Recently, Naturopathic medicine has been given an amazing opportunity through the Affordable Care Act. Section 2076 states that all accredited Naturopathic Physicians will have the ability to be included in health insurance plans in states that are licensed.
However, the way in which this law is interpreted is up to individual states. Without actively educating the officials who are in the position to make decisions, this act could be useless in helping naturopathic patients and practices to have access to healthcare coverage.
Who are these officials? They are the state insurance commissioners, and explaining to them both what a naturopathic physician does and how they do it is critical in making this act mean something to naturopathic practitioners.
By effectively educating state insurance commissioners, patient-centered and prevention-oriented care could actually become insured by healthcare companies, giving alternative medicine the same just treatment as conventional medicine!
As an integrative practitioner you know the advantages to an integrative approach, and more specifically, naturopathic medicine. You also know that most patients are paying out of pocket due to the lack of support from healthcare companies. This act can change that if we educate our state officials.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians hosted a webinar on to guide practitioners and patients through the necessary steps to getting the attention of state insurance commissioners.
Dr. Lorilee Shoenbeck, chair of AANP’s State and Federal Affairs Committee, and Laura Farr, executive director of the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Medicine, will be hosting the webinar.
The Affordable Care Act was a big step, and a container of sorts. But now we need to fill the container by making sure state insurance commissioners are fully and properly educated on integrative and naturopathic practices.
The way this act is carried out will be truly crucial for this country’s healthcare system, and the future of integrative medicine within that system. If proper action is taken, healthcare would take a leap forward in patient-centered, prevention-oriented aspects.
However, there are groups that like to harshly criticize integrative prevention based medicine, and state officials are suseptible to this side of the decision-making coin. This is why actively engaging and educating the officials is key to the future of integrative practice!
An opportunity has been given to the licensed naturopathic medicine community, and to pass it up, or to not take full advantage, would be a shame. Patients deserve better, more personalized care, and you are the one’s that can offer it!
If you practice in any one of these states, this message is for you:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- US Virgin Islands
- Florida (grandfather clause)
- Virginia (grandfather clause)
This act could better healthcare in the U.S., but like all opportunities, it must be capitalized on.
Right now, the Integrative Medicine & Holistic Health Association is working to connect integrative practitioners from around the country into a community of collaboration and passion for healthcare. In doing so, the association hopes to change the healthcare system for the better by making integrative and naturopathic medicine a viable option. Integrative practitioners, join today and connect with others from around the U.S.!