Homeopathy and Managed Care: Manageable or Unmanageable
Abstract: Managed care presents a challenge to homeopaths and to consumers of homeopathic care. If homeopaths want to be a part of managed care, they will have to organize themselves to a higher level of professional order. Although the vast majority of practicing homeopaths are licensed in one of many conventional health professions, with the medical license being the most common, homeopaths need to develop more clearly defined educational standards and certification programs in the specialty of homeopathic medicine, and they need to have these programs certified by respected, independent agencies. The small number of homeopaths who are unlicensed will either have to become licensed or work with those who are and whose malpractice insurance would cover their care. This article notes that there is a small but significant body of clinical research and additional evidence that homeopathic care is cost effective. A recent increase in public and private research monies is leading to a larger body of evidence that homeopathic medicines are effective, and this will help it achieve greater acceptance and recognition from governmental bodies, medical professional associations, and managed care organizations. Reasons are given as to why managed care organizations will play a leading role in advocating that consumers learn to use homeopathic medicines for nonemergency self-care ailments as a way to empower them to take greater control over their health and to reduce doctor visits and hospitalizations.