The Potential Primary Prevention Pioneering
UVM Medical Center Certificate of Need
By the Complementary and Alternative Association of Vermont
May 29, 2015
“Preventing is better than treating”
Hippocrates of Kos (460 – 377 BC) 1
“When primary prevention becomes the first course of action
Health care becomes health care
Not acute late stage disease care.”
Dr. John Hagelin 2
Members of the Complementary and Alternative Association of Vermont (CAMaVT) (CAMaVT.org) thank the Green Mountain Care Board, your staff, the UVM Medical Center and concerned citizens for their dedication to improving the lives of Vermonters.
We appreciate the Board’s and UVMMC’s transparency and seeking input from the public.
We commend UVMMC for their progress towards improving the health and prosperity of Vermonters. They are continuing to develop, augment and implement a holistic and balanced plan to integrate evidence-based conventional, alternative and primary
The UVM Medical Center (UVMMC) could further lead the nation by emphasizing Hippocrates’ teaching that a physician’s first course of action is to prevent the onset of disease [Primary Prevention] and reduce costs. Spending a few percent of their new building investment would start the process.
The goal of CAMaVT is to bring together all health care providers and the public to harmoniously create a holistic integrated health care system.
Americans spend a mere 3% of their health care dollars on disease prevention and 97% on medical care. This is totally out of balance. The potential savings from increased funding of disease prevention is 70% and 4% for medical care 4.
The solution to rising ill health and health care costs is increased funding of and support for primary prevention, primary care physicians, public health and population health.
It is more humane and less costly to prevent the onset of disease than to treat after suffering has begun. Effective programs with solid research and endorsements are now available to support prevention-based health care.
We are pleased that UVMMC’s plans include:
- Increasing funding for prevention and therefore reaping a good Return On Investment (ROI)
- Making evidence-based alternative services readily available to patients and primary care physicians.
- Providing continuing education for physicians enabling them to suggest evidence-based alternative services that prevent the onset of disease and reverse the progression of the illnesses.
- Funding Payment Reform Pilots on alternative health services.
Prevention, wellness and balance form the foundation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It includes Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Medical Doctors practicing integrated medicine and the Transcendental Meditation® program (TM®) (TM.org). These approaches to health and wellness are supported by years of research to determine their efficacy.
CAMaVT encourages continuing research by all health care modalities.
We request the the GMCB to take testimony on scientific research on various CAM modalities.
This is one example:
The Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) technique (TM.org) is a prevention-oriented and evidence-based health care service. Scientific research studies verify that the TM technique dissolves stress, prevents the onset of disease 5and reduces disease in all major categories 6. This powerful tool would make a primary care physician’s treatments more effective.
A TM Payment Reform Pilot is one recommendation. The purpose of the pilot is to demonstrate and evaluate that teaching the TM technique to consistently high cost people will improve their health and decrease associated medical expenses.
The costs for the pilot are recouped in less than a year. The Return On Investment is 100%.
A sample of over 450 scientific research peer-reviewed studies is:
1 28% reduction in medical expenses for consistent high cost people 7:
a High cost people learning the TM technique yields the most immediate results and the highest Return On Investment
b 100% Return On Investment. The one time course fee is recouped in less than a year and the savings continue to grow thereafter without additional costs
c The highest spending 10% in the general population incurred 60% to 70% of total medical expenditures annually 8
2 55% reduction of medical expenses for adults 9 and 70% for the elderly 10.
3 48% reduction in heart attacks, strokes and death 11
a A 9 year randomized control study
b One of the studies funded by $25 million in grants by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to study the TM program’s ability to mitigate heart disease.
4 The American Heart Association, in a review of all research available on various meditation techniques, concluded that alternative treatments that include the Transcendental Meditation technique are recommended for consideration in treatment plans for all individuals with blood pressure >120/80 mm Hg. Other meditation techniques are not recommended in clinical practice to lower BP at this time 12.
These are highlights of research conducted in Vermont and endorsements of the TM technique:
1 Platoons of meditating Cadets outperform all other platoons at Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont 13 (5 min Video)
2 Significant reduction in teacher burnout at the Bennington School, Bennington, Vermont 14
3 Reduced inmate stresses and tensions resulting in fewer disciplinary infractions in several Vermont prisons 15
References are appended.
The TM technique, taught by a non-profit organization, is a simple, natural technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice, and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. Over six million people have learned it — people of all ages, cultures, educational backgrounds, and religions.
Please take our suggestions into account when considering approving this CON.
Thomas Hall, BSEE, MS Nutrition and Biochemistry
President, Complementary and Alternative Medical Association of Vermont
Founder and President, Complementary and Alternative Medical Association of Vermont
Peter M. Bingham MD, Professor, Neurological Sciences
UVM Medical Center
Rep. Jim McCullough
Heather Rice, DC
Chiropractor at Wellspring Chiropractic Lifestyle Center
Brendan Kelly M. Ac., L. Ac.
Acupuncturist at Jade Mountain Wellness
Bill Schenck, DC
Chiropractor at Vizuri Health Center
Dr. Robert Herron PhD, MBA
Director, Center for Health Systems Analysis
Dr. Janet Smith
Retired Librarian, Middlebury College
Shirley Boncheff, MBA
Martha Loving Orgain, MFA
Thinking with the Heart -Light Darkness and Color in Painting Therapy
Living Arts Director,
Living Well Group
Ethan Allen Residence
Living Well Care Home
Andrew Jackson, MS
Internet Strategy Management
Sensible Strategies Consulting, www.sensible-strategies.com
Thomas Hall, BSEE, MS Nutrition and Biochemistry
resident and Founder of the Complementary and Alternative Medical Association of Vermont
Member of the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) Advisory Committee,
Preventing is better than treating” Hippocrates 1
- Dr. Hagelin, Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, Fairfield, Iowa and International Director of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace
- The potential savings from increased funding of disease prevention is 70% and 4% for medical care
Data Sources: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services: Healthy People 2010: Understanding and Improving Health, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2000. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, An Ounce of Prevention….What are the Returns? 2nd edition, Atlanta, GA: Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1999. Healthy People 2000: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1990.
- Americans spend a mere 3% of their health care dollars on disease prevention and 97% on medical care. NEW KNOWLEDGE FOR NEW RESULTS , Robert Herron, Page 116:
- TM technique prevents the onset of disease Avert the danger that has not yet come
- Reduces disease in all major categories.
- 28% reduction in medical expenses for consistent high cost people: American Journal of Health Promotion, 2011; 26(1): 56–60
- 60% to 70% of health care dollars are spent on high cost people An Innovative Way to Reduce Medicare and Medicaid Expenses
- 55% reductions of medical expenses for adults American Journal of Health Promotion 1996; Vol. 10, No. 3, p. 208–216.
- 70% reductions of medical expenses for the elderly American Journal of Health Promotion 2000; 14:284–291.
10. 48% reduction in heart attacks, strokes and death Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2012; 5: 750-758
11. The American Heart Association recommends the TM technique (Hypertension.2013;61:00-00) (Summary)
12. Platoons of meditating Cadets outperform all other platoons at Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont (5 min Video)
13. Significant reduction in teacher burnout at The Bennington School, Bennington, Vermont The Permanente Journal
14. Reduced inmate stresses and tensions resulting in fewer disciplinary infractions in several Vermont prisons Vermont Transcendental Meditation Correctional Program, 1983, J Offender Rehab 36 (1-4), 2003.