Increasing Referrals from the Alternative Medical Community
[By Staff Writers]
Recent medical marketing surveys indicate that almost one-third of most managed care plan patients already use some form of complementary medicine and one-third more are considering exploring these new, and often ancient, techniques. Nationally, it is estimated that American are spending over $ 20 billion per year, including 600 million visits annually on complementary and alternative medicine; and these figures will increase in the future.
What is Alternative Medicine?
Complementary medicine covers a broad range of topics, philosophies and approaches, such as: herbal formulas, acupuncture, chiropractors, massage therapy, mind-body techniques, neurofeedback, nutritional therapy and traditional Chinese medicine.
What Common Conditions are Treated?
The following symptoms have shown treatment success when conventional medicine has not produced the results that both patients and physicians desire:
· back pain
· cluster headaches
· digestive problems
· sprains and strains
How Legitimate is Complementary Medicine?
In a word; increasingly. For example, more than 50 US medical schools now teach some sort of alternative medicine as part of their standard medical curriculum. Managed Care Organizations such as Oxford Health Plans, in Norwalk, Conn., HealthCare Plan, in Buffalo, NY, HealthEast, in St. Paul, MN, and Pre-paid Health Plan of Syracuse, NY, all have panels of non-traditional healthcare providers. Now, there are far too many-to count; today.
Should Traditionalists learn about these concepts?
Yes, but only if you want your practice to flourish. Cultivating these referral sources is also an excellent marketing idea.
[Bang the Complimentary Drum]
According to Dr. Rob Gleser, an internist in Denver, some medical doctors dismiss alternative care out of fear:
“What it comes down to is fear of change. But integrating our practice with alternative medicine, allows us to practice as more effective physicians And, I believe we make a better income than if we were concentrating only on traditional care”.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you refer, and receive referrals, from the alternative medical community?
Please comment on your experiences; positive or negative?
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