People still ask- Dr. Singleton what exactly do you do? Naturopathic doctors (ND) are touted as the experts in lifestyle medicine, holistic wellness, and work to improve the quality of your health as an alternative primary care provider.
We provide care that is beyond the basics of diet and nutrition, but also offer a different perspective on one's health problems and not relying solely on pharmaceutical prescriptions to manage and reverse disease. It's like getting a second opinion on your health, but from a natural perspective.
This medicine is the definition of Integrative Medicine. ND's provide cost effective care to slow and reverse the onset of the bank-breaking chronic disease. That's a no-brainer in the cost-benefit analysis.
As I was re-reading about Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I can't help but to grin and simultaneously frown at the changes to come- believe me there are alot of unknowns. But the fact remains, we will all be mandated to purchase insurance plans.
Quoting Dr. Len Wisneski, clinical professor of medicine at GW Medical Center:
"non-discrimination in healthcare" section prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against healthcare providers. It was created to encourage full utilization of healthcare providers and reduce the cost of patient care.... the non-discrimination section specifically includes providers of integrative healthcare, and they are also to be included within the health plan coverage. However, there is concern this section could lose ground during the ACA's implementation."
But like so many of my patients- I'm not interested in purchasing a plan that doesn't include explicit coverage or reimbursement for naturopathic care, acupuncture, and chiropractic equally. I want coverage for medicine under ACA that I can use the other 364 days of the year. Medicine that helps nourish and re-build me- even when everything seems "normal". I want medicine that keeps me feeling mentally and physically vital and teaches me skills about living an excellent quality of life.
ND's change health on a DNA/cellular level (using epigenetic treatments) and if you stop and think about it- that's powerful! My medicine is based in evidence, rooted in decreasing inflammation and stimulates CHANGE!
When you learn healthy lifestyle habits that change genetic expression, healing becomes multi-generational and shatters cultural barriers. And this my friends is worth way more than a million dollars.
So your call to action: read and educate yourself on the ACA. Call up your employer, insurance provider, or state rep- tell them explicitly you want Naturopathic coverage or encourage your employer to participate in an exchange that offers ND Coverage, or incorporates health savings accounts (HSA), or Flex savings as part of ACA mandates. These changes are coming sooner than later. Exchanges will be available for purchase beginning in October- 5 months away!
Believe me, deductibles will increase, and costs will be transferred down to the individual to save $$ for the businesses. Remember, this is your money- and your hard earned money should be used at your discretion for the kind of medical care you want!
Dr. Vera Singleton, ND, MBA