Michael was quoted in Health Care Bills May Be Higher Than We Think by Kelli B. Grant, CNBC, for a story on rising healthcare costs.
The story notes that Americans spend nearly $2.8 trillion a year on medical services, prescription drugs, long-term care and other health needs, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ 2012 National Health Expenditures report.
But there’s a new study that suggests an additional $672 billion in “hidden” costs — “including unpaid care for a family member, vitamins and supplements, and complementary and alternative medicine — pushing the spending total to almost $3.5 trillion.”
We’ve known for a while that complementary and alternative medical therapies enjoy vast consumer support, and that consumers will spend out of pocket for CAM therapies, including dietary supplements. This was big news many years ago, when even academic medical centers such as Harvard, Stanford, Duke, and others, recognized that research and education into patient use of complementary therapies was vital to understanding patient movement toward self-care and integrative medicine.
CNBC/USA noted in the article:
A 2004 Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 47% of employees have coverage for acupuncture and 87% have chiropractic care covered.
More recently, “there’s been a slight forward trend toward more coverage of alternative therapies,” said Michael Cohen, founder and president of Beverly Hills-based Michael H. Cohen Law Group, which specializes in health-care law. Even when treatments aren’t covered, he said, some insurers have discount programs that cut costs if you go through a partner provider.
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