by John Weeks, Publisher Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports   Naturopathic research grouppublishes data on naturopathic primary care based on 300,000 patient visits at teaching clinics   A study led by members of the Naturopathic Physicians Research Institute (NPRI) examined

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports
Naturopathic research grouppublishes data on naturopathic primary care based on 300,000 patient visits at teaching clinics

A study led by members of the Naturopathic Physicians Research Institute (NPRI) examined 300,483 patient visits to naturopathic doctors at the field’s academic teaching clinics. Some demographic findings were: patients were 69% female with a mean age of was 39; seniors totaled 9% of the population and children 8%. The group compared the profile of these settings to national conventional primary care and found a 44% overlap in the most frequent 25 diagnoses for primary care at these settings and conventional settings. Notably, 50% of patients paid out of pocket at naturopathic clinics, versus 4% in conventional centers, and naturopathic clinics more frequently offered discounted care – 26% of visits vs. 0.3%.  These data did not include visits at clinics operated by the schools in community settings. (Disclosure: I serve on the NPRI board.)

Comment: These findings support a key assertion of leaders of naturopathic medicine that these practitioners serve a broad primary care population and can be useful in meeting the nation’s primary care needs. The similarities with typical primary care in this study would likely be stronger if the patients seen at the off-campus settings were included. These clinical education opportunities are meant to broader experience. Students work rotations through community clinics, health centers, schools and other external organizations. These patients, many on Medicaid or Medicare, and thus not cash paying, would show even a greater diversity.

Michael Cohen offers thorough exploration of “fee-splitting” in integrative practice for FON Therapeutics

Lawyer, consultant and yoga teacher Michael Cohen, whose leadership and legal insight into integrative practices goes back to a seminal paper in 1995 has published at FON Therapeutics a thorough review of a key issue in integrative practice models – “fee-splitting.” The perspective is entitled, “Fee-Splitting 101 for MDs and Other Integrative Health Practitioners.” The perspective will be particularly valuable for Californians, where Cohen, a former faculty member at Harvard Medical School, currently resides.

From Google Alerts: Links to Integrative Medicine in Health Systems and Communities from July 2014

This monthly Integrator feature is a quick capture of highlights from the multitude of links that flow in daily via Google Alerts for “integrative medicine,” “complementary and alternative medicine” and “alternative medicine.” It is interesting to see in one month the strong pieces supporting lifestyle for cardio risk, “CAM” during treatment for brain surgery, and “CAM” for MS.  The month was also notable for a number of announcements of new integrative medicine centers or clinics in health systems. Here are 17 selections related to hospitals and medical organizations in integrative medicine, 11 from alternative and integrative medicine in community non-system practices, and 8 developments from around the world for June 26-July 31. 2014.