CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Integrating complementary therapies into mainstream medicine

An early report on the IOM meeting discusses integrating CAM therapies into mainstream health care.

There isn't much on legal issues pertaining to complementary medicine and holistic health care here, but a preliminary snapshot of the conversation at the Institute of Medicine suggests that little has changed:

So I'm in DC figuring out how the East coast medical policy elite tries to change the world. While the rest of DC is buzzing about Obama's speech and budget, The Institute of Medicine is having a conference on Integrative Medicine. But most people think it should be called integrative health.

What is integrative health, you ask? Good question.

The majority of the panelists are mainstream health care players like Bill Novelli (AARP), George Halvorson, (Kaiser Permanente), Ralph Snyderman, (Duke). They're talking about integrating coordinated allopathic health care and information across an individual's personal health plan. Snyderman, said we need to move from "find it, fix it" to a "personal health plan". Halvorson said (surprise, surprise) that we need electronic health data on every patient, and to not just replicate the current silos of care in our new data strategy. Novelli went straight at the environmental factors--smoking, fast food et al. And to not ignore them. Mehmet Oz (he of the Oprah show) said that

But many of those I'm seeing in the audience don't think about that aspect of integrative care. Almost all of them are from the world of "complementary and alternative" medicine. There was little on the stage about integrating east and western medicine together, other than a letter read from Prince Charles, whose Foundation is helping to fund this. He's very interested in complementary care, but also suggested that we need better outcomes studies for all types of care.

There are more snippets of reported discussion but the main thrust it seems to me is that the debates that I participated in during the IOM report on CAM use in 2005 are still ongoing and, for the most part, unchanged.

Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen.

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Michael H. Cohen, Esq.; 468 North Camden Dr. | Beverly Hills, California 90210 | 310-844-3173