Integrative Healthcare Policy: A Year in Review (2021)
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 the last year, as the virus continued to grow and evolve, healthcare providers faced navigating not only an unprecedented global pandemic, but figuring out a path forward for the industry.
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. This included key laws, actions, and other influential statements by both federal government and quasi-governmental agencies. The focus was on practitioners and their patient practices, as well as nutrition and product-related regulations that directly affected integrative practitioners. In addition, we did our best to outline any significant progress made on the state level, specifically regarding licensing, mandates, and inclusion in state-specific legislation. In 2020, which became largely defined by both COVID-19 and ongoing political uncertainty, our update took a vastly different shape. While we continued to highlight policy that directly impacted integrative medicine, we felt it would be a disservice if we did not feature the initiatives and mandates that targeted the broader healthcare industry. Our 2021 report maintains this approach.
That’s not to say integrative healthcare policy has not made significant progress in the past 12 months. In fact, industry leaders are setting the stage for a post-pandemic world. With new political leadership falling into place, opportunities to address racial inequities, social determinants of health, and interdisciplinary collaboration have presented. The time has never been better for integrative medicine to take center stage, and developments in healthcare policy and regulation are reflective of this.
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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