CAM-Oriented Primary Care Providers Results in High Patient Satisfaction

Posted June 21, 2007 by Acupuncture & Massage College & filed under Education & Research


Patients visiting holistically-oriented physicians who serve as primary care physicians (PCPs) have lower utilization costs and higher patient satisfaction levels than patients treated by conventional medical doctors according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.

“This study confirms that integration of allopathic and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers can positively impact patient quality of care while limiting overall costs. This approach to patient care has great potential to improve the U.S. healthcare system,” said study coauthor James Winterstein, DC. Researchers found that over the course of the seven-year study, patients visiting CAM-oriented PCPs had 60 percent fewer hospitalizations, 62 percent fewer outpatient surgical cases and 85 percent lower pharmaceutical costs when compared with total network HMO utilization rates and costs.

The CAM doctors treated and managed cases ranging from upper respiratory tract infections and allergies to headaches, orthopedic and other medical conditions. “Our most recent analysis supports earlier findings that patients visiting CAM-oriented primary care physicians experienced fewer hospitalizations, underwent fewer surgeries and used considerably fewer pharmaceuticals than HMO patients who received traditional care,” said Winterstein. “We have demonstrated that it is possible to deliver CAM-oriented primary care in a highly regulated environment without compromising either quality or safety.”

Patients reported on the quality of care received through the use of annual patient satisfaction surveys. The integrative CAM patients consistently rated their experiences more positively than did members enrolled within HMO conventional medical plans. In the United States, 36 percent of adults are using some form of CAM. For chronic conditions, such as recovery from an illness or surgery, CAM can be more effective than allopathic health care.

If you are considering incorporating CAM into your health care contact Dr. Richard Browne, Acupuncture Physician, at (305) 595-9500 for a free initial 30-minute consultation.

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