by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports 

Data on acupuncture profession from the 2013 Job Task Analysis of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

The Executive Summary Descriptive Demographic and Clinical Practice Profile (from the) NCCAOM 2013 Job Analysis (JTA) again provides a useful portrait of that profession. At least every five years, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) engages a JTA through an elaborate interview process of members of the profession. Just 23% of the roughly 1500 practitioners who participated (70% female) spent 30 or more hours per week in direct patient care. Nearly half (48.8%) work less than 20 directly with patients. Just over one-third indicated that their limited schedules are due to not enough new or returning patients while a slightly higher percent (38%) said the time limits was based on personal choice.  Nearly 6 in 10 work as solo practitioners, with 3% indicating “hospital settings” and 6.5% in integrative medical practices. Of those in some form of group practice that includes non-acupuncturists, 18.4% said they were employees. The median first office call charge was $95 with 9.7% charging over $150. Median follow-up visit was found to cost $70. The practices thus described netted a median before taxes income of $52,000. The NCCAOM concluded that, as compared to the parallel 2008 survey, the types of prac

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports

Data on acupuncture profession from the 2013 Job Task Analysis of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

The Executive Summary Descriptive Demographic and Clinical Practice Profile (from the) NCCAOM 2013 Job Analysis (JTA) again provides a useful portrait of that profession. At least every five years, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) engages a JTA through an elaborate interview process of members of the profession. Just 23% of the roughly 1500 practitioners who participated (70% female) spent 30 or more hours per week in direct patient care. Nearly half (48.8%) work less than 20 directly with patients. Just over one-third indicated that their limited schedules are due to not enough new or returning patients while a slightly higher percent (38%) said the time limits was based on personal choice.  Nearly 6 in 10 work as solo practitioners, with 3% indicating “hospital settings” and 6.5% in integrative medical practices. Of those in some form of group practice that includes non-acupuncturists, 18.4% said they were employees. The median first office call charge was $95 with 9.7% charging over $150. Median follow-up visit was found to cost $70. The practices thus described netted a median before taxes income of $52,000. The NCCAOM concluded that, as compared to the parallel 2008 survey, the types of practice settings appear to be diversifying with income is slowly climbing.

Comment: Most of the data I report here are not essential to a certification commission’s mandate in performing the JTA. NCCAOM has chosen to add these questions for multiple reasons. One is to inform the profession and its diplomats with practice data not available elsewhere. The data are also valuable as part of NCCAOM’s campaign to gain formal status for the profession with the US Department of Labor. (See Application to Bureau of Labor Statistics Submitted.) Credit the NCCAOM and its CEO, Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, CAE, for forward thinking action on both fronts.

 

AIHM offers certification in integrative health for executives and administrators

The emerging Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) has announced that it is offering its “first course and certification in integrative health for executives.”  Entitled a Certification in Integrative Health Administration (CIHA), the program will be held as a post-conference on October 30-31, in San Diego, as part of the AIHM annual continuing education meeting: Science and Connection: A New Era of Integrative Health and Medicine. According to the release, the certification program is “designed for healthcare executives including CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, clinicians, and professionals in marketing, strategic planning, nurse management, as well as supervisors and directors.” Lead developer is author and former hospital executive Nick Jacobs, FACHE. Jacobs was one of the early adopters among hospital executives of an integrative and healing healthcare model. Fee for the course is $1500, with discounts for those attending the whole conference.

Comment: There is definitely a role for a course like this. I am reminded of the early days of hospital integration in the late 1990s when I had the opportunity to co-present at an American Hospital Association meeting with Phyllis Biedess, a former Samaritan Healthplan executive.  Biedess was intimately involved in that organization’s huge investment in the 10,000 square foot Arizona Center for Health and Healing that ultimately collapsed and was turned into a call center. Biedess used a very apt phrase to explain the multiple challenges in creating optimal integrative care. Everything, she said, is “one-off.” Phone and reception, answering a myriad new questions, billing, staffing, use of space, specialty relations, referrals, scheduling, data and outcomes gathering. The list does not end there. Without attention to all of these “one-off” changes, an integrative initiative is unlikely to cement itself in the institution. The AIHM certification program takes on some of what Biedess early-on described. (Disclosure: I am on the board of AIHM.)

 

National Consortium Gathering Endorses Job Task Analysis for Health/Wellness Coaches

Presently over 50,000 individuals claim to be “health and wellness coaches,” though without clear standards defining what the title means. In an August 28, 2014 release, the executive board of the National Consortium for Credentialing Health and Wellness Coaches (NCCHWC) announced that NCCHWC “along with leaders from a variety of health care, medical, nursing and health promotion organizations met in Minnesota to start the process of drafting new training and education standards for the emerging profession of health and wellness coaches.”

The group of professionals represented 20 leading organizations in the health coach space including Duke, Mayo, University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate, the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation, California Institute of Integral Studies, and the International Coach Federation. Among action steps, the group: endorsed a Job Task Analysis that delineates 21 tasks performed by health and wellness coaches; agreed to the need for national certification; recognized that “options for ‘grandfathering'” should be opened. They add: “The development of professional standards by recognized and experienced experts, working within the field, is a milestone event, and a crucial step for the advancement and legitimization of any discipline–one that has been overdue for health and wellness coaching.”

Comment: I am continuously surprised that this group, the work of which began in late September 2010, has not attracted significant philanthropy to pick up and boost this largely labor of love. Instead, work proceeds in the apparently nearly all-volunteer way that typifis the self-maturation and standard-setting processes of the other integrative health and medicine disciplines. Perhaps the health coaches will be stronger for their blood, sweat and tears.

 

IAYT is taking steps to develop a certification program for yoga therapists 

In a September 2, 2014 release, the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) announced that it “has embarked on a multi-year project to develop a process for certifying individual yoga therapists.” The organization adds that “developing this process is a big step for the field of yoga therapy, and it’s important to take the time to do this right.” The goal is to “develop a certification process that is internationally recognized and respected—not only by yoga therapy practitioners and educators steeped in the yoga tradition, but also by practitioners from other healthcare fields with whom yoga therapists work in partnership.” The present task is gathering the resources and the right, diverse set of people to guide the process. The IAYT has established new certification pages on the IAYT website to keep interested parties aware and to help them prepare for the process.

Comment: IAYT, which commenced a similarly measured and ultimately successful 8 years ago to develop its school standards and accreditation processes, has proved itself a master of process and inclusion. (Note that this work with Yoga therapist certification is distinct from the “certification light” that the Yoga Alliance grants yoga teachers.) I have no doubt that IAYT will emerge from this process with this additional cornerstone of professional emergence solid as a, well, cornerstone. At that point the IAYT will be powerfully, if atypically, positioned as a single organization with accreditation and certification under the same roof with its presently robust professional and research activities. Professions split these off from professional associations as they mature. It will be interesting to see if IAYT and the distinct Yoga therapy field will choose adhere to this non-normal path.

 

Institute of Integrative Health moves into health and wellness offerings for its Maryland community

The Institute for Integrative Health (TIIH) has announced a broad series of Health and Wellness Workshops that are available to members of the surrounding Maryland community. These include such topics as healthy cooking, yoga as medicine, and “getting smart about dietary supplements.” The initiative is part of TIIH’s ‘Building Healthy Communities‘ program that also includes the Institute’s “Mission Thrive” and “Green Road Project.” These are seated in the TIIH portfolio amidst earlier TIIH initiatives areas called “Pursue Bold Ideas,” “Convene Forums,” “Train Professionals” and “Advance Research Methods.” The Institute for Integrative Health was founded by Brian Berman, MD and Sue Berman.

Comment: I hadn’t looked in on the TIIH site for some time. This expansion into healthy communities appears to be an ever-larger part of the TIIH portfolio.

 

American Holistic Medical Association offers live streaming of historic (sold-out) conference to students and practitioners of all types, September 18-21

“The American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) is not your grandfather’s MD-dominant organization anymore: NDs, DCs, LAcs, LMTs, CNMs, RNs, NPs, PAs, health coaches, energy workers and students comprise a growing segment of members, and greater than a third of registrants for the AHMA conference are non-MDs.”  This is Steve Cadwell, AHMA’S energetic executive director. He wrote to promote live-streaming of the organization’s historic September 18-21, 2014 conference, which is sold-out for onsite attendance. Cadwell adds that the theme celebrates AHMA’s commitment to an interprofessional approach to health and medicine: Connection & Collaboration: Innovations in Patient Centered Care. A list of speakers and topics is here. Click here for a conference brochure. AHMA recently added access via live video-streaming. Registration is roughly half that for live attendance at the Minneapolis event. Full conference is $279 for practitioners and just $45 for students.

Comment: I am sorry to miss this conference. It promises to be not only compelling from the prospective of the content but also emotionally powerful as the last for the organization. AHMA was founded in 1978 as the home for the new scores of medical doctors who found themselves happily identified with the then news field o “holistic medicine.” AHMA has decided to merge into the new Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (see above). Good for AIHM that this robust, already interprofessional membership, will be rolled in as AIHM’s base.