Treating the Health Care Crisis: Complementary and Alternative Medicine for PPACA

Ryan Abbott

Southwestern Law School; David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA


14 DePaul J. Health Care L. 35

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) intends to take American health care in a new direction by focusing on preventive medicine and wellness-based treatment. But, in doing so, it does not adequately take into account the potential contribution of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM is already used by a large and growing number of individuals in the United States, although to date there is limited scientific evidence to support the efficacy of most CAM treatments. This article proposes statutory reforms to PPACA to encourage CAM research and development (R&D), and the use of demonstrably effective CAM treatments. A hybrid system of limited intellectual property protection and government prizes based on regulatory approval may be the best option for incentivizing R&D on CAM, along with increased funding for research through the National Institutes of Health. PPACA should require health insurance plans to reimburse for evidence-based CAM and empower an existing government agency (NCCAM) to regulate CAM standards and to recommend evidence-based CAM services. Together these policy and funding mechanisms should help reduce U.S. healthcare costs and improve quality of life.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 64

Keywords: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Market Exclusivity, Intellectual Property

JEL Classification: I00, I1, I18, K00, K1, K2, K21, K3, K32

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Date posted: May 17, 2012 ; Last revised: April 28, 2013

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Ryan, Treating the Health Care Crisis: Complementary and Alternative Medicine for PPACA (2012). 14 DePaul J. Health Care L. 35. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2061459

Contact Information

Ryan Benjamin Abbott (Contact Author)
Southwestern Law School ( email )
3050 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.drryanabbott.com
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA ( email )
1000 Veteran Avenue, Box 956939
Los Angeles, CA 90095-6939
United States
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