Do patients registered with CAM-trained GPs really use fewer health care resources and live longer? A response to Kooreman and Baars. Eur J Health Econ (2012). 13:469–776
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We read with interest the article by Kooreman and Baars, which aimed to "explore the cost-effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) compared with conventional medicine” . More specifically, this paper compared health-care costs and mortality rates across two patient populations, the primary distinguishing feature being whether or not patients’ general practitioners (GP) had completed certified additional training in CAM. The paper addresses an important and thought-provoking issue, and adds to a relatively small (though not neglected) area of health economics research. The authors assert that patients registered to a CAM-GP have lower health-care costs and mortality rates. Although specific policy implications are not discussed in the article, one would assume that the authors would infer that their results provide support for CAM on the grounds of cost-effectiveness. We believe these findings could be widely cited, as is commonplace for ‘supportive’ CAM...
KeywordsHealthcare costs Life expectancy Complementary medicine
JEL ClassificationI11 I12