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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 #33-#34- Sept 2007
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Issues #33-#34- Sept 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Issues #33 & #34 - September 2007

September 28, 2007 mailing - Issue #34

September 28, 2007

Richard Nahin, PhD, MPH, health services leader at NCCAm
Making Amends: Studies of Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of CAM Represent Less Than 1% of NCCAM Budget

Are effectiveness and cost-effectiveness the most useful questions about natural healthcare and integrative medicine? My guess is that for consumers, employers, government agencies and policy makers, the answer is undeniably yes. Not so the NIH. Since 2002, just 1% of the principal grant making at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has targeted these questions. The Integrator reported last issue on an exciting new NCCAM initiative which may begin to address this awful shortcoming. Here are the supporting data and the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine that are behind the new NCCAM program as presented by Richard Nahin, PhD, MPH, the NCCAM officer in charge of this program. More ...

September 28, 2007

Entrepreneur Taylor Walsh
Your Comments
: On integrating the ABHM faculty, CAM ghettos and an argument that CAM is poised for rapid growth

Bill Manahan, MD, a former president of the American Board of Holistic Medicine believes it's time from the ABHM to integrate its faculty ... Bill Wulsin, ND, LAc, MPH (cand.) questions whether the arguments made in an Integrator article by author Paul Loeb (The Impossible Will Take a Little While) will convince anyone of the value of an alliance of CAM disciplines which they see as a "CAM ghetto"  ...  Integrative oncology organizer Ann Fonfa wonders at the ghetto created when separate officers were set up in the NIH ... Entrepreneur Taylor Walsh, makes a case for the complementary/integrative space being poised for lift off ... More ...

September 19, 2007

Mary and Michael Morton
Brief Notes: Charitable Organizations & Philanthropy in Integrative Medicine & Natural Health Care

Vitamin Relief USA, operating in 300 sites in 33 states, expands reach and programs with change of name to Nourish America ... An in-school program organized by naturopathic physicians is featured in the Institute for Alternative Futures' newsletter for IAF's high profile Disparities Reducing Advances Project ... The 63-year-old Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research changes leadership and embraces new evidence-based resource project ... Acupuncturists Without Borders engages Veteran's project ... Natural Doctors International, led by Tabatha Parker, ND, to expand to 4 new countries, plus. More ...

September 19, 2007

Brief Notes:  Professional Organization Action in Integrative Medicine and Natural Health Care

American Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine pushes acupuncture codes at WHO ICD meetings ... American Holistic Nurses Association and American Nurses Association publish holistic nursing text ... Leaders of homeopathic organizations see outreach power in Dana Ullman, MPH's book on famous people who have used homeopathy ... American Association of Naturopathic Physicians to assist US Department of Labor in definition project ... Multi-disciplinary Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium reports plan to push anti-discrimination legislation at the federal level ... American Massage Therapy Association media campaign awarded ... American Holistic Medical Association leader reports satisfaction with legislation passed in Louisiana in 2002 which protects integrative and holistic practices by MDs. More ...

September 15, 2007

ImageAAAOM Analysis: Neither Practitioners Nor Educational Institutions Exempt from FDA's cGMPs

Recent Integrator columns have explored the meaning of the FDA's current Good Manufacturing Practices for dietary supplements. But what impact will these cGMPs have on the actions of individual practitioners who prepare products for their patients? Might they influence educational programs and institutions where instruction in herbal preparations, for instance, may be part of the clinical practicum? The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) recently sent its members advance notice of the AAAOM's analysis of these issues. Their answers are yes, and yes, with caveats. Here are the AAAOM's key points. More ...

September 15, 2007

ImagePhilanthropy: Is the Bravewell Collaborative for Integrative Medicine Losing Steam? - A Leadership Analysis, 2003-2007

On receiving an invite to the November 8, 2007 Pioneers of Integrative Medicine Award Event of the Bravewell Collaborative, a Bravewell observer contacted the Integrator with a question. Hasn't the Bravewell board changed significantly? Hasn't it shrunk? The question is interesting for two reasons. The Bravewell has had a profound influence in seeding and nurturing the MD-centric part of the broader integration movement. And payment of the Bravewell's $50,000 per year of dues earns one a seat on the board. I took a look at the list of the boards in the invitations to the Bravewell events for 2003, 2005 and 2007. Here are the comparative lists and a little analysis and speculation. More ...

September 13, 2007 mailing - Issue #33

September 13, 2007

ImagePure Blog: NCCAM to Examine "the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of CAM as Practiced in Community Settings"

Time for congratulations. On September 5, 2007, the National Advisory Council to the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) affirmed a concept paper for a new program. Finally, NCCAM will support "those studies examining the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of CAM as practiced in community settings." Here is the concept paper, some commentary - appropriated from Dr. Seuss - and the link. There is much to be pleased about here.More...

September 13, 2007

ImageGuest Rohleder:  Meeting Patient Needs Links Successful Models of Massage Envy, Group Visit and Community Acupuncture

Is the growth of the $90-million Massage Envy due to the same principle as that of group visits and community room acupuncture - meeting patient needs? Lisa Rohleder, LAc, co-founder of Community Acupuncture Network and co-owner of Working Class Acupuncture, offers a provocative perspective in response to two recent Integrator articles. She uses author Paul Hawken, in his influential new book, Blessed Unrest as a reference.  Then Rohleder presents the struggle to create successful business models in complementary healthcare as "a function of two classic attributes of adolescence: an unstable identity and extreme self-centeredness." Might deeper connection with a service mission help integrative and natural healthcare models to thrive? More ...

September 12, 2007

James Rehberger, DC
Reimbursement and Complementary Medicine: Learning from Chiropractic Leader Rehberger and the ACA's Efforts

Of the licensed natural healthcare professions, chiropractic has far and away the most third-party coverage. That profession's inclusion, despite a hostile environment, is a function of an ongoing campaign involving education, litigation, legislation and relationship-building. James Rehberger, DC is chair of the Insurance and Managed Care Committee for the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). I interviewed Rehberger about the outcomes of ACA's multi-year campaign to better relationships with insurers. I also asked about action related to discount products, health savings accounts, battles with the CAM network American Specialty Health Plans and the endorsement by another national association of a managed care company, Alternative Medicine Integration Group. More ...
September 10, 2007

Lee Lipenthal, MD, ABHM board member
Integrative Holistic Medicine: ABHM's Lipsenthal on Why Only MDs Teach for the Board Certification

Following a recent notice on the upcoming Scripps/American Board of Holistic Medicine (ABHM) conference, I commented on the emergence of the "integrative holistic doctor." I then noted how the educational content which leads to certification by the ABHM is delivered entirely by MDs. I asked if this is appropriate since the mission and principles statements associated with both Scripps and ABHM speak directly to the importance of being able to work with practitioners from other disciplines and systems. Lee Lipsenthal, MD, an ABHM board member wrote back with an explanation. More ...

September 9, 2007

Image$90-Million Massage Enterprise, Massage Envy, Turns to Employee Benefits Market

The struggle to create successful business models in complementary healthcare appears to have been licked by Scottsdale, Arizona-based Massage Envy. The 5-year-old firm, which offers convenient and inexpensive massages, anticipates generating $90-million in 2007 at its 265 franchises. Some 15-20 more franchises are opening each month. Recently the firm began marketing their memberships as an employee benefit to the 2500 corporate members of Wellness Councils of America. The model has some parallels in cost, convenience and access with the Community Acupuncture Network business model. Is Massage Envy an example of the emergence of a "thriving industry of health creation?" More ...

September 8, 2007

Kjersten Gmeriner, MD
Interview: Holistic Leader Kjersten Gmeiner, MD on the Fit of "Group Visits" with Holism

Kjersten Gmeiner, MD is a "group visit" leader with Group Health Cooperative. Gmeiner, a board member of the American Holistic Medicine Association, and believes that this "innovative practice model" - which is being implemented at systems like Cleveland Clinic and Kaiser Permanente - is a particularly good fit for holistic practitioners: "If you have an educational or patient empowerment focus, group visits are it." In this Integrator interview, Gmeiner describes her incorporation of group visits in her practice, touches on the national movement and speaks of the particular fit with whole person, integrative and holistic healthcare. More ...

September 7, 2007

Michael Levin
Integrator Adviser Levin on Dietary Supplements and the FDA's cGMPs: What  Defines "Quality?" - a 2nd Look

Integrator adviser Michael Levin continues with his analysis and commentary on the
current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) finally published by the US Food and Drug Administration. In this take, Levin looks at how the industry and the FDA have defined "quality" and finds out they are not aligned. What does this mean for practitioners and consumers? Levin brings it all home for ginger lovers with his analysis of a July 2007 action on imported ginger by a California regulatory agency. He credits AHPA, the herb industry organization, for its demand that the FDA set the bar higher, and offers a forecast. More ...
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