HOPE Center Collaborates with AzCIM in 3-year Study

Comparing the cost-effectiveness of integrative medicine approaches with conventional medical care, the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research is collaborating with the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in a three-year study.

With the opening of the new Arizona Integrative Health Center in Phoenix, Ariz. on Oct. 22, 2012, a group of researchers from the HOPE center will study and analyze patient outcomes over the next two years. HOPE Center researchers involved in this clinical outcomes and effectiveness study include Ivo Abraham, Amy Grizzle, Patricia Hermann, Melanie Logue and Rick Rehfeld.  Sally Dodds from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine is also part of the project.

The new clinic provides integrative medicine treatments to residents of the Phoenix area in Maricopa County. Integrative approaches reflect not only healing the body, but addressing all aspects and qualities of life. The center stresses a supportive relationship between practitioner and patient, and treatments frequently include herbal supplements alongside conventional medicinal prescriptions.

"A major challenge for integrative medicine is to show its value and when I say value, I mean whether it generates good outcomes for a fair price," Abraham says.

The team of researchers will analyze patient outcomes at the new clinic, comparing them against the outcomes of patients receiving conventional medicine only.

"What you try to do with cost-effectiveness is to link it to better outcomes," says Abraham. "You want to show that this is worth the incremental cost. And the reality is that probably a lot of integrative medicine will prove to be more expensive in cost… But the question is, are you getting more here?"