Doctors and Hospitals are Increasing Alternative Care Options
I have written several articles concerning incorporating alternative healthcare practitioners into your practice to increase revenue and patient referrals. This trend is increasing nationwide and is gaining momentum. This looks like a fad that is here to stay just like that internet thing.
I strongly urge you, as a leader in the healthcare field, to learn about and include alternative healthcare practitioners in your team of healthcare providers. You can distinguish yourself from your competition by giving your patients the option of alternative healthcare. Most medical doctors still do not include these options in their healthcare treatment. According to a new report by QuantiaMD, more than one-third (37 percent) of physicians reported they rarely or never ask patients about their use of complementary or alternative medicine, and 39 percent of physicians said they rarely ask about their spiritual beliefs.
The impetus that is driving the trend to complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is patient demand. According to a recent report in the American Medical News:
"The reasons hospitals choose to offer CAM services is quite revealing”… "Patient demand (85 percent) is by far the primary rationale in offering these services." Seventy percent of respondents said they find alternative medicine to be clinically effectively. Many hospitals (58 percent), including faith-based organizations, also said that caring for the "whole person" was part of their organizations' missions. It appears that most hospitals and doctors are not including CAM in their healthcare because they feel that it is beneficial for patients, but because patients are demanding it.
Thirty-eight percent of surveyed adults said they have used some form of complementary and alternative therapy, according to the report. Interestingly, the most common form of “non-traditional medicine” was praying, followed by natural products, deep breathing, meditation, chiropractic care, massage, yoga, and diet, usually to treat back or neck pain, joint paint or stiffness, and anxiety or depression. It should be noted that these ailments are the most common complaints cited for doctor visits.
An additional component to the increase in the demand for CAM is the changing demographics of America. More and more patients have different backgrounds than the traditional American middle class. Healthcare providers need to adapt to their patient’s varied expectations. "Every physician needs the appropriate knowledge and tools to address culturally-related beliefs and behaviors, such as traditional diets or use of alternative medicine, when treating their multicultural patients," Elena V. Rios, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association and president of the National Hispanic Health Foundation, said in a press release. Many patients have a natural distrust of modern medicine, so if you ignore this internal bias, you may be losing patients and not be aware of the cause. It might be very surprising that nearly half of the surveyed doctors (48 percent) reported that half of their patients do not trust the U.S. healthcare system.
This suggests that there may be communication gaps concerning spiritual and cultural aspects of CAM. It may be a placebo effect, or it may be a true physiological response to treatment. Either way, patients respond to treatment better when they are relaxed and have confidence in their healthcare provider and the treatment that they receive. By providing patients, especially patients who predisposed to mistrust modern medicine, with an understanding of their culture and expectations you will attract and retain more patients and obtain better clinical results.
Keep in mind that emphasis on outcome based treatment is paramount in cost containment in the healthcare field today, this connection cannot be overlooked. As the government gets more involved in the payment for healthcare, the government will dictate treatment based on cost effectiveness. You need to be in the forefront of the healthcare trends to maintain an edge in the competition for patients and to keep government officials off your back.
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Tuesday, 27 March 2012
I agree, patient care should NOT be dictated by insurance coverage. Many patients get brainwashed into thinking that what insurance covers is the ONLY option. educating the patient on ALL options no matter the specialty should be the first priority.
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Natasha Deonarain, MD, MBA
A word of caution: No! It's not exciting to hear that health insurance companies will begin to add CAM to their product lines, regardless of patient demand. Not only are Americans paying $15-17,000 per capita for disease care, but we are increasing expenditures on CAM to the tune of $ 39 billion dollars and growing. We Americans pay the most on this planet for disease care AND alternative care, and we rank next to Bosnia and Quatar on quality health indicators! We need to get this out of our minds that health insurance coverage is necessary for us to stay healthy. Create your own network of health-oriented practitioners (acupuncture, massage, energy medicine, etc.) and remove the focus on disease-oriented providers to the minimal necessary (specialists, sub-specialists) and practice health every day. Instead of being at the forefront of trends as doctors, let's be the trend for our own future and guide patients to health.= through collaborative networks which are self-driven.
Tuesday, 06 March 2012
posted by Dr. Jerry
I would like to see more interdisciplinary cooperation to help patients receive the care that is most beneficial to them, not just the treatment that their insurance will cover.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Murray Grossan, M.D.
I have long advocated Tai Chi. this has been proven to prevent falls. One hip fx costs 100,00 or more. Tai Chi can be done in group lessons for about 30 dollars or less.
Biofeedback is knows to reduce blood pressure, stress, etc.
Medicaton enhancement can make any drug/therapy much more effectve
I propose that hospital patients be given daily lessons and practice in stress reduction techhniques as well as medication enhancement
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