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IOM Summit Provides Models for Health Reform
Date:2/27/2009

Integrative Medicine.

The Summit articulated the following important factors to be considered in upcoming health care reform:

  • The progression of many chronic diseases can be reversed and sometimes even completely healed through lifestyle modifications. Lifestyle modifications programs have been proven to mitigate cardiac disease and prostate cancer, among other chronic conditions.
  • Genetics is not destiny. Recent research by Dean Ornish, M.D., and others has shown that gene expression can be turned on or off by nutritional choices, levels of social support, stress reduction activities such as meditation and exercise.
  • Our environment influences our health. Mounting evidence suggests that the environment outside one's body rapidly becomes the environment inside the body.
  • Improving our primary care and chronic disease care systems is paramount. Participants widely agreed that our primary care system is in danger of collapse and that we must retool how both primary and chronic disease care is delivered. The new system must focus on prevention and wellness, and put the patient at the center of care.
  • The reimbursement system must be changed. The Summit grappled with the current reimbursement system that rewards procedures rather than outcomes and urged changes that would incent physicians to focus on the health outcomes of their patients.
  • Changes in education will fuel changes in practice. Implementation of an integrated approach to health care requires changes in provider education. All health care practitioners should be educated in the importance of compassionate care that addresses the biopsychosocial dimensions of health.
  • Evidence-based medicine is the only acceptable standard. Researchers and practitioners alike concurred that health care should be supported b
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SOURCE Bravewell Collaborative
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