vision and leadership of owner Dan Melmed, LMT, Body Well was one of the first massage-focused allied health specialists in the United States to take seriously the business of recruiting and managing massage therapists. The company’s mission continues to be offering a range of managed and mobile massage therapy services at a high corporate level to numerous customer categories.
With the prospect of massage therapy gaining wider acceptance as a covered benefit by major medical insurance carriers, partly at the urging of state leaders such as the National Association of Attorneys General and other forward-looking leaders in the care management world, now is the time for industry stakeholders to devise plans for cost effectively delivering these kinds of services to patients. Body Well is ready to continue its leadership in this arena as therapeutic massage gains favor as a safe, non-invasive, non-addictive, cost-effective means of health maintenance and prevention, as well as rehabilitation and recovery.
We currently work routinely both directly with patients, as well as in partnership with care management organizations, case managers, insurance companies, third party administrators and other allied professionals such as nurse case managers and legal guardians to make our services available to the public. To date we have delivered tens of thousands of individual therapy services to patients, as well as individual and corporate customers.
Over the years we have become industry-leading alternative care experts, featuring carefully selected professional-minded licensed and certified massage therapists. Paired with a robust administrative and customer service operation, we are able to proudly offer a best-in-class and increasingly in-demand niche healthcare service.
Body Well has the resources and systems firmly in place to quickly respond to requests for professional massage services in virtually any part of the United States. Every day we are taking new patient inquiries and coordinating top quality massage services around the country. Ensuring the most effective therapy and a smooth process along the way for all of our patients are our highest priorities.
While our therapeutic massage services are often performed within a patient’s home, services can also be arranged to occur in clinical settings.
Bodywell massage services currently include:
- Post-injury therapy, rehabilitation and pain management / chronic care by prescription, direct billing of claims to automobile or workers’ compensation insurance, or via contract with managed care organizations (MCO)
- Disabled, special needs, hospice and geriatric massage therapy home care, direct bill or via guardianship accounts
- Corporate wellness chair massage for small, medium and large businesses, educational institutions, even planning companies and other organizations.
- Individual “mobile massage” services for wellness or recreation (in-home, hotel, etc.), direct invoicing
Isn’t massage therapy already covered by insurance?
The answer for now is both yes and (mostly) no. In a nutshell, for work related injury claims (through workman’s comp) and automobile injury claims (through auto insurance companies), most people can get prescribed massage as covered benefit. That’s where the good news ends. It gets much trickier once we get into regular major medical or medicare insurance. Benefits are usually limited or non-existent, regardless of the patient’s health condition or their physician’s orders. Those insurance plans that do offer benefits usually do so in a highly limited fashion, or at greater premium costs.
One of the ways insurance companies have effectively excluded the majority of massage therapy providers is by making them either ineligible to become a participating provider in their network at all, or by claiming that their network is no longer accepting “additional” massage therapy providers in their network. You might say it’s hard to get a seat at the table when you can’t even get through the front door! It has been that way with most insurance companies for a long time. Despite Body Well’s years of expertise in this arena, we have chosen to focus on those services we are able to provide and bill for, rather than continuing the uphill battle to gain more acceptance as a legitimate ancillary provider that is worthy of being compensated for services.
What about those “massage on demand” companies? Can they play a role?
A noteworthy trend we have seen emerge in recent years is the rise of several so-called nationwide “massage on-demand ” service providers. These are essentially mobile app-based companies relying on cloud systems to enable basic logistical and payment processing connections between massage therapists and individual consumers.
There is a place in the consumer market for this kind of company, and some of the technology they feature can and certainly should have useful applications in the world of managed health care. (Body Well is currently developing similar online systems to integrate leading edge cloud-based technology tools). However they are in a distinct and more limited category. Apps can do a lot of great things, but they cannot complete the vast array of end-to-end complex and qualitative functions typically involved when dealing with patients, healthcare providers and other 3rd parties, including insurance companies. Body Well maintains a full-time highly experienced staff capable of handling these and other necessary human functions.
In fact, when one of the leading online massage booking platforms sought to find a way to incorporate insurance billing into their system, the owner called Body Well for advice on how that might be possible. Unfortunately for them, we did not have any easy answers on how it could be fully accomplished without numerous human touchpoints.
While we do provide on-site non-medical massage services to countless individuals and corporations, our focus going forward is increasingly in the medical massage arena.
From aiding the recovery of an injury to serving as a non-invasive, cost-effective alternative to opioid pain management, massage therapy is poised to continue gaining legitimacy and popularity in the physical medicine arena and beyond.
If your organization believes massage therapy has a role to play in modern healthcare, and could benefit by leveraging the deep experience and long-term commitment to the serious business of therapeutic massage that Body Well brings to the table, please do not hesitate to contact us for a conversation.
We also invite you to share this page so that others working in integrated health care, alternative delivery systems and those developing clinical practical guidelines can help to promote acceptance of massage organizations such as Body Well as participating providers in major American health insurance systems.