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CAM patients in the Netherlands cost less

08 Sep 2014

A new 6-year comparative economic evaluation of healthcare costs and mortality rates of Dutch patients shows that those whose GP has additionally completed training in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) have on average €192 (10.1%) lower annual total compulsory and supplementary healthcare costs than those with a conventional general practitioner. Patients from a CAM practice have neither longer or shorter lives than patients from a conventional practice.

The study analyses data on healthcare costs and mortality rates over the period 2006-2011 from the Dutch insurance company Agis. The data set contained 9126 GP practices: 9016 conventional and 110 CAM. The majority (64%) of the CAM GPs are anthroposophic GPs with others specialised in acupuncture or homeopathy.

The results of this study confirm there is sufficient good evidence to show that CAM can be cost-effective compared to conventional medicine; this should justify greater consideration of CAM by healthcare professionals and policy makers.

Baars EW, Kooreman P, ‘A 6-year comparative economic evaluation of healthcare costs and mortality rates of Dutch patients from conventional and CAM GPs’, BMJ Open 2014, 27 August 2014, 4:e005332 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005332

To read the full article: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/8/e005332.full?sid=0f14c591-48b8-4ff6-bdbf-d0c3324c0bbc

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