Prescriptions for Massage Therapy
Prescriptions for massage therapy is a topic that we get asked about a LOT at our clinic. So, lets cover this topic!
First let’s understand what a prescription is. Most of the time when we think of a prescription we think of medication, but your doctor can also prescribe other things to help your condition, such as physical therapy or massage. A prescription will state what they are prescribing, how much, and how often.
So why do I need a prescription for my massage?
In Washington state a licensed massage therapist cannot legally diagnose. Whenever you are using insurance, whether personal health insurance, auto, or other, you need to have a diagnosis to prove medical necessity, this will also tell the massage therapist what they will be treating. Since the massage therapist cannot legally diagnose, then we need the diagnosis to come from a qualified provider, and this comes in the form of a prescription.
Who can write the prescription?
The answer to this will depend on your individual insurance plan, as some require that it comes from an MD. But, more often than not, the prescription can come from any qualified healthcare provider, such as your primary care physician, chiropractor, naturopath, or nurse practitioner.
What needs to be on the prescription?
Any prescriptions submitted to insurance will need to have the following: ICD-10 codes (which are the diagnosis codes), number of allowed visits, and a start/end date. These details make the difference between a prescription and a referral. A referral is just an order from the doctor that allows you to go see a certain provider, but may not have all of the necessary details.
It’s important to make sure that your massage prescriptions stay up to date to avoid denials from your insurance.
We understand that insurance and its requirements can be confusing. Hopefully this post will help you to better understand prescriptions for massage therapy. If you have further questions, as always, you are welcome to reach out to our clinic!
Click below to call our Snohomish location to talk to someone about massage prescriptions, your insurance, or to book an appointment.