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From Janet Kahn, Consortium Policy Consultant

INTEGRATIVE HEALTH WORKFORCE AS PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE

In July 2014, when Vice Admiral Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH was Acting Surgeon General of the United States, he issued a Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/prevent-skin-cancer/index.html).

I contacted Dr. Lushniak suggesting a role for massage therapists in this effort given that MTs see more of a client's skin in daylight than (almost) anyone else.  His response was quite positive, and I will be pursuing this idea with him and with our new Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA.

This raises a few questions in my mind for those of you who practice in integrative health care settings.

  1. How much do allopathically trained members of your clinical team recognize themselves as (potential) members of the US public health workforce?
  2. How much do CAM-trained members of your clinical team recognize themselves as (potential) members of the US public health workforce?
  3. Is your clinical team aware of this Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer?
  4. If your clinical team includes MTs, and online training and guidelines were offered for MTs to become active members in the Call to Action, how would your facility respond to this?

This is not a survey.  I raise these questions to get us all thinking about them.  You don't need to send your responses to me.  But if engaging your clinical care team more actively in national public health efforts is of interest to you, please do send me an email (janet.kahn@uvm.edu) to let me know that.   Thank you.

SECTION 2706 - NEW WAYS TO PARTICIPATE

As we all know, policy work takes patience and persistence.  As you also know, Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act makes it illegal for insurers to discriminate against a whole category of provider.  This has the potential to open up reimbursement for new kinds of providers - in fact for any provider who is working within their state licensed scope of practice and delivering treatment that is included within the essential benefits package of that state and the specific benefits of their patient's health plan.  Now, thanks to the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC), we have a new tool to help each of us who wants to, to do our part in securing integrative healthcare for our patients.  IHPC, through its CoverMyCare campaign has issued toolkit which I have attached here.  I also encourage you to take a look at the homepage for this campaign at http://www.covermycare.org/cmc/the-cmc-toolkit/.

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