By Bill Reddy, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM)®, L.Ac.,
Director, Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC)
The Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), where NCCAOM is a
“Partner for Health,” has been monitoring a number of federal bills that affect
our profession or the public health of the nation. Below is a summary of our recent efforts.
Things are looking
up for CAM use in the US military. The Department of Defense Appropriations
Bill of 2016 contained the following statement:
“Complementary and alternative (CAM)
therapies are now recognized as vital among those modalities for the treatment
of pain for their efficacy, broad patient acceptance, minimal adverse effects
and low cost. Yet the development of
system-wide policies and practices for their integration remains
unfulfilled. The committee strongly
encourages DVCIPM to accelerate the research on and integration of CAM
therapies for the management of pain and directs the Assistant Secretary of
Defense (health affairs) to provide a report to the congressional defense
committees not later than 180 days after enactment of this act on the status of
Furthermore, the bill has appropriated $278M for a Peer-Reviewed Medical
Research Program including “Integrative Medicine” and “Non-Opioid Pain
Management” among others.
IHPC, in cooperation
with Samueli Institute, is monitoring this bill.
GMO Labeling Legislation
The “Safe and Effective Food Labeling Act of 2015”
(H.R. 1599) is an extremely misleading title to a bill that will not only allow
the food industry to avoid labeling foods containing GMO, but also restricts
states from passing their own labeling laws to protect their citizens!
(Click HERE for access to the bill)
Heavy lobbying from
“Big Food” has
ushered the bill through the House and it’s on its way to the Senate. Don’t we have the right to know what we put into our bodies?
On the BRIGHT side, Senate
Bill 511 (also known as the “Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act”)
introduced in February, 2015, is the antithesis of Senate Bill 1406, protecting
the American public, and can be found HERE.
Compounding Pharmacy FDA Regulation
For those readers
who are dual degreed (L.Ac., ND) a recent FDA effort may limit your ability to
use compounding pharmacies in your practice.
It also will prohibit sales of compounded supplements and medications
across state lines.
Health Policy Consortium’s Partners for Health organizations strongly support Senate
bill 1406, a bill that would
allow for safely compounded medications to continue to be administered in
doctors' offices and rein
in the FDA's actions to limit the interstate distribution of these needed
Please click HERE to view the bill (also known as the “Saving Access to Compounded
Medications for Special Needs Patients Act.”)
In the late summer,
the National Academy of Medicine requested input on topics for their upcoming
“Perspectives” series, a publication to educate the new administration on
issues in American Health and Medicine.
The IHPC offered the following topics for consideration:
- Integrative Health and
different integrative medical models for the US
Residency inclusion for acupuncturists, certified professional midwives,
naturopathic physicians and chiropractors
education for legislators via caucuses
to best train the next generation of healthcare providers
to complementary and integrative health course in medical school curricula. Note: (In a 2003 paper entitled “Alternative,
Complementary, and Conventional Medicine: Is Integration Upon Us?” the authors
shared, “…our experience at the
University of Wisconsin Medical School – where an evening CAM course was for
its first 2 years one of the most highly attended electives in the medical
school’s history – points toward a high degree of medical student interest.”.
in Healthcare (Affordable Care Act Section 2706)
with state and federal agencies to enforce the law
provider abuse and burnout – system wide changes to accommodate the workforce
health professionals as primary care providers
and adult obesity
toxic substance and EMF exposure
of narcotic and psychoactive drugs
the Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services, Standard PC.01.02.07
to a patient-centered or “relationship based care” model
(Affordable Care Act Section 3502)
NCCIH Congressional Mandate Compliance
The NCCIH has been violating their congressional mandate to have at least 50% of the seats on their
Advisory Council filled with representatives of the complementary and
integrative professions. IHPC has
written a letter imploring them to follow the spirit and the letter of the
law. The board is currently comprised of
18 members and only 4 of them have a CAM background (a Chiropractor, Registered
Nurse, Naturopath and DO). The voices
and professions of acupuncture, massage therapy and midwifery are missing, and
because of that, the potential to advance inter-professionalism and team care
are lost, as well as greater research opportunities. The Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine, American Association
of Naturopathic Physicians, and the Academic Consortium of Complementary and
Alternative Health Care also sent letters expressing similar concerns.
Non-Discrimination and Section
2706 of the Affordable Care Act
CoverMyCare is a consumer information and
engagement campaign that has been created to complement the policy work of the IHPC
since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The objective is to ensure
that the provisions of Section 2706 of the Act, "Non-discrimination in
healthcare," are properly implemented across the nation. CoverMyCare.org is a grass-roots consumer
education and advocacy web site resource that serves advocates in the states by
encouraging formation of coalitions and serving as a clearinghouse for
information and resources they develop.
For more information about non-discrimination related to our profession
and section 2706, click here.
A Message from the Leadership of
The American Society of
Acupuncturists (ASA) is excited to announce our official incorporation. The ASA
is an organization currently comprised of representatives from 24 state
acupuncture associations. As each state faces some similar issues in our
profession, member state associations have been working together on common
issues. The ASA taskforces for these issues include topics such as dry
needling, legislative agendas, and public education. All of the ASA’s member
state associations are working diligently to promote a strong national voice
for acupuncture in America. As member of your state acupuncture
association, you are helping us to shape acupuncture in America.
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