How could I not comment on the report last week from the National Institutes of Health about the growing popularity of complementary and alternative medicine? The good news is even though the field is often about self-care 38% of adults in this country made 354 million visits to complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in 2007. The bad news is that CAM therapies only make up 1.5% of the $2.2 trillion spent on health care in this country.
It's been estimated that 30% of our health care budget, or about $700 billion, is spent on tests and treatments that provide no value or benefit. Clearly we've got a long way to go to better balance our health care.