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Delphi CEO blames massage therapists and regulatory agencies for health insurance crisis

Insurance CEO cries about being blamed for insurance crisis

In a recent Newsweek article entitled “It’s Not My Fault” Robert Rosenkranz, CEO of Delphi Financial Group almost seems to cry as he rambles on about how insurance companies are the victims in the health care crisis.  He blames the high cost of insurance and the problems with the insurance industry as a whole on the regulatory agencies which keep insurance companies in check, and of course his massage therapist and those like her for trying to get insurance companies to cover their services so they can help more patients. 

Mr. Rosenkranz began the article by chastising his “masseuse” as he showed his apparent ignorance of the correct terminology for the profession. How dare “she think that insurance should cover a massage?”  In his own words Mr. Rosenkranz “was exasperated.” 

In addition to being exasperated, however, one might also say he is a little misinformed and/or perhaps a little biased when it comes to insurance companies paying for anything.  After all, compensation plans for CEO’s are often based on company profits. Therefore every patient that gets reimbursed by Delphi for his medical massage therapy is another chip out of company profits, and consequently executive salaries. 

Besides its almost whining tone, the sad part of this article is that Mr. Rosenkranz does not seem to even understand the issue behind why massage therapists and millions of others believe that insurance companies should pay for massage. Insurance companies should not make decisions doctors should make.     

If a patient’s doctor writes a prescription for medical massage therapy to treat the patient’s neck pain, back injury, range or motion limitation, etc., who is Mr. Rosenkranz to say that particular therapy will not be paid for?  While the doctor could prescribe surgery, physical therapy, muscle relaxers, etc. which are all covered by most insurance plans, the doctor does not have the option of prescribing massage therapy, even if in his medical judgment massage therapy is the best treatment; because he knows the insurance company will not pay for the therapy. 

But Mr. Rosenkranz insists that “insurance is supposed to be for that which you can’t budget” not for massage therapy.  While he obviously does not need to budget his massages, many people cannot simply afford to spend hundreds of dollars on massage therapy, even if it is medically necessary.  The majority of the non CEO’s in America cannot budget for a series of medical massages just in case they get injured and would rather get massage therapy than surgery. 

So in order to help Mr. Rosenkranz in his future articles some facts are listed below about masseuses massage therapists, massage therapy and the insurance issue: 

  • Massage therapy is a medical treatment.  While massage therapy can also be used for non medical purposes this does not change the fact that it can, and often is, used for medical purposes.
  • Massage therapy has been clinically proven in countless studies to be effective in treatment a range of medical issues.
  • Massage therapy is mainstream medicine, not alternative medicine.  Even Mr. Rosenkranz believes in its effectiveness (he was getting a massage for back pain).
  • Some people visit massage therapists for severe and debilitating pain, not simply “a little back pain.”
  • Many patients have found that massage therapy is the only treatment that has been effective for their condition.
  • Automobile and workers compensation plans already pay for massage therapy for injured policy holders when a doctor deems it to be medically necessary and they still seem to be able to maintain reasonable profits. Paying for medically necessary massage therapy is unlikely to make poor Delphi go out of business.
  • In most countries medical massage therapy is paid for by insurance companies because it is a medical treatment, just like any other.
  • Massage therapy is often less expensive than alternatives for patients.  Why wouldn’t Mr. Rosenkranz want patients to try less expensive treatments first?  By adding medical massage therapy to Delphi’s approved list of treatments, Mr. Rosenkranz could be a hero among policy holders and company executives.

The list of course can go on and on.  But the point is this: Doctors should be able to choose from among the best treatments for their patients, not just the ones Mr. Rosenkranz believes are the best in his insurance CEO world.  

Read about: Medical Massage Therapy 

See Newsweek article: It is not my fault.

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9 Comments

  1. Kristen Smith says:

    I am a Medical Massage Therapist and work in a hospital, and I agree with…Dr’s should decide what insurance pays for not the insurance companies!

  2. I am an LMT from Ohio where we are governed by the Ohio State Medical Board. I’m confused – Mr. Rosenkranz gets massage regularly, however he doesn’t understand that it has medical benefits . . .
    Can someone explain what I’m missing – please. Yes – I get that Massage Therapy has been misrepresented in the past. It doesn’t say much for our Medical Profession when they are limited in treatment the can prescribe.

  3. I second, Kristen! And, Julie, you’re not the only one confused there. Kind of makes you just shake your head and want to ask, “Are you willfully ignorant?”

  4. I hope that you have written to Mr. Rosenkrantz to ensure he gets informed about the many benefits of massage. It offends me to be called a masseuse, because of what most people conjure in their minds when hearing the term. However, maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on Mr. Rosenkrantz as the Oxford dictionary lists masseuse as ‘a person who provides massage professionally.’

  5. Kristen,

    What hospital do you work for/with? I am curious about your program there…

    Thanks,

    Ken Edelson,
    LMT, NSCA-CPT, MES

  6. It is unfortunate that Mr. Rosenkranz is not aware of the medical benefits of massage therapy, when comparing it to the oil change, and I agree he should leave it to physicians to prescribe therapy best suited for clients’ condition. He clearly refers to the health maintenance aspect of most commonly requested, occasional relaxation massage, he may be getting too.

    It is up to massage professionals to inform their clients what is their scope of practice, their training, and how they can help them. Mr Rosenkranz’s therapist was in a position to educate him, and explain how medical massage will reduce healthcare costs as preventative medicine… Make a point to correct your clients every time they call you anything else than therapists. No one will do it for you. Raise the respect for your practice by spending more time educating your clients.

    The article raises arguments against premium’s money being wasted on state-mandated “Cadillac” insurances not everyone needs, and tort lawyers. What puzzles me is the author’s praise of “affordable coverage—and incentives for healthy lifestyles and preventive care”, while denying access of clinically proven massage therapies into the list of treatments that can be prescribed by physicians, and covered by insurances. This is where he lost me. Is the massage therapy not a preventive care? Has it become an unhealthy lifestyle? I would suggest that over-medication should not be covered by insurance companies; that’s what bleeds the money, and pollutes drinking water.

  7. The last paragraph refers to Newsweek article: “It is not my fault.”

  8. Pingback: delphi salary health care news | Max Health

  9. This man does not care to know the trueth. He is one of the executives in the insurance industry, making huge profits from each denial they can hand out.
    If he wasn’t so close minded and greedy he would have realized that covering massage therapy sessions can help save money in the long run! Massage therapy can help every system in our body, cardiovascular, pulmonary, muscular, endocrine, lymphatic, reproductive, nervous system, and integumentary systems, it helps emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, I mean, it not only heals the body, but also prevents it from getting hurt. And compared to the surgeries and drugs, Massage is so much cheaper, safer, and relaxing. That guy is pure ignorant.

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