CAM Research

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Integrating Evidence-based and Cost-effective CAM into the Health Care System [PDF]

This is a great write-up about the effectiveness and usefulness of complementary and alternative medicine (most notably, massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care and naturopathic medicine). I was going to make some bullet points about its best points and statistics, but it’s all really fascinating.

It’s a short and concise read too, so if you’re at all interested in the ways CAM can help resolve issues of healthcare cost, access and quality (and you should be interested, because it’s important!), I’d definitely recommend checking this out.

Ok, here’s one point they bring up. In 1996, the state of Washington mandated coverage for services provided by all of the state’s licensed health care providers. That means that massage therapists and naturopathic physicians are covered in insurance policies just like medical doctors.

In a recent analysis of claim costs for Washington (seeing if and how this new law changed anything), researchers found that “among insured patients with back pain, fibromyalgia, and menopause symptoms, after minimizing selection bias by matching patients who use CAM providers to those who do not, those who use CAM will have lower insurance expenditures than those who do not use CAM.” (emphasis mine). Like, $9.4 million lower (for the 26,466 CAM users in the study). Whoa.

Seriously, though, read the whole article.

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