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The Integrator Blog. News, Reports and Networking for the Business, Education, Policy and Practice of Integrative Medicine, CAM and Integrated Health Care. - Issues #74 & #75 - March-April 2010
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Issues #74 & #75 - March-April 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Issues #74 & #75 - March-April 2010


Issue #75 -May 5, 2010

May 5, 2010

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: May 2010

HHS Secretary Sebelius and former DNC chair Howard Dean, MD comment on acupuncture, homeopathy other natural healing methods ... US Congressman Tim Ryan champions mindfulness-based stress reduction programs in hearing; Sebelius responds ... Josiah Macy Foundation urges lifting of obstacles for nurse practitioners in primary care; roles of DCs, NDs, LAcs commented upon ... Washington state data show insurance costs for individuals using CAM for back pain, fibromyalgia, menopause symptoms are less than those who don't use CAM ... NCCAM references only "products" research in key message on 2011-2015 strategic plan; Briggs responds ...  1993 Seattle Post Intelligencer letter from by Integrator publisher-editor submitted as defense for impatience with reductive research on integrative practices ... White paper on research for holistic nurses articulates critical importance of complex modeling ...  Bastyr's Boutin on 8 reasons why healthcare overhaul is good for nutritionists ... Chiropractic educator/researcher conference draws record turnout; college presidents group shares top 6 strategic initiatives ... Update on Georgetown Masters Degree that links basic sciences and CAM ... Stamford Hospital begins 2-year integrative medicine fellowship ... Bastyr to award honorary doctorates to Mehmet Oz, MD and to Lisa OZ ... Correction on the first regionally accredited "stand-alone" AOM school ... White paper on regulatory issues for Yoga, Ayurvedic fields ...  Naturopathic doctors push Congress for inclusion in loan repayment programs ... Real Simple features integrative medicine; distinguishes this category from DOs and NDs ... Mathews to head Yoga Alliance ... Hangee-Bauer the new AANP president ... More

April 28, 2010

Does NCCAM's"Priority Setting Framework" for 2011-2015 Focus on Researching "Products"? A Message and a Clarification from Dr. Briggs

The recently published "priority-setting framework" for the 2011-2015 NIH NCCAM strategic plan left the strong impression that the agency had merged with the Office of Dietary Supplements. The short statement in a April 16, 2010 "Message from the Director" by Josephine Briggs, MD focused on investigating "products." The term denotes the field of integrative practice 3 times in the short guide. Adding to this apparent pigeon-holing are repeated highlights of basic science questions and efficacy trials and the absence of any allusion to outcomes research or whole disciplines. In short, the published framework appears more appropriate for exploring conventional pharmaceuticals than multi-modality, whole person approaches. I contacted Briggs with some pointed questions, referencing NCCAM's Congressional mandate. Here is Briggs' NCCAM framework, my questions, and her letter in response. More

April 27, 2010

Ira Zunin, MD and Manakai O Malama: Checking in on a Thriving Integrative Center

The 32 practitioner integrative clinic is nearing it's 250,000 patient visit. In the economically down year of 2009, volume and revenues expanded significantly. Findings of a significant, integrative, team approach to chronic pain, engaged through a contract with the state of Hawai'i's main insurer, HMSA, were published. The positive outcomes are holding over time. A significant consultancy with an integrative venture associated with an East Coast academic health center is coming to a close. Meantime, the founder and director, Ira Zunin, MD, MPH, MBA is in training with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to participate in a 2013 world tour. Here is an Integrator update on the Manakai O Malama clinic on the island of Oahu. More 

April 24, 2010

Reader Forum: Peter D'Adamo, Bill Henry, Tom Ballard, Bill Manahan, Diana Miller and Mary Klifman

Peter D'Adamo, ND on the Wikipedia battle over his page and blood-type diets ... Bill Henry on the influence of the Bravewell Collaborative's leaders ... Tom Ballard, ND offers strategies for the integration and reform dialogue ... Health Freedom leader Diane Miller on her organization's role in pushing back McCain on dietary supplements ... Energy healer Mary Klifman's words to Congress ... Bill Manahan, MD with kudos and a suggestion for a political-energetic use of a Beatles song ... Plus a note on paid vigilantism in the Integrator ... More

April 22, 2010

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Comments on Acupuncture, Meditation, Homeopathy in National Press Club Talk

At the end of her talk before the National Press Club on April 6, 2010, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was popped a question on "acupuncture, meditation and other alternative healing methods." Sebelius responds positively, if perhaps with some misunderstanding, linking these therapies to consumer choice, to comparative effectiveness research (CER) and to potential cost-savings. Here are Sebelius' comments, plus some additional comments on CER and alternative medicine from former Democratic Nationla Committee chair Howard Dean, MD as reported in Elsevier's In Vivo blog for the pharmaceutical industry. Those who want Sebelius' whole speech, it's here. Take a look. More

April 20, 2010

Love Your Silo and Leave It: Are We Educating Integrative Practitioners for Integrated Practice?

The definition of "integrative medicine" endorsed by a consortium of 44 medical schools includes the importance of integrating not just modalities, but also of integrating "healthcare professionals and disciplines." Accreditation standards of the licensed integrative practice fields each require competencies in "referral" and most in "collaboration." But are these fields adequately educating about each other? Marketing work led by Beth Rosenthal, PhD, MPH, is finding that interprofessional education (IPE) is yet in its infancy. Meantime, a recent Institute of Medicine report on continuing education strongly promotes not only IPE but conferences with "carefully tailored learning environments" to enhance understanding between members of different fields. This column looks at the state of integrative practice education in leaving the silos that limit optimally integrated team care. More

Issue #74 April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: April 2010

What integrative practice associations are saying about healthcare overhaul ... CMS/Medicare nominee Berwick and his principles for integrative medicine ... Patient outcomes from Penny George Institute inpatient integrative care ... Ground-breaking Healthpoint expands integrative model in community health; Breed comments ... NCH's Gahles reports on meeting of top homeopathic researchers with NCCAM team ... Anti-NCCAM bloggers take invite from NCCAM's Briggs ... Outcomes of Medicare chiropractic demonstration project confusing, under examination by ACA ... Ford pilot shows lowered use of drugs by acupuncture and mind-body group ... Merrell and integrative medicine featured as cost-saving in NYT ... Update on action at Wake Forest integrative medicine ... First inpatient acupuncture fellowship at New York's Beth Israel ... Maizes clip highlights decade plus of changes at Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine ... Western States Chiropractic College becomes University of Western States ... Tri-State Acupuncture College publishes white paper on inter-professional education ... Ornish challenges thinking in New York Times piece ... Bravewell leaders in Vanity Fair ... Acupuncture positively portrayed in Wall Street Journal ... Robust SPARC/OCIM gatherings in Portland, Oregon ... Massage Therapy Foundation receives $30,000 NCCAM conference grant ... Educators Schwartz and Lowe team for online education business ... Caldwell heads AHMA ... O'Connell to exec post with ACA ... Naturopathic doctor Cronin in the cover of Phoenix Magazine "Best Doctors" issue ... Marchiori selected as new Palmer chancellor ... Huggins elected to AHPA presidency, plus more ... More 

April 7, 2010

Anti-CAM Bloggers and Homeopathic Researchers: Reports on Two Stakeholder Meetings with NCCAM's Briggs

US President Obama's Big Tent policy has nothing on NIH NCCAM's director Josephine Briggs, MD. Briggs is actively and commendably exploring the far reaches of this field for which she is charged with creating the 2011-2015 strategic plan for deploying some $600-million in research funds. Six weeks ago, she and her top staff met with an international delegation of homeopathic researchers, organized by Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RS Hom (NA), president of the National Center for Homeopathy. Then Briggs reportedly extended an invite to a group of anti-CAM bloggers, anchored by Yale School of Medicine's Steven Novella, MD. These folks don't believe there is value in anything NCCAM has done, reserves a special vintage ire for homeopathy, and have called for a de-budget bombing into smithereens of Briggs' professional home, NCCAM. Here are reports on the two meetings. More

April 2, 2010

Medicare Pilot Shakes Out as Disputed $50-Million High Stakes Game for Chiropractors

In 2003, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) took a bet with Medicare that expanded coverage of chiropractic services would be at least cost neutral for the agency. HHS Secretary Sibelius has submitted her final report to Congress on the 2005-2007 demonstration project. Patients rated the pilot highly across the board, but the cost results are conflicting from the 4 separate sites. On the all-important question of cost neutrality, findings range from cost saving to quite costly. Now Medicare is looking to recoup $50-million through a lowering of reimbursement rates for chiropractors. An ACA team including health services expert Christine Goertz, DC, PhD and Susan McClelland has been formed to explore the huge variances between sites, and especially why the Chicago area showed as a costly outlier. The lessons and process here may be of interest to any integrative practice interests who believe all they need is a good demonstration project to guarantee rapid adoption into the healthcare payment and delivery system. More

April 1, 2010

First Inpatient Fellowship for Licensed Acupuncturists Under Way at New York's Beth Israel Hospital

The nation's first inpatient fellowship for licensed acupuncture is into its second year in the Department of Integrative Medicine at New York's Beth Israel Hospital. The year-long fellowship is under the direction of Arya Nielsen, PhD, LAc and Ben Kligler, MD, MPH. The program consists of clinical service for a wide range of conditions and environments, plus didactic and often grand-rounds style instruction, much of which is paired with an integrative medicine program for the hospital's medical doctors. Here is an overview of the program, with details on its financial model. More   

March 24, 2010

International News: India Hosts CAHCIM Group, Homeopathy Challenged in UK, Action in Haiti

Six leaders of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine were hosted by the Indian government in January for a trip that was meant to explore strategies for increasing the presence of Ayurvedic healthcare in the United States ... A storm of activity on both sides of the Atlantic has bellowed up following a recommendation from a committee of the UK Parliament to end that country's recognition of homeopathy in the Natural Health Service ... Reports are filtering back on care-giving in Haiti as acupuncture and naturopathic organizations consider sustainable strategies for long-term involvement. More

March 17, 2010

Transition at IHPC: Sheila Quinn Steps Down as Chair, Len Wisneski, MD Takes Interm Role

A decade ago US Senator Tom Harkin told Sheila Quinn and other leaders of what would become the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) that a unified voice across diverse integrative practice interests could be helpful in lobbying ideas through Congress. Since IHPC's incorporation in 2002, the team Quinn has chaired has worked hard to play that role, endured periods of low budget and no budget via the volunteerism of board and staff alike as IHPC accrued a growing list of accomplishments. On March 17, 2010, IHPC announced a transition at its helm. Quinn is stepping down and long-time integrative medicine leader Len Wisneski, MD will become IHPC's interim chair. Here is the IHPC release on the transition, with reflections on what IHPC has accomplished in the Quinn era, and the challenges ahead. More

March 16, 2010

"Licensed Integrative Practitioners" - Bastard Child Up for Adoption Needs Big Tent for Home

Do you see yourself as a "licensed integrative practitioner"? Do you feel kinship with those from other professions who wear that label? Would you like your professional organizations to collaborate with similar professions to advance integrative practices nationally? And what, by the way, is an "integrative practitioner"? These questions and more came to the fore when influential members of Congress chose to use "licensed integrative practitioners" as a tactical phrase to secure inclusion of various provider types in proposed health reform legislation. I tried out such questions on national policy panelists at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium on February 25 and 26, 2010. The initial reception appears to be that the "licensed integrative practitioner," this bastard step-child of the legislative process, will not soon have a big tent to call home. I was and remain intrigued by the possibilities. Here are some reflections. More

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