Naturopathic medicine is a cost effective solution to address California's primary care provider shortage, provide high quality preventative and wellness health care to millions of consumers, and significantly reduce health care expenditures on preventable medical costs. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are licensed primary care providers trained to diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic diseases using both conventional and natural medicine.
Naturopathic doctors attend four year, graduate-level naturopathic medical schools and pass rigorous board exams before becoming licensed to practice primary care medicine. NDs perform wellness exams and screening tests, order labs and imaging as necessary, and refer to specialists as needed. They use the same CPT codes for office visits as other primary care providers and do not add new services to PCP panels.
If you or your company is interested in learning more about why and how to include naturopathic doctors in your health plans, we encourage you to invite a licensed naturpathic doctor CNDA representative to hold a meeting to explore the benefits and opportunities available to your company. To schedule a meeting with the CNDA, contact Frances, CNDA Membership & Legislative Affairs Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read on to discover information and resources for health insurance plan administrators interested in:
- Reducing overall health care expenditures,
- Increasing the number and variety of health care provider options available to consumers,
- Improving consumer access to safe and effective chronic disease prevention and treatment, and
- Re-focusing health care on preventative and wellness medicine.
Cost Effectiveness of Naturopathic Medicine
Click here for a printable document summarizing existing research on the cost effectiveness of naturopathic medicine. This document discusses:
- The cost impact of including NDs in Washington State insurance plans (generally less than 2%),
- A comparison of the cost and effectiveness of lifestyle therapy, a treatment modality all NDs specialize in, vs. pharmaceutical therapy for treating Type 2 Diabetes,
- A comparison of naturopathic care vs. conventional care for preventing Cardiovascular Disease, and
A comparison of naturopathic care vs. physiotherapy for treating lower back pain and other musculoskeletal complaints.
- The study found that including naturopathic care in an essential benefits package could avoid $172 per day of lost productivity.
Naturopathic Medicine Effectively Treats and Prevents Chronic Disease
Click here for a document summarizing the disproportionate cost and health impacts of chronic disease in California, and evidence demonstrating naturopathic medicine's effectiveness in treating and preventing chronic disease. This document discusses:
- Spending in California on the four most prevalent chronic health conditions (est. $133 billion in 2003 alone),
- How naturopathic doctors directly address lifestyle and behaviors contributing to chronic disease, and
- Studies demonstrating naturopathic medicine's effectiveness in treating and preventing diabetes, heart disease and asthma compared to other treatment options.
Patient Satisfaction with Naturopathic Doctors
Click here for a document that highlights existing research on patient experience and satisfaction with naturopathic doctors compared to other types of health care providers. This document discusses:
- What "patient experience" is and why it impacts health care outcomes,
- What patients can expect when visiting a naturopathic doctor, and
Performance of naturopathic medical clinics compared to other types in clinics in a patient satisfaction survey
- Bastyr Center for Natural Health, a health clinic affiliated with an accredited naturopathic medical university, ranked #1 of 156 health clinics in an independent Puget Sound survey on patient experience.
Primary Care Provider Shortage in California
Click here for a document that summarizes the need for more primary care providers (PCPs) in our state, and why naturopathic doctors are poised to fill this gap. This document discusses:
- Lessons from Massachusetts' experience significantly expanding health care coverage for its residents,
- Naturopathic doctor training and licensing as primary care providers,
- The growing numbers of naturopathic doctors in California and nationwide,
- The 2012 opening of an accredited naturopathic medical school in San Diego, and
- Current insurance coverage of naturopathic doctors in other states.
More Information on Naturopathic Doctors
To find out more information about specific primary care services that naturopathic doctors are trained and licensed to perform in California, and a list of CPT codes commonly used to bill insurance companies, download our document Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are Primary Care Doctors.
To read about the safety record of practicing naturopathic doctors in California and nationwide, download our document Naturopathic Doctor Safety Statistics.
For a comparative breakdown of the clinical and didactic education of naturopathic doctors compared to allopathic doctors, download our document Naturopathic Medical Education Comparative Curricula.
Include naturopathic doctors in your health plans today to improve California’s health and save millions in unnecessary medical costs!