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Your Insurance Rates Just Went Up PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

This article about insurance payments for Reiki appeared on a Reiki website.

A major concern among Reiki practitioners has been the inability to bill client's insurance companies for treatments. However, today there are avenues available to the practitioner. A nurse who practices Reiki and wishes to bill an insurance company for a treatment may use the diagnostic code 1.8 - Energy Field Disturbance. The diagnostic code may only be used by nurses and is recognized by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association. The bill should be accompanied with a separate sheet setting forth the assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. This information may be found in the Official Newsletter of the American Holistic Nurse's Association (Vol. 15-No. 4, April 1995)

Energy Field Disturbance is defined as a disruption of the flow of energy surrounding a person's being which results in disharmony of the body, mind and/or spirit. Defining characteristics of EFD are - temperature change (warmth and coolness), visual change ( image/color), disruption of the field (vacant, hold, spike, bulge, movement (wave, spike, tingling, dense, flowing), and sounds (tones/words)"

It goes on to explain how you can game the system to get payment for these treatments.

Isn't it interesting that nurses get to use this diagnosis and doctors don't?   I thought there was only one science. Either "energy field disturbances" exist or they don't. And there's not a shred of evidence that they exist outside the imagination of energy practitioners. According to Edzard Ernst, the world's first professor of alternative medicine, in Trick or Treatment,

Reiki is a popular form of spiritual healing, but it has no basis in science. The trial evidence fails to show its effectiveness for any condition.

Despite this lack of evidence, they continue to claim beneficial, sometimes miraculous, health effects for ALL health conditions.

Reiki has had a positive affect [sic] on all forms of illness and negative conditions. This includes minor things like head or stomach aches, bee stings, colds, flu, tension and anxiety as well as serious illness like heart disease, cancer, leukemia, etc.

The website Q and A asks if Reiki is a religion and answers no. "Although Reiki energy is spiritual in nature, Reiki is not a religion." Maybe not, but it does require belief in a lot of pretty weird ideas. According to Bob Park in his book Superstition, if it's not science, it's superstition. And Reiki sure isn't science. Read these definitions of rei and ki and see what you think - does this sound like science, religion, or superstition to you?

Rei can be defined as the Higher Intelligence that guides the creation and functioning of the universe. Rei is a subtle wisdom that permeates everything, both animate and inanimate. This subtle wisdom guides the evolution of all creation ranging from the unfolding of galaxies to the development of life. On a human level, it is available to help us in times of need and to act as a source of guidance in our lives. Because of its infinite nature, it is all knowing. Rei is also called God and has many other names depending on the culture that has named it.

Ki is the non-physical energy that animates all living things. Ki is flowing in everything that is alive including plants, animals and humans. When a person's Ki is high, they will feel strong, confident, and ready to enjoy life and take on it's [sic] challenges. When it is low, they will feel weak and are more likely to get sick. We receive Ki from the air we breath, from food, sunshine, and from sleep. It is also possible to increase our Ki by using breathing exercises and meditation. When a person dies, their Ki leaves the physical body. Ki is also the Chi of China, the prana of India, the Ti or Ki of the Hawaiians, and has also been called odic force, orgone, bioplasma and life force.

You learn to do Reiki by receiving an "attunement" from a Reiki master. And it works long-distance:

By using a picture of the person you would like to send Reiki to or by writing the person's name on a piece of paper or simply by thinking of the person and also activating the distant symbol, you can send Reiki to them no matter where they are. They could be hundreds of miles away, but it makes no difference. The Reiki energy will go to them and treat them. You can also send Reiki to crisis situations or world leaders and the Reiki energy will help them too.

They even have a World Peace Project. It doesn't seem to be working very well.

If their claims were true, they could easily have won Randi's million dollars: why haven't they even applied? (That's a rhetorical question: I think we can all guess why.)

This is all so silly it's hard to believe a hard-nosed insurance company would countenance it. Should insurance companies reward patients for being superstitious? I don't think so. At any rate, it's not fair to make you and me foot the bill for other people's delusions. If they insist on paying for this nonsense, how about offering two levels of insurance, a cheaper one for people who want science-based medical care and a more expensive one for the gullible.

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written by Skeptic, January 06, 2009
Well, Dr. Hall, I am afraid that we'll see more and more of this as more and more HMOs discover the obvious truth, namely, that "alternative treatment" by nurses is simply a lot cheaper to offer than real treatment by physicians.

Every patient that the HMOs can convince to prefer acupuncture, or "energy disturbance" healing, or the sprinkling of blood by a licensed shaman, to actual treatment, means less money is spent.

And if the cancer "treated" this way metastizes and patient becomes terminal? No problem -- there's always "assisted suicide", another cheap "treatment".
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that's disgusting
written by MadScientist, January 06, 2009
In Australia the health insurers began paying out quacks about 7 years ago. I was extremely disappointed that the medical association didn't complain about this. I predicted that insurance would go up (because I have to help pay some moron's quack bills) and sure enough health insurance premiums have been going up at incredible rates. Quackery is very much alive and well in Australia. Such a pity - I used to tell people that as horrible as the medical insurance business was in the USA, at least quacks couldn't claim any money.

Now to 'Skeptic' - mistreatement by a quack is *not* necessarily cheaper than treatment by a real medical practitioner.
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Brace yourself
written by yarro, January 06, 2009
In The Netherlands some health insurance companies pay for - brace yourself - trips to Lourdes.
At te same time they reduce payments on things like orthopedic shoes, hearing aids etc.

You can get extra coverage for all kinds of alternative therapies. Nothing wrong with that it seems. If people want to pay extra for woo woo, let them. But in today's competitive health insurance arena, the companies tend to lower the price of extended coverage for the woo woo and compensate by raising the premium for the basic coverage - were there's almost no competetion. That way all have to pay for the woo woo. smilies/angry.gif smilies/angry.gif
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It does indeed make a difference
written by kdv666, January 07, 2009
MadScientist, there's at least one health fund here in Australia that doesn't pay for any woo. It's the Doctors Health Fund, but unfortunately, it's a fund for doctors (and family and staff) only. I pay significantly smaller contributions than I would in a public fund, and the benefits for scientific treatments (medical, and real paramedical such as physio, dietetics, dentistry and so on) are more generous than normal funds. I would love it to open up to everybody who only wants real treatments, but the laws prevent that. It shows, though, that the costs of paying for woo are very significant in practice as well as in theory.
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written by bosshog, January 07, 2009
"Isn't it interesting that nurses get to use this diagnosis and doctors don't? I thought there was only one science".

You thought wrong.

The whole issue of "Nursing Diagnosis" is a welter of pretension and professional posturing. Nursing Diagnosis is the result of the Nursing Industry's ferocious professional jealousy, insecurity and inferiority complex vis the Medical Profession. They developed (in the 1970's surprise-surprise) the whole blowsy system of "Nursing Diagnosis" to give the Nursing profession the apparent dignity and gravitas of a science on a par with doctorin'. The basic rap is this: "medical doctors diagnose illnesses while nurses diagnose human responses". Since nurses are legally forbidden to diagnose disease they are forced to diagnose more subjective conditions if they are to diagnose at all; this inevitably opens the door for claptrap like "Therapeutic Touch" and Reiki. Some of the diagnoses are straightforward enough ("impaired tissue integrity", "inadequate fluid intake") but many are, to say the least, questionable ("anticipatory grieving", "risk for impaired body image"). And of course the ever popular "Energy Field Disturbance". The main effect of all this is that nurses are burdened to breaking with a lot of useless paperwork.
And so, as has always been the case since human history began, what makes us feel good about ourselves trumps what is true.
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written by Son of Rea, January 07, 2009
Interesting comments.

I think we all know that any benefit from Woo treatments are purely subjective, and akin to the placebo effect.

But if it's true that such treatments are cheaper than conventional medicine, why would insurance rates go up?
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written by jensfiederer, January 07, 2009
> But if it's true that such treatments are cheaper than conventional medicine, why would
> insurance rates go up?

Because these treatments are not really an "alternative". When treatment is not needed, you pay for these needlessly. When treatment IS needed, you pay for these PLUS, eventually, the real treatment (when the "assisted suicide" recommended by Skeptic didn't kick in in time).
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written by Tressa, January 07, 2009
"Energy field disturbance" - what happens when a Trekkie grows up, gets a job in the health industry, and goes insane.
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nurse diagnoses
written by MadScientist, January 07, 2009
I agree with bosshog about nurse diagnoses. My father and paternal grandfather were both medical practitioners. The nursing diagnosis seems to have come about in the late 1960's and my father hated it with a vengeance.

Physicians and surgeons spend so many years learning their craft and here come a few nurses who want to pretend they're as good as the physicians. I've even been a victim of this scam; I've had a radiographer (the guy who takes the xray photos) diagnose me with megacardia and I was ordered to spend $300 (which I couldn't claim from insurance) to go see a heart specialist. So I go to see the specialist and he shows me the xray and I say "I've seen hundreds of healthy and diseased hearts, and that goddamned xray looks perfectly normal to me". The specialist laughed and said "that's because it is" and he took the time to explain to me why radiographers are always claiming that people have megacardia - it's a matter of pure ignorance - they make some measurements with a ruler according to some fixed rules and they don't understand at all what they're doing nor are they likely to have the skill to tell a healthy heart from any number of diseased hearts. Of course the organizations promoting this racket all spout nonsense like: "doctors are always too busy, but nurses/radiographers/janitors have the skill to provide accurate medical diagnoses; wouldn't you rather see the janitor and have yourself diagnosed quickly than wait for weeks for an appointment with someone who knows what they're doing?" (Well, OK, they don't quite use those words.)
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My aura hurts!
written by Wholly Father, January 07, 2009
The link at the beginning of this thread didn't work so here is the url: http://www.reiki.org/reikinews/whatislg.html

Lots of fascinating links and even a few videos, so put on your hip-boots, and prepare to be amazed.
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written by Trish, January 08, 2009
Tressa, I'd agree with you with one stipulation - it would be a Star Trek Next Generation fan. Original Trek was a nice, skeptical program. Next Gen got all squishy & "respectful" of beliefs. One example is a Next Gen episode in which a being from a genderless society "feels" female & fall for Riker. The crew returns her to her society. Kirk & Spock would have given her asylum & blown up the computers that her society used to keep everyone in line.

Sigh.
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written by pxatkins, January 08, 2009
But it makes good business sense for insurance companies to offer coverage for Reiki ... that way they attract people who will pay for ... well ... Reiki coverage. And there are lots of them as we know. smilies/wink.gif
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written by Kimpatsu, January 09, 2009
Reiki actually means "spirit energy", with the rei meaning "ghost" in the sense of "give up the ghost". Gods in Japanese are called kami and supposedly operate using a different paradeigm (i.e., they are animistic in nature).
But I suppose we can't expect reiki practitioners to get everything right...
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Budgets...
written by DrMatt, January 09, 2009
University of Michigan Medical Center, among other medical institutions, has been laying people off to address budgetary shortfall. It calls its unfounded-practices program "Integrative Medicine", employs local reiki specialists and holistic healers who are accredited by institutions specializing in those fields, and has an educational track in the field for future MDs.
http://www.med.umich.edu/medst...ndex.html
Some of its aims sound admirable--"train doctors to locate reputable information..." for instance. How well do such aims hold up under scrutiny? I don't know, but I smell a boondogle at the expense of productive people elsewhere in the institution.
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Quackery
written by Marlinspike, January 09, 2009
It is profoundly shameful when nurses fall for the kind of woo described here but be assured that only a minority of nurses do so. Having been a nurse for 13 years I've only encountered a single nurse who had aligned energy fields on patients. And she left before I found out she was doing it. Believe me when I say I'd have raised all hell had I witnessed it.

To Mad Scientist I'd say that the appropriate question for you to ask the technologist would have been "What does the Radiologist (a physician) say?" Still, it was probably wise of you to ask the opinion of a physician. At least you didn't take the word of the Rad Tech and treat yourself.

You should be aware that physicians can fall for woo as well. While this doesn't excuse nurses doing so it does demonstrate that even the most educated of individuals can be fooled.
If you've read Swift for any length of time you'll know that. I will say, however, should you find yourself a patient in an ICU you might have a better outcome with a nurse looking after you than, say, the janitor, or a first year resident for that matter.

While I agree that some of the Nursing Diagnoses are laughable a nurse is your best (often your only) advocate in a hospital setting. Try persuading physicians to stay at your bedside round the clock.
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Insurance Rates
written by johnphillips123, July 09, 2010
This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and
needs to be appreciated by everyone.
=========
john
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Insurance Rates
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