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The Economic Evaluation of CAM in the USA

A rigorous review has found that there is firm evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of chronic painThe Economic Evaluation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The growing importance of including naturopathic doctors in healthcare reform


The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has steadily grown in recent decades, followed by an increase in insurance coverage for various CAM providers (eg, naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists, massage therapist, chiropractors). However, with rising healthcare costs, insurers and policy makers have expressed concerns about the cost-effectiveness of healthcare, both conventional and CAM. Although more prospective outcome studies are needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of CAM, there have been published research studies demonstrating that CAM is cost-effective and may present cost-savings due to inexpensive treatments, lower technology interventions, and its emphasis on preventative medicine. If healthcare reform proceeds in a direction favoring lower-cost approaches, further integration of CAM practitioners, including naturopathic primary care providers, into healthcare delivery systems may be beneficial. Here we review the literature regarding the cost-effectiveness of CAM and naturopathic medicine.

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About the Authors

Setareh Tais, ND, is a naturopathic doctor practicing general family medicine with a focus on women’s health, pediatrics, and reproductive health in Fresno, CA.

Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, directs the Center for Health Policy & Leadership at Bastyr University.

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The Natural Therapist

Issue: 30 No.3 | Nov 2015

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DISCUSS use of complementary and alternative medicine. ASK your patients. TELL your providers. TALK about it. THIS WIDGET