Healthcare professional resource featuring the most recent developments in Integrative Healthcare policy, research, education and news, courtesy of John Weeks and the Integrator Blog

Centered Outcomes Research Institute draft plan comment period ends March 15: No CAM-IM presently noted 

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has called for comment on the new agency’s draft plan. The comment period ends March 15, 2012.  PCORI was established under the Affordable Care Act in part to promote comparative effectiveness research (CER). The plan shares methods through which the new quasi-public agency is expected to dispense over $600-million a year in research funds. The agency has been viewed by some in the integrative practice community as potentially more open that the National Institutes of Health to the kind of pragmatic research that may capture the whole practices of integrative care. However, the draft plan includes no references to complementary and alternative or integrative medicine, practice or practitioners. Go to this link to read PCORI’s 22 page plan. Go to this site for PCORI’s online public response form

Comment: Through my work with the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), I have been involved with a team in tracking PCORI activity. Inside ACCAHC, we take the position that, at this point in the evolution of U.S. health care, if “complementary and alternative medicine” and “integrative medicine” or “integrative health” are not explicitly included in a guidance document, these practices and disciplines are not likely to be in the minds of readers as part of any recommendations or future actions. We have urged explicit inclusion in two prior responses and September 2011 when two of us had a chance to present to the Board of Governors

There is significant precedent for explicit inclusion. A June 2009 Federal Coordinating Council report on CER listed “complementary and alternative medicine” as a topic for CER. More importantly, the March 2010 Congressional mandate in Section 6301 of the Affordable Care Act that established PCORI explicitly states that a “state-licensed integrative health practitioner” should be among the members of the Board of Governors and that an “expert advisory panel” should include “experts in integrative health.” This draft plan lacks any direct references. Time to get the language in there. Go here to comment.