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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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