Modern medicine with its technologies is amazing in the ways it is able to help us live longer, and survive a damaged heart. On the other hand, if you have an aching back, neck pain and most of the painful conditions many people are plagued with on a daily basis, they fail miserably, with their disease laden, high cost models that often have little consistent benefit.
Even osteoarthritis is misunderstood by most doctors, who look at an x ray, tell you arthritis is the problem and give you little if any help in managing or preventing the further progression of it. The general public has themselves discovered many complimentary type of healthcare that has reduced pain, improved mobility and overall improved the quality of our lives.
Most doctors, unless they have become patients themselves, do not take professions such as chiropractic seriously, and often send their patients by habit to orthopedics or therapists who are often ineffective as well.
Why are there two systems, Rand asks?
The truth is, there shouldn’t be, and for years, the medical profession has derided other professions, even though they were helpful and cost effective. Even insurance companies are trying to reinforce these ideas, most recently Horizon’s Omnia who has placed chiropractors as tier 2 increasing out of pocket costs for all patients wishing to use their tier 2 network. They have included two chiropractors per county in their tier 1, while including 80 percent of the therapists in tier 1. In plain English, they want you to pay more for better and more cost effective care from a chiropractor, which makes you wonder who makes these decisions and what is their agenda?
Pain is a huge cost driver in healthcare and the recent Opioid epidemic is a bad symptom of the failure by modern medicine to manage painful conditions.
Rand knows the health care fields must be more diverse, especially since primary care and their current model is not the cure for the cost and safety problem. They also know that these other professions not only save money but are an important asset to the American system of healthcare, which needs to reduce the cost and vastly improve the effectiveness of what it does. Professions such as acupuncture, chiropractic and even homeopathy may hold many of the answers to cost effective and safe solutions to what makes us hurt and reduces the quality of our lives.
Check out this article on the Rand Corp’s study of the healing arts.
Science and the Healing Arts
Modern medicine has a problem. It can fix a damaged heart, battle cancer into remission, and operate on the deepest recesses of the human brain. Yet it continues to struggle with the everyday anguish of an aching back.
Americans now spend billions of their own dollars seeking relief from such chronic conditions in alternative schools of health, such as acupuncture or chiropractic. RAND researchers have started to examine what it would take””and what it would mean””to more fully integrate such practices into the medical mainstream.
The obstacles are forbidding; the insurance questions alone might require an actual act of Congress to solve. But the benefits could transform health care as we know it, expanding its scope from sickness and trauma to whole-body wellness.
Unconventional medicine, once dismissed as quackery by the medical establishment, might be the missing piece of modern health care.
“œHow do we take two parallel systems and bring them together?” asks Ian Coulter, a senior health policy researcher who holds the RAND/Samueli Institute Chair in Policy for Integrative Medicine. “œThat,” he added, “œis the future.”