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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 #82 & #83 - Nov-Dec 2010
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Issues #82 & #83 - Nov-Dec 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Issues #82 and #83 - November-December 2010

Issue #83 - January 11, 2011

January 7, 2011

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up #39: January 2011

Change in CPT codes relative to payment for time could be major opening for integrative, life-changing practices ... Acupuncturists credentialed for embryo transfer unit at Colorado hospital ... 25 news items on cost, cost-savings, and economics of integrative care in 2010 ...  Draft National Prevention Strategy needs community response to maintain law's inclusion of integrative care, integrative practices ... Chiropractors mount strong response on need for more inclusion in accountable care organizations (ACOs) ... Weil Foundation support IM program for medical students ... Bastyr's Simkin Center furthers work of doulas, other natural childbirth support practitioners ... UCSF Osher Center for integrative medicine moves into large new facility, receives $2.5-million challenge grant ... Naturopathic accrediting agency gains 5 year approval ... ALLEGRA certificate programs recognized by holistic nurses, others ... Results from Ping Ho's UCLArts & Healing drumming program for at risk students featured in Time ... Council for Responsible Nutrition and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in significant partnership on supplements, promotion of role of nurses ... Controversy on IOM recommendations on Vitamin D ... Donna Karan reviews Urban Zen partnerships for 2011 ... Homeopaths ring bell at NASDAQ. That's right ... Some integrative health Top 10 lists for 2010 ... Ernst gets bottom-feeder award .. Molly Roberts, MD is AHMA president-elect .. Kathi Kemper, MD publishes ADD Naturally ... In Memoriam: Elizabeth "Lisa" Kimbrough Pradhan, MPH, PhD More

January 4, 2011

Chiropractors Ask CMS to Reconsider Their Roles in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services called for comments on guidelines for Accountable Care Organizations, the chiropractic profession responded with strength. Over 30 DC organizations filed responses. That of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is printed in full here. The ACA's case Is one that other licensed "CAM" and integrative practitioner groups might have made had they responded: the circle of provider types in ACOs is too small. Notably, the ACA has also been involved in tracking and responding to similar guidelines from the NCQA. More

January 4, 2011

ALERT+: Comments until 1/13 on "National Prevention Strategy" plus Samueli Institute and ABMP Views

This posting alerts you to a comment period until January 13, 2011 on the draft "National Prevention Strategy." The law behind this process represents the most significant inclusion of "integrative health care" in federal policy. Yet the draft Strategy only poorly reflects the health promoting or health-focused clinical strategies of integrative practices. Participation is critical. Perspectives of the Samueli Institute and Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals on the framework that birthed the strategy are included here. Each will offer you or your organization useful starting points. More organizations need to weigh in. The draft plan does not reflect the principles and value of integrative health care. Consider sending your responses to the Integrator for future community reflection. Be heard! More
December 29, 2010

Cost and Economics of Integrative Healthcare in 2010: 25 Brief Articles

A review of 2010 Integrator content found 25 articles that directly relate to cost and economics issues. Medicare. Duke's personalized program. Direct access to chiropractors in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. CAM practitioners and Washington state insurers. Medicaid. Non-discrimination. Ornish and Pritikin in Medicare. Sebelius' views. Business viability for licensed acupuncturists. Whole practice naturopathic care for Canada Post employees. Supplement sales. Allina's in-patient program. Massage practice trends. Some of the 24 report research studies, others policy action, some marketplace reports. The articles are gathered here with links to primary sources. I follow with brief commentary. More

December 29, 2010

Columnist Michael Levin: Compilation of 4 Years of Integrator Commentaries & Perspectives  

Making the cost case. A decade ago, now Integrator adviser and columnist Michael Levin and I connected on this theme. Levin's passion for the topic was, and remains, informed by experience of conventional medical stakeholder perspectives, in part due to his own background as executive with pharma, medical devices and more recently, with supplement companies. Presently a consultant to the field, Levin published his first Integrator column in January 2007 and has fashioned 20 columns and short commentaries since. His contributions are frequently stimulated by news items that underscore the importance of the economic argument for integrative and wellness practices. A second regular theme relates to issues surrounding natural products. Levin's value to the Integrator is less visible but also considerable in the numerous news items and studies he has sent my way through the years. It is a pleasure to make his contributions visible. Take a look!

December 21, 2010

Coming of the Light: Top 10 Events & Actions from 2010 for Integrative Medicine/Integrated Health Care

On or about the winter solstice, the Integrator publishes a Top 10of  actions, events and trends from the previous year which will support the coming of the light for integrative practice in the New Year. This column is paired with a separate Top 10 people from 2010. Here is the Integrator Top 10 for integrative policy, practice, research and professional activity. Just 9 are listed. What are your suggestions for #10? Thanks to the individuals behind the good work. Happy reading, and reflecting, on the year that was as we look ahead. More

December 21, 2010

Integrator Top 10 People in Integrative Medicine/Integrated Health Care from 2010

While reviewing recent issues of the Integrator to draft the Top 10 actions and events from 2010, I created a second list of individuals who had been, or were about to, be significant contributors to the integrative practice field. Of course there is overlap between key events and influential individuals. Yet this list of Top 10 People from 2010 took on a life of its own. As is the Integrator custom, this Top 10 only counts 9, leaving space for your nomination of others who have distinguished themselves, or are about to. Who would you suggest? Who is the obvious or less obvious omission? Happy reflections on the year that was, and on the year to come. More

Issue #82 December 7, 2010

December 7, 2010

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up #38: December 2010

IOM Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education includes Rick Marinelli, ND, LAc and integrative MD Lonnie Zeltzer ... Did integrative practice organizations step up to participate in federal policy comment periods on prevention, benefits plans and ACOs? ... Comparative cost analysis of Blue Cross Blue Shield Tennessee low back pain data finds 20%-40% savings via using chiropractors first ... Spine comparative effectiveness analysis also thumbs up for chiropractors ... Primer on strategies for cost analysis of "CAM" published ... World Health Organization publishes benchmarks for training TCM, NDs, DOs, others ... Certified Professional Midwives push for Medicaid inclusion ... Mark McKenzie, LAc offers "progress report" for AOM field ... George Lundberg column shows battle over independent practice by non-MDs ... Samueli Institute in major wellness role at Big Task Weekend ... Alliance for Massage Therapy Educators publishes results of survey on standards ... AANP exec Karen Howard lays out federal priorities for naturopathic doctors ... AHRQ-publishes report that finds only modest value for CAM in back/neck pain ... Little headway in battle against medical errors, medical deaths ... Massage researcher Tracy Walton offers candid comment when major integrative pediatrics trials comes up negative ... Fox Business pumps integrative medicine ... AMA board chair Ardis Hoven, MD promotes interprofessional collaboration, with MDs in the center ... Walgreens seeks to "own 'well'" ... Barrie Cassileth's International Integrative Medicine conference ... Integrative Healthcare Symposium likely to draw over 1500 in New York ... Peter D'Adamo's Institute for Human Individuality to focus on "Generative Medicine" at May 2011 meeting ... Vanessa Esteves takes position with Elements Wellness. More

November 29, 2010

Alert: Comments Due on Essential Health Benefits (12/06) and CMS "Innovation"/Accountable Care Organizations (12/03)

Readers inform that 2 additional comment deadlines are coming up on key health reform developments. Of most importance: What are processes in clarifying the "Essential Health Benefits" package under the new law? Will this reflect the non-discrimination language in Section 2706? Will historic, discriminatory practices prevail? The IOM seeks comment for this study requested by US Health & Human Services. Then, for those of you who wish to get integrative practice/medicine/CAM into thinking on Medicare "innovation" and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), a comment period on preliminary standards for ACOs ends December 3, 2010. Here is summary background on each of these and information about how and where to respond. More

November 23, 2010

Integrator Columnist Taylor Walsh: Compilation of Writings Since 2007

Integrator readers have benefited from the research, commentary and reporting of Taylor Walsh since early mid-2007. The former software entrepreneur presently consults and writes on integrative health and digital media. Based in Washington, DC, Walsh combines two passions that are of immense benefit to Integrator readers. He sees the importance of transformation of our medical system and the value of integrative practice philosophies and model in that process. In addition, Walsh has a good old-fashioned passion for Beltway politics. His coverage of developments at the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and in the rapid rise of comparative effectiveness research (CER) have proved particularly useful. Here is the assemblage of his commentary and columns. More

November 23, 2010

Columnist Taylor Walsh Reports on Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) in Oncology Summit

The advancing comparative effectiveness research (CER) agenda of the Obama era has been linked to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) since the IOM weighed in on the topic in June 2009. The health reform law specifically included integrative practices and practitioners in CER planning and an integrative care researcher was appointed to panel leading what will be a multi-billion dollar national initiative. Most recently, the NIH NCCAM cites CER interest as a prime mover toward "real world research." The Integrator has followed the evolving story, in part through the fine reporting Beltway-based reporter Taylor Walsh. Here is Walsh's report on the "National Leadership Summit on CER Priorities, Methods and Policy: Transforming Oncology through Comparative Effectiveness Research" led by Sean Tunis, MD, MSc. Walsh focuses on the dialogue on the patient-involved strategies for CER. He also reflects on CER's origins, and the recent work from Stanford's John Iioannidis, MD, DSc that suggests flaws in 90% of the research medical research informing medical education and clinical opinion. (Unfortunately, the integrative practice community did not seem to be present at this summit.) More

November 22, 2010

Historic Moment for Integrative Medical Practice: Alan Gaby, MD Publishes Long-Awaited Nutritional Medicine

Few practitioners of integrative medicine who use nutritional agents have not benefited from the teachings of Yale-educated integrative clinician Alan Gaby, MD. The publication of Gaby's long-awaited 1374 page Nutritional Medicine, the product of 30 years of research and analysis, ranks as a historic moment for the field. Here is a look at the book, informed by Gaby's clinical practice with over 6,000 patients. I share comments from Integrator adviser Bill Manahan, MD, Jonathan Wright, MD, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, on the power of this textbook. Gaby believes that the book has significant public health applications. Manahan thinks comprehending Gaby's value means recalling William Osler, MD. Wright urges a forward-thinking conventional medical school to scoop Gaby up and honor him with a professorship. I contacted Gaby to catch up with him on this turning point in his life and conclusion of a record-long gestation period. What did Gaby's medical doctor father think of him embracing this medical direction more than 3 decades ago? Pizzorno's advice to clinicians is simple: "Buy Nutritional Medicine now. You'll use it every day." More

November 22, 2010

AMA Ownership of the CPT Codes: Perspective from Executives at ABC Codes, the "Alternative Link"

For those in the integrative practice movement for over a decade, the subject of coding cannot be considered without the thought of a new Mexico-based business originally known as Alternative Link, and its founder Melinna Giannini. This business declared early that understanding the value of these therapies and fields would require a coding set that appropriately reflected them. In a long and exacting labor, the firm developed the ABC Codes, morphed into ABC Coding Solutions and developing products for not just "CAM" but for nursing (where many also chaff at the CPT) and Dubai Healthcare City. I contacted Giannini for comment and an update. Here is the column she co-authored with Mathias Kaesebier, the firm's executive vice president. At risk with current CPT coding, they argue, are health reform initiatives relative to non-discrimination and comparative effectiveness research. More

November 15, 2011

Alert: Comments Due 12/05 on "Integrative Health Care" in Nation's New Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy

If you care what "integrative health care" might mean in the nation's plans for health, wellness and prevention, the time is now for input. Three of the top 4 purposes of the National Prevention and Health Promotion Council established under the Obama-Pelosi healthcare overhaul explicitly reference "integrative health care." That Council has issued its "Draft Framework" for a "National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy." December 5, 2010 is the last day for input. The framework envisions "moving the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention." But does the framework adequately reflect the principles and value of "integrative health care"? What additions or amendments to this framework are needed? Share yours with the Surgeon General and the Council. Consider sending them here to the Integrator to share community perspectives. More

November 11, 2010

Health Coaching: Sheila Quinn and Jamey Dyson, DC Challenge Naysayer on Role in Integrative Practices

The Integrator has closely followed the work to set standards and national certification in health coaching led by professionals from Harvard and U Minnesota. The coverage stimulated Chris Johnson, ND to write a column in which be noted that he was "disturbed" by the focus. He shared his reasons: scientific, philosophical and economic. His comments provoked these two response columns. One is from Sheila Quinn, a 30+ year veteran of significant educational and policy initiatives in integrative care. The second is from Oregon chiropractor and Certified Chiropractic Wellness Practitioner. Dyson wonders, among other things, how widespread are Chris Johnson's views in the naturopathic community. More
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