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National Council promotes integrative medicineNational Council promotes integrative medicine


The National Integrative Medicine Council (NIMC), which formed last fall, intends to carry the flag for the integration of complementary and traditional medical therapies into the arena of national health-care policy.

"There is a congressional interest in complementary health care. We believe that we have a responsibility to give Congress and policy makers information as to what integrative medicine is and what it should look like in the next few years," said NIMC Executive Director Matt Russell.

The nonprofit council plans on doing some lobbying, which is limited for nonprofit organizations, and hopes to influence medical-school funding to encourage schools to restructure their curricula to include integrative medical training, Russell said.

The council’s main public policy and advocacy foci, however, will be in the area of managed care. "The NIMC sees managed care reform as a vehicle through which some of our legislative recommendations could be advanced, as most of the competing managed care reform bills will also include measures to promote patients’ rights," the council’s Web site states. "We will be working on our members’ behalf to address barriers in the current system, such as arbitrary limits on the amount, duration and scope of reimbursable care."

The council is the creation of integrative medicine proponent Andrew Weil, M.D., author of books, including the best-selling Spontaneous Healing, host of the Web site www.askdrweil.com, and director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. The council is made up of members from the holistic health fields, including massage therapy; corporate America; and complementary health-care education facilities.
Kelle Walsh

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