Integrative Healthcare Policy: A Year in Review (2020)

November 20, 2020

The healthcare industry in the United States—and the laws and policies that regulate the system—was challenged like never before with the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

In previous years, the purpose of this annual update was to summarize the past year’s successes, challenges, and progress in integrative healthcare policy on the national level. However, much like the rest of 2020, which became largely defined by both COVID-19 and ongoing political uncertainty, our update this year has taken a vastly different shape. While we continued to highlight policy that directly impacts integrative medicine, we felt it would be a disservice if we did not feature the initiatives and mandates that target the broader healthcare industry. Therefore, you’ll find many of the items we included affect not only alternative and complementary medicine practitioners but conventional medicine providers as well.

That’s not to say integrative healthcare policy has not made significant progress in the past 12 months. In fact, the past year has only heightened public awareness of the importance of a preventative, whole-person approach to care, and the incredible shortcomings of the traditional “sick care” model. Additionally, we’ve seen expansion in scope of practice, telemedicine, and insurance reimbursement that opened the door to many opportunities for integrative practitioners to make a difference. Further, while state-level legislation regarding licensing and regulation has largely been put on pause until 2021, the efforts made in 2020 will have significant implications going forward and could offer exciting possibilities in the future.

As agents for change, it has never been more important to remain at the forefront of integrative healthcare policy. We hope you find this resource useful in your endeavors.

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