Cover: Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Professions or Modalities?

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Professions or Modalities?

Policy Implications for Coverage, Licensure, Scope of Practice, Institutional Privileges, and Research

Published Oct 2, 2015

by Patricia M. Herman, Ian D. Coulter

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This report examines a problem that confronts the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions whereby a profession is defined politically not by its full professional scope but by its treatment modalities. Even when CAM disciplines are defined by legal statutes as broad-based professions, this designation is not honored by such codes as the policies of insurance coverage. This project consisted of three parts: development of a background paper on the policy issues associated with the scope of practice and utilization of CAM practitioners in the health care system, input from a panel of CAM experts, and input from a panel of health care policy decisionmakers. With the increasing utilization of CAM by the public and the increasing consideration of CAM in all aspects of health policy, this report serves as a valuable reference document to aid in policymaking in terms of the challenges associated with coverage, licensure, scope of practice, institutional privileges, and research.

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND Health.

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