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Issues #46-#47 - May-June 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Issues #45-#46 - May-June 2008


   
 

June 5, 2008 mailing - Issue #46

June 5, 2008

Columnist Michael Levin: Deloitte Survey of Health Consumers Offers Insights for Integrative Medicine

Integrator columnist Michael Levin shares intriguing outcomes of a healthcare survey from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. The authors examine opinions and practices of over 3000 consumers, identifying use of alternative healthcare services as a key identifier of behavior across a series of consumer types. The six types range from "content and compliant" to "out and about" (the most significant alt-med users) to "shop and save." Current complementary medicine use represents a fraction of the openness expressed by these consumers. Paul Keckley, PhD, co-author and director of the Center was formerly the head of integrative medicine planning for Vanderbilt University. Levin is correct: there is much here to ponder about integrative care and the changing nature of the healthcare consumer. More ...



June 3, 2008

Notes on Integrative Care and Health & Productivity Management from the Employer-Focused IHPM Conference

From March 31-April 2, 2008, an unusual cross-disciplinary group of complementary, alternative and integrative medicine (CAIM) practitioners and researchers gathered with a much larger group of employer organizations at the Institute for Health and Productivity Management's Fourth Annual Health Management Conference. The conference was entitled The Employer-Sponsored Value-Based Health System: New Key to Global Competitiveness. The questions on the table were whether and how CAIM practices might be useful to an employer’s cost-conscious health and productivity agenda, and, if so, were the two parties ready to take advantage of the opportunity presented. This reports some of that meeting. Next conference: Oct. 15-17, Scottsdale. More ...

May 31, 2008

The Journey of HealthJourneys: Downloading Guided Imagery into the Business of US Health Care

The most significant penetration of complementary and alternative health care into mainstream US medicine is not integrative medical doctors, or holistic nurses, or massage therapists or any other complementary, integrative or holistic practitioner type. Rather, that position is held by digitized CDs and now web-available downloads of guided imagery tapes. The leader in the field is been HealthJourneys, founded by Belleruth Naparstek, LISW, BCD. Here is a portrait of the growth of that business since 1989, when a little audio cassette was introduced into a Kaiser Permanente hospital. More ...


May 31, 2008

Integrative Medicine & Integrated Healthcare Roundup: May 15-31, 2008

The pace of action in integrative medicine and integrated healthcare picks up monthly. This article begins a new, regular feature of the Integrator. I scan the incoming and offer quick links on the business, academic, research, professional, integrative, media and employer actions relative to these fields. You click into the longer stories of interest to you.   20 short notes here. I hope this new services is useful. More ...

May 31, 2008

Next Generation Integrative MD Leader David Rakel, MD on ABIHM, CAHCIM and Family Medicine

Integrative medicine is producing its second wave of leaders. Among these is David Rakel, MD. Rakel is a board member of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, an executive committee member of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and editor of the 1300 page tome Integrative Medicine. The Integrator spoke with Rakel recently about the movement, and his day job, at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, where his focus is on a new model of family medicine. More ...

May 25, 2008

Herb, Nutrient and Drug Interactions: Multi-Disciplinary Team Plots Course Out of Paranoia

Dialogue over the integration of herbs and nutrients into clinical practice has focused on potentially negative impacts on the value of prescribed pharmaceuticals. Missing has been a view which respects these concerns, but which puts the patient, rather than the pharmaceutical regime, in the center of clinical concern. The recently published 930 page Herb, Nutrient, and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies (Stargrove, McKee, Treasure) offers a measured walk for clinicians which Tieraona Lowdog, MD, chair of the US Pharmacopoeia Dietary Supplements Information Committee calls, in a forward, "appropriate balance between recommendation and risk based on the overall strength of the scientific evidence and their own clinical experience." More ...




May 25, 2008

Should the Military and Hospitals Celebrate Their Economic Contributions to Communities?

[From my Integrative Practitioner Online (IPO) column] Do you recall the debates in communities across the United States in those rare periods when the US Congress has considered limiting our military expenses and moving toward a peacetime economy. Typically, Congress creates a commission to recommend closure of certain military bases. Then, when a community hears that a nearby base is slated for closure, reports of that base’s contributions to the local economy hit the editorial pages. Local members of Congress begin battling to keep “their” bases open, and the money flowing. I was reminded of this pattern of behavior when I saw an April 2008 report from the American Hospital Association (AHA). The report did not highlight cures or positive movement on one or more health indicators. Rather the AHA’s monthly TrendWatch ran under this title: “Analysis Celebrates the Economic Contribution of Hospitals to Communities.” Click here to go to IPO for the full column.

   
 

April 21, 2008 mailing - Issue #45


April 21, 2008

Comments: A DC, an MD, an MSW, an RN, and a PhD on Bolles, Managed Care, NCCAM, Cultural Authority and More 

Bob Sager, MD wanted integrative MD questions in the CodeBlueNow! voter surveys ... Wellpoint fraud expert Howard Levinson, DC comments on the state of managed care ... Former holisitic nurses association leader Sonja Simpson, RN, AHN-BC believes commentator Beth Wooton, ND was spot on regarding practitioner education ... Researcher Lyn Freeman, PhD has some suggestions about new routes to project funding that are not NCCAM dependent ... Lisa Yater, LCSW, on how the structure of conventional care delivery limits the opportunity for inclusion. More ...


April 21, 2008

In Memoriam: Naturopathic Medicine's Bob Timberlake and CAM Coverage Leader Steve Gorman

Two individuals who have played significant roles in different areas of the integrative care universe died recently. Robert (Bob) Timberlake was a leader in jump-starting the re-emergence of naturopathic medicine, and particularly its expansion of new licensing of naturopathic physicians in the 1990s, serving later in a leadership capacity with Vital Nutrients, a quality leader in natural products. He was a valued colleague and friend ... Steve Gorman, founder of Alternative Health Insurance Services, began talking about, and dreaming up ways to expand, coverage of alternative medicine services over two decades ago. Adviser Michael Levin offers appreciation for Gorman's life. More ...

April 21, 2008

Academic Advances: AMSA & NMSA, SPARC, UCLA, Harvard, NUHS, NIH-Yoga, Yale, NYCC, New Consortium Members, plus

Breakthrough: American Medical Student Association formally recognizes the Naturopathic Medical Student Association as an affiliate ...  Fønnebø to propose a "peace treaty" in "research battleground" at May 18 SPARC meeting ... Harvard integrative clinic featured ... UCLA program offers seven approaches to back pain in consumer-focused event ... Formerly chiropractic-only schools gain recognition for AOM and ND programs ... Yale's kick-off event draws overflow crowd ... NIH to have May Yoga week ... U Mass natural products Master's degree now largely internet-based ... BU and Northwestern Feinberg medical schools bring to 41 the members of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine ... Master's in Integrative Health in development for 2008 at National University, San Diego. More ...


April, 15, 2008

Forum on NCCAM's Direction: Was the Integrator Irresponsible in Printing the Clay Article on Jack Killen, MD?

Guest writer Beth Clay's mention of homeopathy and her challenging of the credentials of a top NIH NCCAM deputy, Jack Killen, MD, provoked strong responses. I corresponded multiple times with an anonymous scientist who was livid with the Integrator and Clay yet did not want his comments published, even anonymously. I capture some of the exchange, as I believe there may be many others who agree. Entrepreneur Taylor Walsh wonders if the challenges to Killen are merited. Consultant David Matteson, MPH credits the Integrator (and Clay) for the discussion. Finally, author and homeopath Dana Ullman, MPH, details a rebuttal to Killen's view, as quoted in Newsweek, that there is "no condition for which homeopathy has been proven to be an effective treatment." More ...
 

April 15, 2008

Columnist Michael Levin: Opportunities for Integrative Medicine in a Recent AARP Report on Drug Price Escalation

Integrator columnist Michael Levin, founder of Health Business Strategies, is a long-time promoter of integrative medicine strategies that challenge the often costly, unsafe and quality of life-damaging interventions promoted by Big Pharma. So when Levin, who has been an executive with both pharmaceutical and dietary supplement firms, saw the new AARP report on drug price trends pre and post the implementation of the Medicare Drug Benefit, he analyzed it both for what Pharma had already extracted, and for what integrative medicine might. Here is Levin's brief report and view of opportunities. More ...

April 15, 2008

Chiropractors in the Nation's Largest Health System: Anthony Lisi, DC on Integration into Veterans Health Facilities

When Yale University School of Medicine recently chose to bring a chiropractor into their first Integrative Medicine Symposium, Anthony Lisi, DC was the chosen presenter. As director of the Veterans Health Administration's Chiropractic Service, Lisi sits in the hot-seat for the most significant complementary and alternative healthcare integration effort nationwide. To Lisi's account, practitioner-to-practitioner relationships and patient reports are overcoming the deep reluctance which greeted this Congressionally-mandated program. The Integrator caught up with Lisi to learn more about this pioneering initiative. More ...


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