A new RAND report, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Professions or Modalities? examines the state of CAM/integrative practice and the barriers they face to greater use and to reimbursement, and offers options for resolving some of them.
The report sub-title points to the important areas where those barriers present difficulty: “Policy Implications for Coverage, Licensure, Scope of Practice, Institutional Privileges, and Research.”The report was written by two of the most experienced researchers in the CAM/integrative health field: Patricia M. Herman, ND, PhD, RAND Senior Behavioral Scientist and Ian D. Coulter Ph.D., RAND/Samueli Chair for Integrative Medicine. The CAM professions, they write, are too often defined politically — by treatment modalities — rather than by their full professional and licensed scopes, which ultimately prevents those licenses being honored in insurance coverage.
Among the report highlights:
Employers have high incentive to improve individual health * CAM professions must educate patients, conventional providers, employers and policymakers about care options and potential benefits * All providers need to work in multi-professional, multimodal teams * CAM professions must work collaboratively toward mutual goals * Significant barriers remain to incorporation of the professions in federal and state laws and regulations.