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Health Care Reform May Boost Access to Naturopathy

    As the health care system changes and evolves, so does the mindset about health and seeking treatments as well as preventative measures. The area of naturopathic and complementary, alternative and integrative medicine (CAM) has been growing in leaps and bounds in widespread education and use. Naturopathy revolves around methods of care and health maintenance based on natural and science-based treatments and CAM refers to a wide variety of natural health practices such as acupuncture and midwifery.

    In today’s world of modern medicine, a natural approach avoiding procedures, pills and hospitalization is often simply called “alternative medicine.” Of note, many of the natural treatments considered new today have been around for centuries. By forgoing the pharmacist in favor of the nutritionist and the herbalist, you gain a more organic and customized treatment path for your ailments.

    As these treatment options become more widely accepted, they are also gaining equal footing with more conventional care in terms of health care coverage. Licensed naturopathic providers, as well as CAM providers, are gaining coverage in the 16 states licensed for neuropathic care, with promise for even more widespread coverage in the future. This is a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which states that insurers “shall not discriminate… against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider’s license or certification under the applicable state law.”

    While this only proposes coverage for naturopathic treatment in the states licensed for it, this clause is an important step for naturopathy and other natural medicine options. Not only will individuals have greater access to such care, but this is also a major step towards equalizing naturopathy and CAM with conventional medicine.

    If you’re keeping up with alternative medicine and today’s health care reform, there could be some exciting developments on the horizon. Access to natural treatments would jump tremendously with this new health reform law and encourage licensure for naturopathy in other states down the road. And someday, naturopathy may find itself on equal ground with modern medicine.
Read the entire article here: Illinois Should Join the List of Naturopathic Health-Provided States  

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