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The economics of natural medicine in the U.S. healthcare system
This recent publication in the Natural Medicine Journal, authored by Setareh Tais, ND from the California Naturopathic Doctor’s Association and Erica Oberg, ND, MPH from the Center for Health Policy & Leadership at Bastyr University, summarizes some of the current economic data regarding costs and cost-effectiveness of natural medicine. It is a useful resource for CAM disciplines seeking to educate policy makers on the impact of natural medicine on the healthcare system.
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has steadily grown in recent decades, followed by an increase in insurance coverage for various CAM providers (eg, naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists, massage therapist, chiropractors). However, with rising healthcare costs, insurers and policy makers have expressed concerns about the cost-effectiveness of healthcare, both conventional and CAM. Although more prospective outcome studies are needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of CAM, there have been published research studies demonstrating that CAM is cost-effective and may present cost-savings due to inexpensive treatments, lower technology interventions, and its emphasis on preventative medicine. If healthcare reform proceeds in a direction favoring lower-cost approaches, further integration of CAM practitioners, including naturopathic primary care providers, into healthcare delivery systems may be beneficial. Here we review the literature regarding the cost-effectiveness of CAM and naturopathic medicine, Read the full article.
The Bastyr University Center for Health Policy and Leadership (CHPL) is a nonpartisan, University-based center dedicated to advancing the understanding of health policy and leadership issues. The Center:
- Creates on-campus and external opportunities for participation in "essential, generative conversations."
- Hosts prominent scholars and health practitioners in discussion-oriented events.
- Provides a forum for scholarly research on health policy and leadership issues.
- Encourages citizens to actively participate in public affairs through experiential programs.