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Alternative medicine’s challenge in payment system

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This story caught our eye because of Cambridge Management’s interest in wider definitions of healthcare than traditional allopathic care and our understanding that healthcare reform means  that many new non-allopathic providers will be joining the payment system.

Oregon was the first state  with a law that bars insurers from discriminating against alternative health providers  operating within their scope of practice.

But Oregon’s health insurers are still trying to figure how and if  to cover bills from certain alternative practitioners.

As the {Portland} Oregonian notes: “The details of how {patients’} health plan{s} and insurers interact with practitioners of naturopathy, acupuncture and other non-mainstream specialties will play out in the co-pays and other cost-sharing bills paid over the course of the year.”

“The carriers should be covering naturopathic providers for services that they cover when other providers do them, but they don’t,” complained Laura Farr, executive director of the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians, to the paper.

She noted that that Oregon’s Health CO-OP has been far ahead of other insurers in welcoming naturopathic doctors as primary-care physicians.



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