An American Hospital Association survey shows that hospitals in the U.S. are providing more complementary and alternative therapies in addition to conventional services. More than 37% of hospitals responding to the survey offer one or more alternative therapies, compared with 26.5% in 2005. Complementary and alternative therapies offered include homeopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, diet and lifestyle changes, and herbal medicine. 84% of the hospitals providing such care cited patient demand as a factor in their decision to offer it, and 64% gave clinical effectiveness as their main reason.
For example, in the Washington, DC area, homeopathy is among alternative therapies offered at George Washington University Medical Center and the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Medicine.
In addition to their effectiveness, another benefit cited for complementary and alternative therapies is their “green” nature. Reports Time Magazine’s Health and Science section: “Pamela Gray, a trustee of the Transition Network, a U.K.-based organization that supports community-level initiatives to improve sustainability and combat climate change …proposes also that by increasing insurance coverage of so-called alternative medicine—low-energy practices, like acupuncture, homeopathy, nutritionists, herbalists—more patients might seek greener care.”
—compiled from Congressional Quarterly HealthBeat,
September 13, 2008; The Washington Post,
September 16, 2008; Time Health and Science at www.time.com, November 10, 2008