I got one of those conference brochures today, "Comprehensive Training Course in Acupuncture for Physicians", which is really a multi-phase course, with phases 1 and 3 online, and phase 2 for 10 days, on site, at UC Irvine.
I'm not attempting to write about acupuncture. I'm not even qualified to begin thinking about acupuncture. I didn't even spell it right, initially. I'm simply going to quote from the "Statement of Need".
"Acupuncture treatment is extensively sought by a vast segment of the patient population. A significant and growing body of evidence also indicates the efficacy of such complementary treatments for a wide variety of clinical indications. Acupuncture is now, in many cases, a physician reimbursable procedure with third-party payers, thus reflecting its acceptance as good medical practice..."
I'm finding it difficult to form my thoughts about this into sentences. Granted, it's not claiming that the fact that a procedure, in this case acupuncture, is reimbursable implies or proves that said procedure is good medical practice. Nor is it claiming that insurance companies get to decide what is and isn't good medical practice (not officially, anyway). It's simply claiming that acupuncture is widely accepted as good medical practice, and this is reflected in the fact that insurance companies are willing to reimburse for it.
What bothers me is the casual lumping together of "good medical practice" and "reimbursable". I keep wondering when the lightbulb will go on, and people will realize that, like casinos, insurance companies are not in business to lose money. They care about "good medical practice" only insofar as that practice costs them less or makes them more money than another practice. They are not kind friends happy to help in your hour of need.
And boy do they love a quick fix. 15 minute med checks? Yes, please! Integrated care, with no psychiatrist in sight? I'll take some o' that! Years of painful, soul-searching struggle to unlearn a lifetime of pathologic interactions with the world, and no PHQ-9? Bad practice!