We do not belong to any  insurance companies’ network. If  a patient’s insurance pays for acupuncture treatment, we can file your claim for you, you get reimbursement back from them, and patients has to pay us after each service.

Blow is a letter Min wrote to HighMark insurance company . Thanks for reading. 

7/20/2014

To Highmark Health Insurance Company,

Dear Sir/ Madam, I have been practice Chinese Medicine for more than 11 years in the United States. I am very glad to see that more and more people are using acupuncture therapy to help with their complaints. And I feel very appreciative that more and more health insurance companies have included acupuncture in their policies.

Acupuncture as part of Chinese Medicine has being a very low cost and effective therapy used in China for thousands of years. We treat the whole person together with their complaints. Whatever methods we used in our practice are aimed at getting the most results. Chinese Medicine, however is about using the fewest method to get the most effective result.   I always ask my patient that if I only use one needle and get the same results as using 30 needles with electric stimulation , treatment on both sides of the body, add cupping , moxibustion, infra-heat, massage…which one would  you prefer? Acupuncture is a therapy where the idea is not “ you do more, the patient gets more”.

The above methods I mentioned are used in our clinic daily only when  necessary , as we develop  a complete  treatment strategy for the whole  person, when don’t separate a person’s body into mere parts or count out how many method we used. From my point of view, there should be a better way for insurance companies to pay for an acupuncture treatment, that does not entail separating it out into parts and using different procedure code to pay for an acupuncture treatment.  Because the way it is now,  I can clearly see that there will be a lot of unnecessary methods  used in acupuncture clinic for the sole purpose of  trying to get full payment by insurance companies.  In the future, we might be very sad to see that acupuncturists are becoming   technicians.  Just throw the needles  into patient’s body, hook  it up with the electric machine, burn the herb for moxibustion, put the suction cup on the patient, then turn on the heating lamp, all this the while patient lays on the table for a half hour. We can do all these just in a few minutes and we can bill the insurance company for these. THIS IS   NOT THE WAY ACUPUNCTURE SHOULD DEVELOP. We manipulate the energy flow of the body by using our hands , sensing the energy flow with our hands, not depending on any outside tools , and that takes more time and leads to much better results than using electric stimulation machines, or cups, or heat lamps…  If we don’t change the way  acupuncture treatments are billed, in the future, insurance companies will end up paying more money because much less effective treatments will be performed and patients will have to suffer for a longer time and pay for more visits to see an acupuncturist. This is the main reason I am writing this long letter to you. I wish there could be a better way to bill for Chinese Medicine, not the same way used to bill treatments of Western Medicine. I really appreciate that you spend time to read this.

Several years ago a disabled and retried veteran walked into my office and asked if I could help with his back pain. He had already had 5 back surgeries on the same area and still had tremendous pain. The veteran hospital wanted to operate on his back again. After a few weeks of treatments with me, his pain was greatly reduced and he felt his life had come back. One day he told me that his private insurance would cover part of his acupuncture treatments if the practitioner was in his network. I knew he has limited income and had a long way to recover. So I joined Highmark for him. Highmark is the only network I ever joined, and until now I had even forgotten I was in the network.

I tell all the patients who ask information about insurance coverage for acupuncture that my policy is to give paper work to them to get reimbursed, and that no matter what the insurance company pays, they have to pay me in full after each session. All my patients clearly understand my policy before we start treatments. I spend between 1 to 1&1/2 hours for each patient for follow up treatments, and I charge a very fair amount for my service. I use my brain, my heart, and my hands to perform my work instead of other tools. I felt very blessed that I can stand on a solid position for what I have been doing for these years.  More than 90% of my patients have had very good results in a very short period. I have not had any complaints from any patients or insurance company until now.

It is my mistake that I didn’t do more research and read the contract before I joined Highmark.  And therefore I am asking you drop my name from your list. Because I don’t want to cheat insurance companies( by using more procedure codes to get my service fully paid), I don’t want to cheat my patients ( by performing unnecessary treatments to get my service fully paid), and most of all, I don’t want cheat myself  ( by unhappily performing unnecessary treatments in order  to get my service fully paid). Again, I really appreciate that more and more health insurance policies cover acupuncture, I just wish that there were a better way to evaluate an acupuncture treatment by insurance companies, and to save the future of our profession. Sincerely Xiong Min. L.Ac.

Han Shi Acupuncture
Michael Hinton , Min Xiong, L.Ac.
60 N. West End Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603

2029 Penn Ave
Reading, PA 19069

Lancaster: (717) 481-8707
Reading: (610) 927-3120