Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) announced that its regulatory body – the Center for Healthcare Planning and Quality (CPQ), through its Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Council, will start implementing CAM codes.

CAM refers to medical and healthcare systems, practices and products that are not considered to be part of conventional medicine including Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy.

Developed by ABC Coding Solutions, these codes will further regulate and measure the outcomes of CAM procedures within DHCC.

Dr. Ayesha Abdullah, Senior Vice President of DHCC, said: “The CAM Codes have been adopted within DHCC based upon our firm belief that this system greatly improves the entrance of CAM into conventional healthcare within our community. The recognition of ABC codes as standard tools in CAM practice is a significant milestone in realizing DHCC’s vision as a center of healthcare excellence in the region. DHCC is also participating in expanding the list of ABC CAM codes available to healthcare providers at DHCC.”

Dr. Ayesha Al Mutawa, Vice President of CPQ, said “There is an obvious need to regulate this market to assure quality and safety. CPQ is proud to be the pioneer in establishing a CAM governance structure which is unique to the region and to the world.”

Dr. Al Mutawa explained that CAM codes will assist health insurance agencies in the UAE and across the region in recognizing effective CAM services, facilitating clinical audits and validation, performance management, improvements, and research.

She added; “The ABC CAM code system is the only extensive code set available to describe procedures that are based on CAM treatments. Dubai Healthcare City’s adoption and expansion of the CAM codes will now, for the first time, promote the standardization of CAM treatment, documentation and reimbursement within the international community. By using CAM and conventional medicine codes within the same system, DHCC is in a unique position to assist in filling large information gaps in clinical research about the effectiveness of CAM treatments.”

During a recent meeting with the health policy advisor for President Elect Barak Obama, Melinna Giannini, CEO of ABC Coding Solutions, conveyed the importance of CAM codes in being able to expand access to more healthcare services. She used DHCC as an example of effective healthcare policy.

Indeed, Dr. Abduallah confirmed that DHCC is the first healthcare institution, outside the USA, to actually adopt, implement and expand the use of CAM codes.

“In doing so, DHCC is demonstrating its commitment to achieve excellence in the provision of healthcare to the region. These codes have been tested in over 1.5 million electronic transactions over the past five years in U.S. government-funded healthcare programs,” she stressed.