Chiropractic: Profession or Modality?
|AND FROM: HuffPost ~ 11-19-2015
Are you a thing or are you a human?
If someone wishes to assess your potential contributions to this life we live, what is the best starting assumption: thing or human?
The questions may seem silly. But a recent report from the RAND Corporation bores in on how regular medicine reduced complementary and alternative medicine professionals to “thing” status — as “modalities” — in the first years of the integrative medicine era.
The title of the report is “Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Professions or Modalities?”. The discussions among policy makers, practitioners and delivery system leaders synthesized in the 75-page document beg a more significant question: Does the emergence of values-based medicine urge a major re-think regarding the potential contributions of these professionals?
The case statement by RAND’s Patricia Herman, ND, PhD and Ian Coulter, PhD begins with a blunt irony. “One of the hallmarks of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is treatment of the whole person.” Yet in the fee-for-service procedure and production orientation of the medical industry, licensed practitioners of chiropractic, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, and naturopathic medicine were typically stripped of this core value — treating the whole person — before being put to any use.
New RAND report examines the policy implications.
Is chiropractic a profession or a modality?
That’s the thought-provoking question explored in a new RAND report funded by the NCMIC Foundation.
“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.”
Authored by Patricia Herman, ND, PhD, and Ian Coulter, PhD, the RAND report highlights chiropractic and four other major CAM disciplines: acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy and naturopathic medicine, examining how the “profession vs. modalities” issue affects “policy implications for coverage, licensure, scope of practice, institutional privileges, and research.”
The report is the culmination of a three-step process that began with the development of a background paper on policy issues impacting CAM scope of practice and utilization within the health care system. Steps two and three involved input from a panel of CAM experts and a panel of health care policy decision-makers, respectively.
Dr. Christine Goertz (Vice Chancellor of the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research) and Dr. Robert Mootz (Associate Medical Director for Chiropractic at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries) represented the chiropractic profession on the CAM experts panel, while Dr. David Elton, John Falardeau and Dr. Karl Kranz represented the profession on the policy decision-makers panel.
Based on input from the two panels, the report summarizes key issues to address moving forward: