Fox Business anoints integrative medicine”Integrative medicine may be just what the doctor ordered” is the title of the November 19, 2010 article  in Fox Business. The article references programs at Harvard, Duke, Atlantic Health Systems, and elsewhere. The author providess

Fox Business anoints integrative medicine

“Integrative medicine may be just what the doctor ordered” is the title of the November 19, 2010 article  in Fox Business. The article references programs at Harvard, Duke, Atlantic Health Systems, and elsewhere. The author providess a generally positive review, with one quote from a nay-sayer. About the Atlantic integrative medicine program, the author writes:

“Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Atlantic Health System is also democratizing IM at its four residential community locations. ‘We knew we were making strides when we received the recognition and support of our cardiac surgery team, who acknowledged that their patients were getting relief,’ says Emilie Rowan, manager of integrative health at Atlantic Health. ‘The docs started to refer patients to us.'”

 

AMA leader stresses value of “physician-directed” inter-professional collaboration

American Medical Association board of trustees chair Ardis D. Hoven, MD, an internist from Lexington, Kentucky, recently weighed in on the importance of interprofessional collaboration. The title of her AMA Leader Commentary in American Medical News on October 18, 2010 was “Quality care follows when health professionals collaborate.” The column starts well:

“When each one is an expert in his or her own field and all are trained to work toward a mutual goal, individual contributions are magnified, and results are more than a single person could ever achieve.”

Hoven promotes “broad-based collaborative teams as a next step in American health care.” She lists numerous positive applications for teams, from Accountable Care Organizations to medical homes to hospital-based infection control. Again: “When physicians, hospitals, nurses, technicians, patient advocates and others collaborate, they can help prevent costly hospital admissions and keep patients from cycling between nursing homes and hospitals.” Hoven is clear about who should be running the collaboration: “I believe physician-led multidisciplinary collaborations are going to play a big role as American health care evolves in the coming years.” (Italics added.)

Comment: Hoven’s column was circulated to me by colleagues promoting inter-professional education as a means of creating mutual respect and understanding between the disciplines. Most were excited to see this apparent openness from the top of the AMA. The willingness to consider teamwork, and acknowledge a need to work on it, is a step in the right direction. But there is clearly no room here for chiropractors, nurses, naturopathic doctors, AOM professionals or any non-MD to be leaders of the collaborative teams. The extraordinary Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee data showing 20%-40% cost-savings when patients first access chiropractors, and reported in this Round-up, is one example of the value that may not be accrued by our health system unless we allow other practitioner types as team leaders. The Institute of Medicine’s report on the future of nursing makes the case for hte importance of nurse-led teams. The era of collaboration in US medicine may actually begin only after MDs let go of their belief in their necessary centrality.  No one likes playing with anyone who says it’s my ball, so collaborate by my rules, especially when evidence to support ball-taking is scant. Wouldn’t it be nice if the AMA decided it was time for a Tai chi move, rather than Western pugilism? Might the AMA lead best by empowering others to leadership?

   

Walgreens wants to “own ‘well'” says CEO

“We are evolving into a retail health and daily living store … We want to own ‘well.'” So spoke Walgreen’s CEO Greg Wasson in an early November presentation to Wall Street analysts and investors. The company, says Wasson, wants “to capitalize on what he called the ‘retailization’ of the nation’s health care system,” according to this account in Chicago Business. The emphasis of his pitch was on health and wellness and an expanding role for pharmacists. 


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