Seroya Crouch, ND

Reimbursement and access: Two barriers to integrative medicine

In a world where life is split between urban and rural, how do you get integrative healthcare to areas that don’t reimburse integrative/functional medicine practitioners? Dr. Seroya Crouch brings to light this discrepancy and why reform is needed.

The Interview

There are a lot of barriers to integrative care and one of them is reimbursement. That’s a huge one because different practitioners are not reimbursed equally. So it’s really hard to share and work together as an integrative team if the reimbursement isn’t there and it becomes a billing nightmare.

Another one is access. People just don’t have access to the variety of practitioners, especially rural areas that are really underserved; not very many medical doctors want to go live in a rural area frequently. And yet, there are a lot of naturopathic doctors who love to live in rural areas. Yet, because there’s not reimbursement, practitioners who might want to move to rural areas like naturopathic doctors, for example, can’t do it because the local people can’t necessarily afford to pay privately for service.

It’s really a conundrum, but we’re missing out on an opportunity and there’s a workforce there and there’s a need but they’re not matching up.

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