News, Policy & Economics

FDA to Ban Ephedra, Eyes Other Herbs for Weight Loss

By Janet Gulland | Contributing Writer - Vol. 5, No. 1. Spring, 2004

Citing a number of deaths associated with ephedra, the FDA opted to ban this herb as a dietary supplement for weight loss, and may soon go after similar herbs like Bitter Orange. Herb industry leaders and natural medicine practitioners contend that the deaths were due to abuse, and that when used appropriately under practitioner supervision, the herb is safe.

Integrative Medicine Conference to Focus on Judicious Supplement Use

By Staff Writer - Vol. 5, No. 1. Spring, 2004

The first Integrative Medicine conference, sponsored by InnoVision Communications, will pair MDs with naturopaths and chiropractors to discuss nutritional interventions for a wide variety of common disorders. A preview of an innovative and highly anticipated conference.

District of Columbia Passes Naturopathic Licensure Bill

By Staff Writer - Vol. 5, No. 2. Summer, 2004

Naturopathic doctors (NDs) in the nation's capital can now practice legally as full-scale primary care doctors, thanks to recent passage of a licensure bill within the District. The DC bill follows closely on the heels of a major naturopathic licensure victory in the state of California.

Bridges in Medicine: Making Holistic Medicine Work in the Real World

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 5, No. 2. Summer, 2004

This innovative integrative health clinic, led by Jeffrey Sollins, MD, recently became the first such program in the country to become eligible for Medicare reimbursement. Bridges in Medicine's success is rooted in a spirit of open-mindedness and collegiality among all of the participating healers, and it represents a model for the future of holistic health care.

Holistic Medicine No Longer Left Out in the Code: AMA, Alternative Link Define Payment Codes

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 5, No. 2. Summer, 2004

A national insurance coding system for holistic medicine is on the horizon, a critical first step in facilitating widespread insurance reimbursement for natural medicine. Alternative Link's ABC Code set is being tested in clinics around the country as part of a federally sponsored pilot study. The AMA, which controls the codes for conventional medicine, is also looking into the coding question, and may publish a code set of its own.

Alternative Link's Coding Tools

By Staff Writer - Vol. 5, No. 2. Summer, 2004

A listing of the coding tools and software to support Alternative Link's ABC Code system for insurance reimbursement in holistic health care.

Insurers Need to Open Eyes to Supplement Savings

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 5, No. 2. Summer, 2004

For years, industry consultant Ian Newton has been trying to convince health insurers that they ought to cover multivitamins. To do so, he developed a comprehensive computer modeling system that allows insurance execs to see the kinds of savings and health benefits they would gain. While institutional inertia has prevented most of them from moving, increasing cost pressures are starting to open some eyes.

Collaboration for Healthcare Renewal Hosts Cost Effectiveness Work Group

By Staff Writer - Vol. 5, No. 2. Summer, 2004

The Collaboration for Healthcare Renewal is a cross-disciplinary ad hoc action group dedicated to creating policy that fosters growth of integrative medicine. The organization recently launched a Cost Effectiveness Work Group to gather data showing the cost savings obtained from holistic health care strategies.

Vying for the Vioxx Market: Natural Meds Step into the Breach

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 5, No. 4. Winter, 2004

Merck's recall of its billion-selling COX-2 inhibitor has left millions of former Vioxx users looking for new ways to relieve pain associated with arthritis and other chronic conditions. A number of natural products companies are promoting botanical, nutritional and homeopathic preparations as natural alternatives to Vioxx. How well do they work and will they carry the same risk of cardiovascular side effects? Holistic Primary Care finds out.

Will Medicare Cover Lifestyle Change Programs for CVD Prevention?

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 6, No. 1. Spring, 2005

For the past 28 years, Dr. Dean Ornish and colleagues at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute have been quietly proving that one can reverse atherosclerosis and prevent heart attacks through diet, exercise and stress management alone. The bigger challenge is proving to Medicare and insurers that paying for these sorts of lifestyle programs is money well-spent.