Using patient safety as its primary platform, a consortium of medical organizations has crafted a letter to state its support of a bill that would repeal subsection 2706(a) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which provides for inclusion of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners on medical teams and in health insurance coverage.
“We are deeply concerned that for certain covered services in a number of states, this [nondiscrimination clause] will be interpreted to provide that all health professional groups be considered as if their education, skills and training were equal even if their state-based medical and healthcare professional licenses or certifications are very different,” the letter reads, in part. “We urge its prompt repeal and look forward to working with you to accomplish that goal. Patient safety demands it.”
Meanwhile, other organizations are working to ensure that states enact the nondiscrimination aspect of the ACA. A group of leaders in the massage field recently authoreed a document to summarize “the high-quality evidence for [massage therapy’s] effectiveness in treating medical conditions and populations” pertaining to the three (out of 10) Essential Health Benefits described in the ACA; and the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium is engaging in a state-by-state campaign to support the correct implementation of Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act.
The groups that signed the letter are:
• American Academy of Dermatology Association
• American Academy of Family
• American Academy of Ophthalmology
• American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
• American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
• American Society of Anesthesiologists
• American Society of Plastic Surgeons
“These organizations’ stab to the heart of Section 2706’s revolutionary, inclusive shift in U.S. health policy came as no surprise to close watchers of the non-discrimination effort,” wrote John Weeks, publisher and editor of Integrator Blog News & Reports, in an article titled “Beltway Battle Over Patients’ Rights to Integrative Medicine and Health,” published yesterday by The Huffington Post.