Integrative practice blog features complementary and alternative medicine law

The Integrator Blog, published by John Weeks, featured our blog in an article about legal issues in complementary and alternative medicine.

The Integrator notes:

Cohen & Dumoff partner on web-available IM legal issues programs

I received a call from attorney Michael Cohen, JD, MA while writing this. Cohen ... has been a prolific writer, blogger, and adviser to many for all the years of the "integrative medicine" movement. He notes that his work with legal issues around integrative teams and program has expanded lately to include more spa business: "The clinical care teams of an integrative medicine center share common legal issues with care teams put together in spas (and particular medical spas). Of course, integrative medicine focuses more on clinical care and the spa more on 'aesthetic medical services,' but each will have to deal with common legal issues such as licensure, credentialing, and scope of practice boundaries."


Alan Dumoff, JD, MSW
Alan Dumoff, MSW, JD, another attorney-writer-practitioner who has been instrumental in clarifying the legal foundation for this movement, works with Cohen in an of counsel capacity. Together the two recently gave a continuing education webcast, sponsored by West LegalEd Center, entitled "Medical and Physician Spa Practices: A Practical Guide in Avoiding Costly and Regulatory Mistakes." In September they will offer a second, entitled "When Patients Insist on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: 4 Ways to Help Legally Protect Your Clinical Practice or Hospital." Cohen noted some of the wild legal realities that continue to demarcate the boundaries for integrative care. He adds: "The good news is that we are seeing more and more regulatory activity that acknowledges the shift from conventional care alone, toward encompassing a broader range of healing modalities.

The Integrator also in this issue has a compelling article about the meaning of integrative medicine and whether it is being too narrowly defined in an MD-centric way, as opposed to encompassing the perspectives of other professions. An ND weighs into the debate describing her cross-over into theories from traditional oriental medicine. All this too suggests the increasing importance of paying attention to licensure and scope of practice issues, as integrative care blurs the boundaries between the professions, while legal rules tend to maintain them.