Recently in Health Care Reform - A GREAT Surprise Category
In a recent decision memorandum by The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity (CAG-00423N), CMS determined that potentially lifesaving and risk reducing preventive services for Obesity could only be furnished by primary care providers in the primary care setting (i.e. MDs, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, and Physicians' Assistants). Interesting that all these practitioners are also part of the care team for surgical /obesity patients or patients treated with pharmaceuticals. None of them qualify as nutrition experts.
The Health Care Reform Bill (HCRB) has passed, and although we may all not agree on it, we can move forward to a place where the majority does agree !! : )
Believe it or not, there are steps in place to create more of a Holistic Integrative Heath System.
As we all know, the HCRB will insure that every US citizen will be able to have &/or retain health insurance, despite their personal &/or employment situation. The current details are much about making sure everyone is covered. This will greatly decrease cost to all of us for covering the services provided to people that do not have coverage. These services soon be covered by health care insurance companies.
What you may not know is there are many people working hard to created more of a holistic health care system that will support prevention, wellness and the recovery of chronic conditions and disease(s), rather than just the very high cost of "management of disease." There is much continued work currently going on with HCRB to create more real reform pertaining to what is covered, rather than mere "coverage". We all need to realize our part because now more than ever it is important we do what we can to make our voices heard and thus making are government representatives accountable.
The Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) is a group that has been working on Capital Hill since 2002.
This organization presented at the "Integrative Healthcare Symposium" (IHS) in February 2010 in New York City, which I attended.
This group of health care professionals have played a large role in ensuring that the health care reform bill addressees preventive and integrative care
3 Major Aspects of the HCRB that the IHPC helped create:
#1- The definition of the healthcare workforce was amended so that it now officially includes, "Licensed Complementary and Alternative Medicine Providers and Integrative Healthcare Practitioners."
#2- IHPC was a collaborator on the creation of the Wellness Initiate for the Nation (WIN), which is a document that prompted the inclusion of the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council.
#3- IHPC worked to get the Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research in the bill. This will allow functional medicine (see blog on definition of Functional Medicine) approaches to be evaluated side by side with conventional medicine.
At the IHS meeting, Dr. Janet Kahn, executive director of IHPC indicated this health care reform bill is the start of a process to help us attain what mostly everyone in this nation wants, needs and very much deserves - a nation that really understands how to help people live healthy and happy lives, and that supports the availability of the many different pathways to healing. They want to help people learn more about their unique state of health, and find out how to discover the unique cause(s) of their issue - whether it be overweight, attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, etc, and fix it, resolve it. I was fortunate to find this during my first encounter with functional medicine and nutrition experts over 10 years ago. ANd now, I continue to practice this with my clients.
Please take a few moments to help move this work forward by joining the IHPC Online Action Network - it is free. By joining the network, you will receive updates and insider information about how IHPC is continuing this commitment to true health care reform. You will receive opportunities to communicate directly with Congress and the Obama administration; and you will be able to provide critical feedback on strategy and priorities of this work. And most importantly, IHPC will be working every day on behalf of you, myself, and all of us who believe in functional medicine, preventive medicine, and integrated health care.
Please take action now and join the network by going to http://capwiz.com/ihpc/mlm/verify
IHPC has done amazing work in 2009. Consider supporting the work ahead with a donation today.