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Opioids have made insurers embrace alternative medicine – Source

In the past decade, some in the medical community have come to endorse alternative forms of medical practice such as reiki, acupuncture, and even scientifically dubious practices like energy healing. For hospitals, alternative medicine has become a distinguishing and sellable feature set that is helping to prop up their revenue. However, insurance has been slow to cover these services, some of which don’t have any scientific backing.

But insurers are slowly becoming more willing to pay for some of the longer-established alternative medicines such as meditation, chiropractic care, and acupuncture, which recent studies show can help with chronic pain management. As regulators and health systems move to reduce opioid prescriptions, health insurers are giving these treatments a second look.

The latest support for alternative medicine comes from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Last month, the nation’s largest healthcare payer expanded its coverage to include…

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