March 9, 2011

Advancing Integrative Health and Medicine

IHS supports the professional communities in Complementary, Integrative and Functional Medicine and other stakeholders who are planning to develop integrative health capabilities in the following ways:

Policy Development and Support
Addressing historic constraints on access to integrative health therapies and professionals — even when combined with conventional care (such as for pain management).

    Reimbursement for the use of the complementary therapies that are increasingly part of comprehensive clinical care services, especially for chronic conditions.
  • Via private insurance
  • Via Medicare and Medicaid and CMS Alternative Payment Models
  • Assisting coalitions in the States
  • Assisting condition-based patient groups

Integration and collaboration with conventional medicine institutions

An Example: Our proposal to the Integrative Health Policy Consortium, IHPC, to develop and manage in support of grassroots and state-based advocacy around the provisions of Sect. 2706 of the Affordable Care Act that sought to end health insurance discrimination against licensed care providers.

Raising Awareness of the Current State of Integrative Health in the U.S.
For health policy specialists, employers, the media, health system leaders, patient groups and government health agency leaders who want to understand the clinical outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and current adoption of integrative practice in the U.S.

This is particularly important as payment for healthcare services moves to value-based models such as Patient Centered Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations, Community Health Centers.

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Strengthening Health (Beyond Care)

The research is clear: 70% of the quality of a person’s health is determined by factors nowhere near their doctor’s office. The life experiences of the last several generations of Americans have left too many citizens coping with multi-faceted chronic illnesses and pain, and others with little control over the social determinants that affect their own health.

Working with innovators engaged outside of the healthcare system to establish the conditions that make health-inducing activities, thinking and choices the usual way of life:communities, employers, public health agencies, and schools. We help them devise the means to strengthen the health of their stakeholders in ways that require limited intervention by the healthcare system.

Health in K-12: We work with innovators in the still-fragmented health-strengthening activities in and around K-12 campuses (nutrition, food, garden, fitness-based learning, mindfulness, environment) that have appeared in recent years and that hold great potential for educating children to wellbeing.

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