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Issues #65 and #66 - July-August 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Issues #65-#66 - July-August 2009


Issue #66 - August 10, 2009



August 10, 2009

Invited Commentary on the NCCAM Study: Bolles asks if the CAM Industry is Mature, Immature or Misunderstood

"I'm beginning to wonder if some new model of looking at the CAM/integrative health care markets may be required." So writes Stephen Bolles, DC, in this thoughtful reflection on the controversial NCCAM survey which concluded that the visits to CAM practitioners may have dropped 50% between 1997 and 2007.  Bolles, who spent many years looking at the consumer and CAM from inside the leadership of a consumer division of United Health Group, writes: "To me (the NCCAM report) is kind of like an eloquent and detailed answer to a problem that hasn't been defined." This invited column touches on the "seduction" of the dollars projected in the first Eisenberg study then presents ideas about how to think about the CAM consumer, the CAM industry, and how to create a successful business with the CAM-using clientele. More

August 10, 2009

Your Comments on the NCCAM/CDC Report Suggesting Visits to CAM Practitioners Have Gone Down 50% Since 1997

The Integrator Special Report, "Is CAM Practitioner Use Down 50% Since 1997? An Analysis of NCCAM's Report on Costs of CAM and Visits in 2007," prompted a handful of responses. Here are brief notes from Georgetown University professor of law Sherman Cohn, JD, Stephen Bolles, DC and National Center for Homeopathy President Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RS Hom, followed by longer notes from integrative clinic leader Bethany Hayes, MD, Massage Research Foundation president Diana Thompson, LMT, holistic medicine leader Bill Manahan, MD, NCMIC president Lou Sportelli, DC, natural products manufacturers and marketer Gary Sandman, and Integrator reader Michaela Donohue. Not surprisingly, all agree that something is amiss in one end or the other of these comparative data. More

August 8, 2009

Health Reform: IFM Declares the Value of Functional Medicine in Exceptional White Paper on 21st Century Medicine

Anyone who wants to see how integrative practice fits into the best currents of actual clinical reform in conventional medicine will want to download or purchase 21st Century Medicine: A New Model for Medical Education and Practice. This savvy 142 page white paper from the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) provides excellent short synopses of prospective health care, personalized medicine, systems biology, evidence-based medicine, integrative medicine, the chronic care model, and to a lesser extent, the primary care medical home. The text and graphics clearly lay out points of overlap and alignment in these movements toward reform that is not merely of payment structures and delivery mechanisms.  In their effort to quilt functional medicine into the fabric of conventional initiatives, the IFM author team of David Jones, MD, Laurie Hoffmann, MPH and Sheila Quinn has provided a service for all the integrative practice fields. Take a look at this exceptional foray into influencing the healthcare reform debate and see how your experience/field fits, or doesn't. Let's discuss this one. More

August 7, 2009

Invited Commentary: Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH on the Opportunity for CAM and Wellness in Comparative Effectiveness Research

This invited column from whole practice researcher Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH, offers exceptional insight into the opportunity which does, and may not yet, exist for advancing our understanding of integrative practices through the movement for "comparative effectiveness research" (CER). Calabrese, who currently holds positions with the Helfgott Research Institute and Oregon Health & Sciences University, has focused on practical, real-world outcomes since before he began his MPH work in the early 1990s. His conclusion is both sobering and enlightening as to the steps the CER movement must take to begin to allow the kinds of comparisons wellness, patient-centered care and integrative practice need. The case clearly made in this column should be put in front of President Obama's Federal Research Council on CER. More


August 6, 2009

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: July 18-August 5, 2009

Controversial NCCAM report suggests use of CAM practitioners may be down 50% between 1997 and 2007 ...  IHPC offers opportunity for integrative practice community to participate in federal policy work, starting with thanking US Senator Sanders ... Homebirth midwives make huge commitment to lobbying Congress for inclusion under healthcare reform ... Boston Globe says Harkin, others are pushing for coverage of licensed CAM practitioners in reform package ...  Invite to September 25, 2009 Dr. Rogers' Price gala where $250,000 will be awarded to a top integrative practice leader ... Health Journey's Belleruth Naparstek shares significant advances of mind-body approaches in the military ... James Gordon, MD to chair new College of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University ... Obama team convenes group of employers to explore progressive health and productivity program for federal employees ...  Pelletier examines 2004-2008 employer studies of cost-benefits of health promotion programs ... Holistic nurses name Hines to national presidency ... Renaud steps down after 16 years managing acu-detox association, new manager sought ... Abrams/Weil Integrative Cancer book becomes standard textbook for the field ... Example of integrative center inside a private medical group sought. More

August 4, 2009

Special Report: Is CAM Practitioner Use Down 50% Since 1997? An Analysis of NCCAM's Study of CAM Expenditures and Visits in 2007

Have visits to CAM practitioners dropped by as much as 50% in the last decade? This is the suggestion from a report released July 30, 2009 by the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report is an analysis of 2007 data from a survey of over 23,000 adults entitled "Costs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Frequency of Visits to CAM Practitioners: United States, 2007." The gross dimensions of consumer use remain eye-catching: $33.9 billion in out-of-pocket expenditures and 354 million visits to practitioners. Yet the authors also conclude that, as compared with Eisenberg's 1997 data on CAM use published in JAMA, total expenditures were almost flat and there was a shocking 50% downtrend in the number of visits. Are consumers turning away from CAM practitioners? How can this be with virtually all of these practitioner fields growing significantly? How do we make sense of these findings? Here is an extensive Integrator analysis of the potentially damaging outcomes from comparing these survey findings. More




Issue #65 - July 20, 2009


July 17, 2009

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: June 19-July 17, 2009

Integrative services double at Providence Integrative Cancer Care ... NCCAM clarifies position on homeopathy research following Zicam fury ... CAM gains mention in IOM and Obama Council's report on directions for comparative effectiveness research (CER), plus Calabrese comments ... Licensed CAM, integrative practice and wellness in the US Senate reform bills ... NCCAM clarifies position on homeopathic research following Zicam study and National Center for Homeopathy request ...  States move to regulate yoga schools ... Israelson on FDA, dietary supplement firms and adverse event reporting ... IAYT convenes effort to clarify definition, scope of practice, guidelines for Yoga therapy ... ACA announces formation of specialty Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition ... Huffington Post runs 2 articles relative to functional medicine as health reform model ... NCCAM announces portion of Obama stimulus funds ... International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine re-launched ... New York Times article underscores how the NIH review process may keep the best research unfunded ...  New positions for Michael Wiles, DC, MEd and Patricia Wolfe, ND ... New York Chiropractic College acknowledged in Chronicle of Higher Education ... Eric Goldman offers review of first Physician Heal Thy Practice conference. More

July 16, 2009

Quarterly Report from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC): June 2009

Many of you will know that I split my professional life between the Integrator (and related writing) and the organization featured here, the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC - www.accahc.org), for which I serve as executive director. This article is, with minor edits, ACCAHC's June 2009 Quarterly Report. Its relevance to the integrative practice fields is that ACCAHC is the most significant ongoing commitment of organizations from diverse integrative practice fields to getting out of their silos and learning how to collaborate. 15 organizations are members. Take a look at their work and offer them feedback. More

July 10, 2009

Update: IHPC, Others, Place CAM, Integrative Practices/Care in US Health Reform Legislation

US Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind.-VT) and the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) have placed "licensed complementary and alternative medicine providers and integrative health practitioners" in the Kennedy-HELP bill's definition of healthcare professionals . This is not the only mention of "complementary and alternative medicine," or "integrative care" or "integrative practitioners" in the bill. The Samueli Institute's vice president Brian Thiel guides us to other mentions in the Kennedy-HELP draft legislation. These are in sections the establish a "wellness council" and on the medical home. Small steps, maybe; but signs of prospective integration into US healthcare policy. Do you know of other similar advances? Let me know. More


July 10, 2009

Samueli Institute's Brian Thiel on the Advance of Whole System Wellness in US Senate Health Reform Legislation

Certain voices in the US Senate have been talking about the need for a paradigm shift in health reform, toward policy which helps us move to a "wellness society." Wayne Jonas, MD, and his coalition through the Samueli Institute have been promoting an ambitious Wellness Initiative for the Nation. Here the Integrator interviews Brian Thiel, Samueli Institute's vice president charged with government relations for an update on how the effort is faring. There is good news here for the advancement of a whole system vision of what a wellness society will require. And there is a long legislative road ahead. More






For earlier articles, please click below:


Issues #63-#64 - May-June 2009

Issues #57-#59 - Jan-Feb 2009

Issues #55-#56 - Nov-Dec 2008

Issues #51-#54 - Sept-Oct 2008

Issues #47-#50 - July-August 2008

Issues #45 & -#46 - May-June 2008

Issues #43-#45 Mar-April 2008


Issues #41 & #42 - Feb 2008

Issues #39 & #40 - Dec-Jan '08


Issues #37 & #38 - Nov 2007

Issues #35 & #36 - Oct 2007

Issues #33 & #34 - Sept 2007

Issues #30-#32 - July-Aug 2007

Issues #28 & #29 - June 2007

Issues #26 and #27 - May 2007

Issue #25 - April 2007

Issues # 23 & #24 - March 2007

Issues #21 and #22 - Feb 2007

Issues #19 and & 20 - Jan 2007

Issues #17 and #18 - Dec 2006

Issues #15 and #16 - Nov 2006

Issues #13 and #14 - Oct 2006

Issues #11 and #12- Sept 2006

Issues #9 and #10 - Aug 2006

Issues #7 and #8 - July 2006

Issues #5 and #6 - June 2006

Issues #3 and #4 - May 2006

Issues #1 and #2 - Apr 2006

All Postings to Aug 15, by Subject Matter

IAYT-Sponsored Series on the Future of Yoga Therapy

Or go to Archive, lower right column, on the home page.

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IAYT-Sponsored Series on the Future of Yoga Therapy