American Massage Therapy Association explains its watch and see role toward non discrimination Section 2706 When a colleague shared dismay over what she views as an inactive role of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) relative to the organizing work

American Massage Therapy Association explains its watch-and-see role toward non-discrimination/Section 2706

When a colleague shared dismay over what she views as an inactive role of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) relative to the organizing work in the battle over the interpretation of “non-discrimination in health care”, I sent a query to Chris Studebaker, AMTA’s director of government and industry relations. Studebaker sent the official position statement: AMTA’s Approach to the Affordable Care Act. The statement characterizes AMTA’s work as maintaining and developing relationships relative to key player in Congress and the broader community in a “practical and systematic way.” AMTA president Winona Bontrager states: “Many of us have hopes and interpretations of the law that may not be realistic as it begins to take shape.” The letter lays out their principles for engagement and notes that their August 2013 conference will close with a keynote panel on the topic.

Comment: A problem with the perspective articulated by Bontrager is that what is realistic is precisely a shape-shifting entity that changes as a function of the energy that different individuals and organizations put into
their advocacy.  Here’s hoping AMTA will realize that it needs to take a stronger position of engagement for promoting what will most benefit its tens of thousands of members who are participating not just in feel-good massage but in health care payment and settings. Why not stand tall on a band-wagon for non-discrimination, in the broadest sense? Leave the warnings of too much hope to those whose interest is in dashing hope. 

Naturopathic professional organization sponsors “Naturopathic Medicine Week,” October 7-13, 2013

We’ve got International Herb Day. We have International Integrative Medicine Day. This year the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) has decided that such a visibility strategy will fit its own purposes. The AANP will sponsor Naturopathic Medicine Week October 7-13 as a “tremendous opportunity to celebrate the profession and spread awareness of the benefits of naturopathic medicine to prospective patients, legislators, and the public.” Individual doctors and organizations are urged to host events in their own communities. In a twist on such campaigns, the AANP is seeking a US Senate Resolution to establish Naturopathic Medicine Week. The organization’s site notes that “S. Res. 135 has not been adopted yet but our expectations are that it will.”

Comment: These are good low cost, grassroots, excuses for individual adherents and practitioners to raise a banner in their own communities. Now, let’s see about that Senate resolution.

Cochrane review paper boosts care from midwives: happier Moms, fewer adverse effects

A study reported in NewsDay adds fire to the move toward shifting care of newborns from obstetricians to midwives. According to the article, the research team engaged a systematic review for the Cochrane of 13 studies involving over 16,000 pregnant mothers. They found that “moms-to-be who turned to a small group of midwives instead of a team that included midwives as well as obstetricians and general practitioners were less likely to lose their babies before 24 weeks.” They add: “In addition to being happier with the care they received, these women were also less likely to give birth prematurely, had fewer epidurals and fewer episiotomies (a surgical incision made to prevent vaginal tearing).” The Cochrane review article was published in the British Medical Journal as Midwife led care delivers best outcomes, Cochrane review finds.

Comment: What must add insult to injury is that even having obstetricians on a team with midwives led to worse outcomes. Keep ‘em out of the room, please! This supports the findings of the 2010 Future of Nursing Report from the Institute of Medicine/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: advanced practice nurses, practicing independently, are not only safe. They have better outcomes. What part of the Triple Aim of enhancing patient experience, bettering population health and lowering individual costs is not being advanced here? As noted at the top of this Round-up, obstetricians are backing H.B. 2817 to make sure that their current discriminatory advantages over midwives continue.