Status of credentialing alternative providers within a subset of US academic health centers
ABSTRACT Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) clinical services are increasingly provided within conventional health care settings.
To determine how a subset of U.S. academic health centers is credentialing CAM providers.
An electronic survey was created focusing on the credentialing method utilized for six specific types of CAM clinical practitioners within academic medical settings.
This survey was electronically distributed to 33 academic health centers in the United States during the summer 2004.
Ninety-five percent (95%) of academic centers surveyed provide some CAM clinical care. Acupuncture and massage are most common, with naturopathy and homeopathy least common. State licensure requirements for CAM providers appear to not be well-understood. Most commonly, CAM professionals do not receive full medical staff credentials.
Results cannot be extrapolated to remaining academic health centers within the United States. Mind-body practitioners were not included in the survey.
Credentialing and privileges are most commonly granted via indirect methods. Variability in state licensure compounds the challenge of credentialing CAM practitioners. Suggestions for beginning discussions on guiding principles for integrating CAM practitioners within conventional settings are proposed.
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