With the creation of Accountable Care Organizations as prescribed through the Affordable Care Act, Integrative Medicine could become a fully endorsed service-line by all Health Systems to be utilized in income creation and expense reduction for numerous aspects of care.
Integrative Medicine would be a critical component a Health System’s ACO organization by helping to improve overall community health and by managing both acute and chronic health conditions more effectively and efficiently than purely traditional medicine. Integrative Medicine health coaches can listen, observe and communicate early, to create healing solutions that enhance efficiency of communication, and anticipate and help to control or ameliorate the healthcare needs of patients in multiple settings; home, inpatient, or outpatient.
In a healing inpatient environment where the patient’s care is actually the center of their personal universe, we have seen significant reductions in patient stays, less infections, and overall healthier patient outcomes, i.e., a healing environment. Similarly, in the outpatient setting, the use of Integrative Medicine modalities can significantly contribute to the continued health and well-being of the individuals utilizing these techniques by helping them focus on wellness and prevention activities. Healing touch, spirituality, family support, and various types of integrative therapies ranging from massage to pets have been shown to exponentially improve the patient’s well being and general healthfulness.