News, Policy & Economics

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.

Esalen Summit: Confronting the Barriers to Humanistic Healthcare

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 6, No. 2. Summer, 2005

Successful collaborations between conventional MDs and practitioners of natural medicine are still rare. Leaders of major associations representing both conventional and holistic health professionals met at California's Esalen Institute to confront the political, economic and personal roadblocks to greater collaboration and a more humanistic healthcare system.

Toward a Dignitarian Healthcare System: Reckoning with "Rankism" in Medicine

By Staff Writer - Vol. 6, No. 2. Summer, 2005

Abuse and discrimination based on differences in rank is widespread in our society, and medicine is no exception. Robert Fuller, noted author of Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank, discusses rank abuse in healthcare and offers a vision of a more humane system that preserves the practical strengths of hierarchical organizations while ensuring human dignity.

A Nation of Elders: Meeting the Challenge of the Age Wave

By Erik L. Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 6, No. 3. Fall, 2005

With the elderly population growing rapidly and birth rates flat, health care and social services for older Americans could very well bankrupt the country by 2030. Economist Laurence Kotlikoff predicts a major economic crisis unless we radically change health care financing and shift from disease care to disease prevention.

Winterizing Your Patients' Immune Systems

By Roby Mitchell, MD | Contributing Writer - Vol. 6, No. 4. Winter, 2005

There's a lot physicians can do to help people fend off the flu besides doling out flu shots. Roby Mitchell, MD, aka Dr. Fitt, offers some outside-the-box thinking and practical suggestions.