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Happy New Year! Last year review, and what’s coming this year/ ACCME/Cali. Vaccine /Homeopathy/Supplements/Antitrust/Obamacare

Happy New Year! Last year review, and what’s coming this year/ ACCME/Cali. Vaccine /Homeopathy/Supplements/Antitrust/Obamacare

As we start the New Year, let’s look back and forward:

CAM’s ACCME problem

The biggest challenge facing the CAM community in the coming years is that CAM organizations are under direct attack by ACCME, the main CME accrediting agency. In the last year or two, the ACCME have initiated a process to revoke several CAM organization’s CME credit provider status.

See my post:

http://rickjaffeesq.com/2017/04/04/bad-day-cam-patients-first-cam-group-caves-accmes-extortionre-education/

If ACCME succeeds, the result would be devastating to these groups because they are financially dependent on their annual conferences. CAM physicians travel to these conferences in no small part to satisfy their annual CME requirements. Removing CME accreditations would likely dramatically reduce attendance, which would put these organizations in deep financial jeopardy. The conferences are where the CAM docs learn about the latest CAM therapies, so it’s all bad, if the CAM groups lose their course accreditation status.

There are now a handful of CAM organization that are in the process of having their CME accreditation status “reviewed.” I think revocation of ACCME CME status is the intended and likely result of ACCME’s review process of these organizations. Most of these groups are keeping this problem quiet, because they understandably fear that disclosure might jeopardize membership and future conference attendance.

What there hasn’t been yet or even seriously discussed is an all-CAM response and mobilization to deal with the problem. And I think that’s a shame and short-sighted.

Reminds me of a joke: A guy jumps off a hundred story building. As he passes the 50th floor, someone asks him “How you doing.” He responds “So far, so good.”

I have to believe there is a smoking gun out there. The ACCME has seven members, one of which is CAM’s biggest institutional adversary/detractor, the Federation of State Medical Boards.

Because there are so many CAM groups that have come under review/attack in such a short period of time, I have to believe that it’s not chance; its a concerted effort, or a conspiracy if you will, to eliminate CAM organizations which will make the dissemination of CAM information much more difficult.

Hey Santa Claus, I know I’m alittle late (or early), but what I want for Christmas is that smoking gun from the Federation to the other ACCME members laying out the illegal conspiracy to revoke the ACCME certification of all CAM groups. That would be a gift that would keep on giving and I think could result in the end of the attack.

Are you listening Santa?

The California vaccine concerned folks

For better and worse, not a lot happened in California vaccine concerned world.
You didn’t need a crystal ball to predict that every lawsuits challenging SB 277 would be dismissed, and that’s exactly what happened. And the same result awaits any new lawsuits which are direct attacks on the law (which removed the personal belief exemption).

The law’s primary legislative sponsor, Dr. Richard Pan, tried some other legislative tricks to eventually force all parents to vaccinate their kids, but nothing has gotten close so far. The vaccine concerned have to remain vigilant because there’s surely more coming from this guy and his vaccine happy posse.

There’s some talk about a SB 277 repeal bill. Obviously that won’t happen next year, but there are benefits to keeping the issue alive in the California legislature. So go for it, I say.

The Biggest surprise

I had thought that 2017 would bring a spate of new board actions against Cali docs who have written medical exemptions, since according to conventional medical authorities, there’s no such thing as a valid exemption from all vaccines throughout childhood. But apart from the Bob Sears case, (and maybe one other), I haven’t seen the California Medical Board go after the many docs who are writing these exemptions. It might because the board requires a complaint from someone to initiate an investigation, and there just aren’t any complaints yet.

What’s going to happen in 2018 for the vaccine concerned?

This year we should get a ruling in Bob Sears’s case and that ruling will tell the community and its docs who are writing the exemptions whether it’s safe to continue to do so. So keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned!

The Green Pharmaceutical homeopathy case

Homeopathy is under attack in California.

See my most recent post on it:

http://rickjaffeesq.com/2017/12/12/update-green-pharmaceuticals-homeopathy-caseyou-can/

The plaintiffs did file a response to Green’s request to the California Supreme Court to review the appellate court’s decision which overturned the bench trial judge’s defense verdict. Green’s lawyers have submitted a reply, and several groups and at least one private attorney (me) filed amicus letters. We should know this month whether the Cali. Supremes will take the case. I hope they do.

Can physicians sell supplements?

Last year, I handled a case in New Mexico involving a physician’s sale of supplements. The AMA considers it unethical for physicians to sell supplements.

Who Cares? The eight or so states that incorporate the AMA ethical precepts into their standard of care laws.

New Mexico went after a physician for selling a therapeutic herbal remedy (Byron White formulas) to a patient, a practice violation based on the AMA precepts. We said it wasn’t.

I didn’t change or clarify the law, but I did get the case against the doc dismissed, (which was my job), and I had some help from star and energy powerhouse Shirley MacLaine.

See my post:

http://rickjaffeesq.com/2017/07/05/new-mexico-integ…danger-work-done/

Thanks again Shirley!

Can a CAM physician sue a medical board for antitrust violation for bringing a board case?

My view is that it’s almost impossible to win such a case.
See my post at:
http://rickjaffeesq.com/2017/04/14/want-sue-medical-board-antitrust-violations-restraining-trade-prosecuting-practicing-kind-medicine/

Nothing has happened since the post to change my mind. Every doc who has tried has had his/her case dismissed. I don’t see anything changing in the next year on that score. Are there possible benefits to bringing this kind of case and getting thrown out of court? It depends on who you ask.

Obamacare

I end with Obamacare because its demise continues to be predicted, but from the CAM business perspective, Obamacare is basically irrelevant. Let’s face it, CAM by definition is unaccepted by the mainstream which in insurance-speak means it is experimental and makes it not insurance reimbursable (at least if the therapies and procedures are properly coded). CAM practice is a cash-based business model. So I don’t see the recent or future efforts to cripple Obamacare as having a direct adverse impact on CAM practitioners. In addition, the large majority of Americans receive their health insurance through their employers or various associations, and those folks will not be directly impacted by whatever the Republicans do to further cripple Obamacare.

Indirectly however, as more people are forced out of insurance, they will either not get the care, or get the care and not pay for it. This will raise the cost of healthcare and health insurance for others. Higher costs for healthcare and healthcare insurance which will result in people having less income for discretionary, non-insurance reimbursable CAM healthcare. So as Obamacare becomes increasingly crippled, in the mid-term, there could be some financial downside experienced by CAM businesses. (I’m not going to go into the morality or efficiency of what’s going on as I’ve already addressed those issues in prior posts dealing with what’s wrong with the American healthcare system.
See my post at:
http://rickjaffeesq.com/2016/09/24/whats-wrong-u-s-healthcare-system-take-fix/

That’s about all for now. Looking forward to the New Year’s challenges.
To paraphrase George C. Scott in Patton as he overlooks the aftermath of a brutal battle: God help me, I love this stuff.

Happy New Year!

Rick Jaffe, Esq.
rickjaffeesquire@gmail.com
www.rickjaffe.com

Then again, maybe the glass is still less than half full, and water might start leaking out

Then again, maybe the glass is still less than half full, and water might start leaking out

 

Well I tried to transform myself into a half-full kind of a guy by talking about how much access we have to dietary supplements here in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. But my new found optimism was short-lived:

The FDA just released its revised draft guidelines on New Dietary Ingredients which will have a profoundly negative effect on access to supplements, and not necessarily just new dietary supplements, as my friends at the Alliance for Natural Health have so cogently explained below. Kudos to Gretchen and the rest of the group for such a trenchant analysis.

Time now for a ground-swell of opposition to send the FDA back to the drawing board and come back with guidelines that respect the public’s right to access to dietary supplements which we’re supposed to have under the 1994 dietary supplement act.  Onwards!

 

FDA: Massive Attack on Supplements

 

A glass half empty guy sees it’s really mostly full

A glass half empty guy sees it’s really mostly full

I just gave alittle talk at the Certified Clinical Nutritionist Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Up until  the last few years, I had been attending their annual conferences for the better part of twenty years, usually giving a talk about what’s going on in the CAM field (complementary and alternative medicine, now called integrative medicine).

As I look back at all those speeches, and others I have given to other CAM groups, it struck me that most of the content of these speeches was about how practitioners and companies can or did get into trouble with the feds or state regulatory authorities, and bringing forth the many examples of the unfortunate victims. In a word, doom and gloom. But in my defense, I spend most of my waking hours dealing with practitioners and companies who are attacked by the government or concerned that they will be, which causes a certain amount of regulatory paranoia. Consistent with my jaded, glass is half empty, view from the trenches perspective, that’s what I talked about in Jacksonville, witness the title of my talk, “(not so) Fun 2016 CAM Facts.”  It was all about who’s being targeted by the regulators and what they’re being targeted for. I may have buried the lead in my talk because it was only as an afterthought that I mentioned that most nutritionists wouldn’t be affected by the recent spate of regulatory action, but that just shows you how perspective influences things.

Because I hadn’t been there for a couple years, and perhaps because the past insane litigation docket has become more manageable, at the conference, I had the space to really listen to some of the lectures and talk to some of the speakers and vendors. Some of what I heard was pretty exciting and probably revolutionary. Of course, the Microbiome was a hot topic (as it’s been for a couple years now) and the therapeutic implications are huge for a wide variety of disease including and especially autism and age related cognitive conditions.

One of the new big things for me was Nitric Oxide. Like many exercise fanatics, I’ve tried L-Arginine pre- work-outs but, I do it mostly on faith because I never really felt any benefit. But after listening to Nathan Bryan’s lecture and reading his book “The Nitric Oxide (NO) Solution,” I have an understanding of why L-Arginine isn’t doing it for me. More importantly, I’ve come away with some dietary and supplement alternative solutions, and a simple test to monitor results. I can’t wait to hit the gym and test it out. I’m thinking that this new NO approach is going be very huge in the near future.

Collagen is something else I’ve tried in the past but I didn’t stick with it. After hearing a lecture about it, I’m going to try again. After walking the exhibit floor with one of my nutrition buddies (thanks Sunny), I’ve made some supplement vendor changes and added a few new things (I’m also a supplement fanatic which I got from my health-nut father and my 30 years in the CAM field.)

In walking the Exhibit Hall, listening and asking questions to try to figure it out, I recalled a snippet of this guy Bryan’s lecture, something about that in his travel in Dubai or some other Arab country the docs were demanding literature support for his NO theory because as he said, supplements were mostly prescribed by medical docs, and there had to be adequate literature support because they were prescriptions.  Then I recalled all the past angst with Codex and what’s going on in the rest of the world.  Despite all the past concern, it’s still not here (and in my view, Codex isn’t coming here anytime soon, perhaps in part due to Scott Tipps who basically lives at Codex and hold their feet to the fire).

I then looked around and saw some of the same non MD nutritionist folks I’ve seeing for a couple decades, and it hit me. Wow. I’m a lucky guy. I can walk around talk to all these knowledgeable people and buy stuff that has or might have a profoundly beneficial effect on my health and wellbeing. And that there’s not too many places in the world where I could do that.  Sure the supplement companies are sort of muzzled, and legally, their free speech is impaired, but the information is out there, on line, at conferences for MD and non-MD practitioners, and to laymen at the big health expos.  More importantly, it’s all available to anyone who wants to try it.  And that freedom and control over one’s body is pretty special, if not unique in this world.

So thank you Keith, Radhia, Sunny, Marty, Theresa, Seth, and Nathan (great lecture and wonderful book), Luke, Lisa and Debra, and the rest of you guys for helping me look beyond the trenches and see how many good and exciting things there are going on in the nutrition and health field, and reminding me of how interesting and fun the ride has been for me.

Best

Rick Jaffe