Monday, October 8, 2012

A Link to A Colleague's Blog

John Weeks is not a naturopathic physician. Even so, he was honored by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians this year for his lifelong commitment to promoting the profession, largely through his work as the publisher and editor of The Integrator Blog, though this is only the latest of his contributions to the profession. John also periodically contributes to The Huffington Post, and last week, he commented on a great article recently published by Patricia Herman, ND, and Michael Eisenberg, MD, which assessed the cost benefits of complementary and integrative medical therapies in a variety of conditions, populations, and settings. I had the pleasure of seeing this paper presented at the AANP's annual conference this August, and while I will admit that much of it went over my head (it being economic research, rather than medical), I was encouraged by the core finding of the study, which is that complementary and integrative therapies can offer both clinical effectiveness and cost savings in a variety of medical conditions. I've read a number of individual studies that have shown that naturopathic medicine offers considerable cost savings, including a great study done in Vermont, where one naturopathic physician saved the Vermont Automobile Dealers Association approximately $1.5 million dollars in direct and indirect healthcare costs over 12 months, but this new cost benefits study is especially exciting because it has compiled data from a number of other studies, and in doing so has established a larger pattern. Next Monday, I'll be posting some recipes, which have been missing from the blog for several months, but this week, I'd urge you to read John Weeks' article.