Announcement of Public Workshop, "Examining Health Care Competition" ("Health Care Workshop") Project No. P13-1207
I am a health care provider and I see a number of patients with chronic diseases. Many of these individuals have gotten questionable information and advice from unqualified individuals, many times individuals with an alphabet soup of credentials behind their name that look impressive to the person seeking guidance. The information they have received has compromised or delayed the care of their chronic disease and/or have cost my patients a considerable amount of money. Some of the people they have gone to have obtained certifications or degrees from programs and schools not recognized by the CHEA or the US Dept. of Education for their particular area of "expertise". Some credentials are shared by 2 groups, which confuses people even more (i.e. "CNS" is shared by "Certified Nutrition Specialist" as well as "Clinical Nurse Specialist" - one is obtained by an accreditation program (nutritionist) another is a high level degree obtained through an accredited college and/or university program (nurse specialist). Some have "legitimate" degrees in one health care field yet veer out of their scope of practice and provide misinformation that compromises a persons health (i.e. a physical therapist telling my elderly diabetic to "stay away from carbs" which resulted in a hypoglycemic episode that sent her back to the hospital). It's important that whoever is calling themselves a "therapist", "nutritionist", "health coach", etc. obtain those certifications, degrees, advanced training/education from a legitimate program that's recognized by an independent, non-industry funded organization (that's kind of where licensing fits in). This will assure that the person who is providing health or nutrition information is providing the public with evidence-based information versus information from the internet, books on the New York Times Bestseller list or industry funded marketing materials. If people are wronged by any professional - with legitimate or questionable degrees - they need to have an easy and known place to provide their concerns, whether it be a licensing board, state's attorney general's office or some other governmental group. Right now people are confused, don't know where to go to voice their concerns, don't have the time to do it or so disenchanted by the misinformation or conflicting information that's out there regarding health and nutrition that they just "give up". We also need to take a closer look at health care legislation that comes up at the state and federal level. Who's funding it? Who's contributing to who's parties campaign or PAC and is that influencing the decision to pass or reject a bill, especially when that senator, representative, governor, etc. is getting pressure from an industry bringing billions of dollars to their state or district? I hope these comments are useful. Thank you for your time.