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Functional Medicine Principles

At times it has not been fun being on the leading edge (sometimes bleeding edge) of the change in health care. But articles like this one give me hope  as it should give you hope that we can find a better way in medicine. I was so moved by this recent article published in the NEJM, authored by two Standford physicians, that I just had to share with you. Here is a quick digest. Link to full text 

Key arguments for making a change:

-At present 70% of U.S. deaths and 75% percent of all heath care expenditures are linked to the expression of just three preventable diseases: cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes

-Notwithstanding, the U.S. currently allocates the largest percentage of GDP toward health care of any developed country in the world

-The current medical system is still enthralled with an acute care model while the nation is ridden with chronic disease

-Prevention of these chronic diseases is out-of-step with the widely implemented acute care model

-The prevalence of chronic disease (non-communicable disease) has is now exceeding infectious/acute disease, even in non-industrilized nations

Proposed plan of action, steps required:

-Medical schools should emphasize “homeostasis and health”, not just disease pathology (****THIS IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE ****)

– 3rd party payers need to reimburse for health “maintenance and prevention”

– Government and payers must appropriately reward “non nonpatentable therapies” and support prevention research (**** When a supplement that has equal effectiveness to a drug gets the same reimbursement rules from payors we will see a big shift in the number of deaths from drug-related causes ie. SAMe for joint pain or depression *****)

– Primary care physicians will need to be looked at anew, more valued for their service as “health coaches” 

-Primary care physicians must be compensated in accordance with their central importance, establishing parity

Thanks to Mike Mutzel for passing this article on to me.. and now on to you!

Let’s keep being the change we want to see in this world!

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Dr. David Haase

Dr. Haase is the Founder and CEO of MaxWell Clinic- a Collaborative-Care, Functional Medicine Clinic. He is committed to finding and addressing the underlying causes of illness in his patients.