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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 #19 and #20 - Jan 2007
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Issues #19 and #20 - Jan 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Issues #19 & #20 - January 2007


January 25, 2007 mailing - Issue #20

January 25, 2007

ImageOn the Revolution Health Site Integrator Readers Stimulate Dialogue on Rating Hospital "Integration"

America Online founder Steve Case's Revolution Health web platform officially opened last week in a move which mainstream media is viewing as a battle of the titans - Revolution versus Web MD. From the Integrator perspective, the site opening is more local and personal. The local is that integrated health care for Revolution Health is overseen by Integrator advisor Bradly Jacobs, MD, MPH. The personal is that Jacobs invited me to be an "expert blogger" on Revolution's site and I am doing so. Jacobs and I have begun cooking up a dialogue, born from your comments on the Integrator investigation of Washington State's denial of Cancer Treatment Centers of America's plans to build an integrated cancer hospital. The idea: rate hospitals for their level of integration. Jacobs lays down his ideas for "integrative medicine light" and "integrative medicine medium" and "integrative medicine robust." What do you think are the markers for a quality integrative medicine program?

January 25, 2007

ImageAmerican Botanical Council Organizes Strong Counter to Unbalanced Media on Recent Black Cohosh Research

After news broke December 19th that suggested that black cohosh would become another in a growing line of supplements not supported by results from major NIH research grants, the American Botanical Council swiftly issued a detailed response. The argument: the media was in-appropriately judging the botanical, used to control hot-flashes, based on one study when "the majority of published trials" have found the herb effective. The response, developed by ABC's executive director Mark Blumenthal with the assistance of a top-notch set of botanical researchers including Mary Hardy, MD, Gail Mahady, PhD, Fredi Kronenberg, PhD, Francis Brinker, ND and Daniel Fabricant, PhD. The ABC work is a strong rebuttal to the media's quick dismissal of the well-researched and widely-used herb.

January 25, 2007

Reed Phillips, DC, PhD, ACCAHC's founding chair
Sheila Quinn, IHPC chair
ACCAHC: Historic, Multi-Disciplinary CAM Educator Project Announces Grant, Exec Change, Dues-Basis and Move to Independence

In early 2004, a new entity emerged on the integrated healthcare scene, the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). In the ensuing three years under the direction of Pamela Snider, ND, ACCAHC has made significant strides in the areas of education, research and policy as an action-oriented multi-disciplinary project. Born and nurtured as part of the 501c4 Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC), ACCAHC is now taking steps toward its independence as a stand-alone, dues-based and grant-supported 501c3 entity. This article notes ACCAHC accomplishments, an executive director transition and plans for a $30,000 grant from the organization's founding backer, Lucy Gonda. For more on ACCAHC, go to www.ihpc.info and click on ACCAHC.

January 24, 2007

Commentator Esteves
Commentator Noel Peterson, ND
Your Comments: WA State's Denial of CTCA Hospital a "Travesty" and a "Showcase" on Variances in Integration Models

Washington state's block of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) effort to build an inpatient hospital is viewed as a "travesty" by integrative medicine leader Sheila Quinn. Quinn describes her tour of a CTCA facility, and a non-integrated hospital experience she had with one of the CTCA competitors ... Oregon leader in naturopathic medicine Noel Peterson, ND, wonders whether "integration light" isn't like "BP and Exxon-Mobil marketing themselves as 'green corporations'" ... Naturopathic student researcher Vanessa Esteves notes how the diverse integration strategies described in the Integrator article "make it dufficult for "true integration models ot stand out in the crowd" ... Holistic medicine veteran Bill Manahan, MD, views the Washington action against CTCA as an act of the medical monopoly  ... All written in response to: Will "Integration Light" by Competing Hospitals Kill CTCA's Plans for an Inpatient Facility?

January 21, 2007

Acupuncture Unity: AAOM and AOM Alliance End 14 Years of Damaging Divisiveness

The two national organizations which have engaged a divisive battle for 14 years to represent the nation's licensed acupuncturists have re-united as the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM). A press release from the new organization announced that the members of the former American Association of Oriental Medicine and the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance will immediately become members of the new entity. Leaders hope that the unified AAAOM will soon grow into a 10,000 member organization from the presently anemic level of dues paying members.

January 20, 2007

ImageImageMajor Blue Cross Blue Shield Savings from CAM-Oriented PCP Program to be Published in JMPT

In 1999, Integrator sponsor Alternative Medicine Integration Group (AMI) began a unique project through HMO Illinois, a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. Chiropractic doctors originally served as the project's only primary care providers (PCPs) inside a broader network of conventional medical doctors. AMI has since added some integrative MDs and osteopaths to its PCP panel. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics recently accepted for publication a report on seven years and 70,274 member months of AMI experience with BCBS. Utilization data on hospital admissions, lengths of stay, pharmaceutical costs and outpatient surgeries were all between 59% and 85% less than the utilization by the HMO's typical population accessing care through conventional PCPs. This is the second JMPT publication on the project, but the first in which outcomes of other CAM-oriented PCPs are reported.

January 20, 2007

ImageDisquieting Journalistic Ethics: Michael Levin Challenges New York Times and Dietary Supplement Basher Dan Hurley

On January 16, the New York Times published an essay by supplement-bashing author Dan Hurley entitled "Dietary Supplements and Safety: Some Disquieting Data." Michael Levin, an Integrator advisor who has held executive level positions in both pharmaceutical and dietary supplement companies, immediately researched Hurley's core assertions and discredited them. Here is the full letter to the editor which Levin has shipped off to the New York Times. Are clear thinking and accuracy of interest to this staid daily? Truth is presently again a casualty in Hurley's war against supplements.

January 14, 2007 mailing - Issue #19

January 14, 2007

ImageAmerican Association for Health Freedom Strengthens Organization, Steps up Federal and State Action

The American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF), founded in 1992, focuses its federal and state action on protecting access to alternative/integrative medicine and dietary supplements. AAHF sent an early 2007 message announcing organizational growth and a number of significant new initiatives. So what happened? Where did the money come from to stimulate AAHF's new activity? Where will the AAHF focus its federal lobbying work? The Integrator contacted Brenna Hill, AAHP executive director, for some background and clarity on where AAHF is headed in its efforts, as it has clarified the AAHF mission, to "protect the right of the consumer to choose and the practitioner to practice."  The Integrator reflects on the Janus face of our uneasy overlapping of the politics of polarization with the politics of integration.

January 13, 2007

CTCA's Lise Alschuler, ND: pushing ND licensing
Media Scan: NESA/Tufts Partnership, Weil and City of Tucson IM Center, AMA vs NDs in Illinois, Perlman/Massage Study in NYT, elsewhere, plus

Boston Globe: The New England School of Acupuncture and the med school at Tufts are in a unique inter-institutional program on pain management  ...  Arizona Daily Star: The City of Tucson is meeting with Andrew Weil, MD around the possibility of energizing an inner city development with an integrative center ... Chicago Tribune: The MD battle against licensing naturopathic physicians grows in the AMA's home state as NDs push for licensing ... Press Release, Ontario: The government announced a plan to modernize regulation of naturopathic medicine through a college which will also oversee the practice of homeopathy .. New York Times: Results of massage study for arthritis of the knee led by Adam Perlman, MD, MPH creates media buzz ...

January 13, 2007

Karen Koffler, MD to Canyon Ranch, Florida
Brief Notes: Schleich, Koffler, Hayes, Ullman, Brennan, Duggan, Sandman, plus

David Schleich, PhD picked to lead the mothership of modern naturopathic medicine, the now multi-purpose National College of Natural Medicine ... Strong conference turnout for the True North Center conference headed by Bethany Hays, MD, FACOG ... Dana Ullman, MPH is developing a widely-endorsed project that may give homeopathy a major visibility boost ... AMTA selects M.K. Brennan to track toward organization's presidency ... Karen Koffler, MD, back from Israel lands medical director job with Canyon Ranch in Miami ... Tai Sophia Institute earns business ward from Howard County Chamber of Commerce ... Gary Sandman lands key client for his Signature Supplements line ... Next steps for the 100,000 Lives Campaign ...

January 11, 2007

CHP's Chuck Simpson, DC
The Landscape for Managed CAM: Report from Complementary Healthcare Plans, Portland, Oregon

Complementary Healthcare Plans
is Portland, Oregon's home-grown managed complementary care network. Begun as a chiropractic managed care company, the firm added acupuncture, massage therapy and naturopathic medicine services in the late 1990s, then a discount or "affinity" product which includes an array of benefits to employees or members of the corporations and insurers with which CHP contracts. It's largest client is Kaiser Permanente Northwest. The Integrator spoke with Chuck Simpson, DC, a CHP founder and its vice president and medical director about the state of the managed-CAM market in Portland, Oregon.

January 6, 2007

Integrator pub-ed John Weeks
Annual Report to Readers for 2006: Use Trends, Donors, Top Stories, Outreach, plus

The Integrator is now nine months and 18 issues old. This report is to readers and participants based on action in  calendar year 2006. What is the number of readers and users of the site? What articles most caught your interest? Who has "subscribed" or sent along a donation? (Thanks to all who did!) Is the business model functioning and sustainable? What marketing has been engaged and how has it worked? Welcome to the Integrator Annual Report to Readers for 2006.

January 4, 2007

ImageHealth Forum/AHA Offers 5th Annual Conference on Integrative Medicine for Healthcare Organizations - April 2007

The Integrative Medicine for Healthcare Organizations conference sponsored by Health Forum/American Hospital Association is a premier event each year in the complementary and alternative medicine and integrative medicine (CAM/IM) field. The 5th Annual meeting, to be held in San Diego April 12-14, is again organized by Sita Ananth, MHA, who leads CAM for Health Forum. The program includes both beginning, nuts-and bolts presentations and leadership keynotes for the experienced who want to take their operations to a next level. Keynoters include "urban cultural anthropologist" Jennifer James, PhD, and Wayne Jonas, MD, and three hospital CEOs who offer their IM perspectives. Among the presenters is yours truly on the Integrator Top 10 for 2007.

December 30, 2006

ImageWill "Integration Light" by Competing Hospitals Kill Cancer Treatment Centers of America's Plans for an Inpatient Facility?

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) wants to build a 24 bed inpatient facility in the greater Seattle area. But CTCA's application for a Certificate of Need (CON) from the State of Washington Department of Health (DOH) has been twice denied. CTCA, known nationally for its pioneering, integrated cancer treatment, argued that its multi-disciplinary, fully-integrative approach was not available elsewhere in the region. Yet, on review of web-based materials from a list of competing hospitals, the DOH denied CTCA's claim. The Integrator approached this article as a Seattle-area consumer. First, CTCA's deeply integrated web presence is explored. Then we visit websites of the competing hospitals the DOH cited as claiming "comprehensive" or "integrated" programs. Do you agree with the DOH's finding? Might the marketing of integration be an over-statement? Which of these reflect action in your own hospitals. Take a look. Then you decide whether CTCA's plans, and patient choice, are being limited by "integration light?"

For earlier articles, please click below:

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

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