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Paradigm Change in Integrative Care: Third-party Payment and the Cost-benefit...Plus More

John Weeks

The business of integrative health and medicine poses 2 challenges at the intersection with the dominant school of medicine. One is that the medical industry-in the still prevailing fee-for-service context-benefits from an increase in production of costly surgeries, drugs, and procedures. Thus, it is perversely incented against integrative approaches and practitioners that may reduce needs for these services. (See "AMA's Celebration of MDs' Economic Muscle Exposes Barriers to Integrative Health" in the last issue of IMCJ.) The second challenge, paradoxically, is that concern from these same decision-makers about potential costs that may be incurred is a barrier to access and inclusion of integrative practitioners providing nonpharmacologic services. This issue of IMCJ Industry News provides 3 angles of perspective on these cost issues.

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