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NYT reports on CAM inclusion in State's essential benefits packages
There is a still a year to go before insurance Exchanges are implemented under the Affordable Care Act. However, the deadline for States to define the essential benefits to be covered is approaching on December 26. Of keen interest to the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) disciplines, are whether the services provided by these licensed health professionals will be considered part of essential benefits and therefore subject to mandatory inclusion by health plans that wish to participate in the Exchanges. Each State is currently making decisions regarding what is considered essential and what is not. In most states, thanks to strong activism and lobbying, chiropractic services will be included. Acupuncture, for some conditions, is being considered essential by some States, Washington and California included. Naturopathic medicine, which often goes un-noticed due to its small size, has yet to be explicitly named by any State, however, NDs may have numerous opportunities for inclusion as primary care providers (see previous blog). The recent success of the grassroots whitehouse.com petition demonstrated strong support for naturopathic medicine inclusion and could provide openings to future conversations. For more details on the State by State efforts to include CAM, read the full NYT story here.
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.