Rules, regulations, procedures, accreditations, insurance coverage, homeopathic education and training, fast-track Certification and everything you should know about homeopathy in USA.
Where can a homeopathic doctor legally practice homeopathy in USA?
How to get a license to practice homeopathy in US?
Homeopathy has a substantial presence in the United States health care system. Both public and professional interest in these therapies is increasing. The College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and the Falk Institute of Pittsburgh University have research projects devoted to assigning an integrative role in the health care system to complementary/alternative therapies.
In 1991, Congress established the Office of Alternative Medicine within the National Institutes of Health to encourage scientific research in the field. The National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of June 1993 was a landmark.
Estimated expenditures for professional complementary/alternative medical services increased 45.2% between 1990 and 1997. For 1997, these expenditures are conservatively estimated at $21.2 billion with at least $12.2 billion of this paid out-of- pocket. Total 1997 out-of-pocket expenditures relating to complementary/alternative therapies are conservatively estimated at $27 billion, which is comparable with the projected 1997 out-of-pocket expenditures for all physician services. Just over half of
patients (64% in 1990 and 58.3% in 1997) of complementary/alternative medical practitioners pay entirely out-of-pocket for the services.
Approximately 3000 allopathic physicians and other health care practitioners currently use homeopathy
The market for homeopathic medicine in the United States is a multi-million dollar industry. Homeopathic remedies are recognized and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies under strict guidelines.
Education and training
The majority of allopathic medical schools in the United States now offer courses on homeopathy medicine. Beginning in 1997, primary care allopathic physicians have been able to take courses designed to introduce them to homeopathy and to encourage them to incorporate homeopathy in their practices
Complementary/alternative therapies are infrequently included in benefit packages, although the number of insurers and managed care organizations offering coverage is increasing. When complementary/alternative therapies are covered, they tend to have high deductibles and co-payments that are subject to stringent limits on the number of visits or total dollar coverage.
Some insurance companies are including Homeopathic Treatment as part of their coverage.
The practice of homeopathy is diverse. While many practitioners are medically licensed, many are non-licensed. Quality varies greatly from those who take a weekend course and hang up a shingle, to those who have seriously studied homeopathy for many years and are certified in their practice.
Homeopathy is not fully recognized in the United States officially. You won’t work at a hospital or have the privileges of MD or DO physicians.
You can still be a homeopath, but you will have to open up your own practice and gain business that way.
If you want to be a Physician Assistant, you have to go to Physician Assistant school. In the United States, this will take 2-3 years, and to get in, you will have to take the MCAT or GRE as well as have a college degree before you start.
Where can a homeopathic doctor legally practice homeopathy in USA?
How to get a license to practice homeopathy in US?
It depends on two factors.
What education and license that person has, and the state laws in regards to such education and license.
Several states require a MD or DO degree to practice homeopathy since it’s still considered a medication.
And 3 states require to take the state license exam for homeopathy to show that you have the degree and the necessary accredited hours that you are educated in homeopathy - Arizona, Connecticut and Nevada.
California, Rhode Island, and Minnesota have new Health Freedom laws that allow unlicensed practitioners to practice homeopathy. The Health Freedom movement has also introduced similar bills in other states.
In all states, you cannot practice medicine without a license. You can “counsel” people on their health as long as you do not state or even imply that you can diagnose or treat illness.
Otherwise, it’s unregulated and any health professional may use homeopathy, ranging from naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, veterinarians, dentists, nurses, or physician’s assistants.
Double check with the state laws before you practice there.
Most homeopaths are considered Naturopathic physicians, or ND’s. Utah is one state that allows them.
In the US, professional or lay homeopaths may be able to practice as a counselor, giving people advice about the best homeopathic remedies for a known condition, but this depends on the laws governing the practice of medicine, which vary by state.
For a non US Homeopath
Establishing a career as a homeopathic doctor for a non US homeopath is practically difficult, unless they want to come here on a student visa for some other course and then do a course here. if one has been lucky enough to reach here through a spouse then depending on their visa and the state they are in they may have chances if they are in the 3 states which recognize homeopathy as a medical field.
You must aware that homeopaths are not regarded as doctors here unless they have got their allopathic medical degree and then switched to homeopathy. The one alternative is to work as an assistant to homeopaths of this country if they are willing to take your help.
If one is lucky enough to cross all these hurdles and finally get a chance , a person with a homeopathic degree alone, is regarded as a practitioner of alternative medicine, and the other issue is most of the medical insurance does not cover homeopathy. So a person has to be really willing to spend out of pocket if he is willing to go ahead and take a homeopathic treatment. Admits all this struggle
If one has been lucky enough to come here through a spouse the can take the CHC center for homeopathic certification, which is a good recognition and start a practice if their visa status is favorable.
Some practitioners in the US hold another medical degree that allows them to diagnose and prescribe such as: MD, DO, DC, ND, nurse-practitioner, physician’s assistant and so on.
You can become a registered nurse with in 14 months
Basic requirement Bachelors degree in any field
Ms program in biotechnology and Ms biology
The states of Arizona and Nevada
The states of Arizona and Nevada are the only states in the country that license homeopathic medical doctors and homeopathic medical assistants. Thirteen states license naturopathic physicians and homeopathy is included within their scope of practice. Several states include homeopathy within the scope of practice for chiropractic physicians and acupuncturists. Since 2000, California, Minnesota, and Rhode Island have adopted legislation conferring freedom to practice for anyone who gives full disclosure of their training and background.
Licensure to practice homeopathy in Arizona varies depending on the individual’s background. For MD’s (medical doctors) and DO’s (osteopathic doctors), licensure to practice in Arizona is through the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrated Medicine Board. Completion of AMCH’s certificate, or doctoral programs provide sufficient hours to sit for the licensing exam. AMCH’s distance learning programs provides part of the hours necessary to sit for the licensing exam. Homeopathy also lies within the scope of practice of the naturopathic license, and the nurse practitioner license in Arizona.
For all others, the legal practice of homeopathy in Arizona in the past has only been possible as a Homeopathic Medical Assistant. A Homeopathic Medical Assistant practices homeopathy under the auspices of a licensed homeopathic physician (MD or DO) and a Homeopathic Veterinary Assistant practices under the auspices of a licensed veterinary physician. Successful completion of AMCH’s certificate program provides sufficient hours to become registered as a Homeopathic Medical Assistant in Arizona.
Licensing Board Exemption
Arizona recently passed a new law (Senate Bill 1236; ARS: 32-2911*) that is scheduled to go into effect in the Fall of 2008 (www.azhomeopathbd.az.gov/statutes.htm). This law provides an exemption to the practice of classical homeopathy for classical homeopathic practitioners in the State of Arizona if they meet the following criteria:
Provide Treatment of the “Spiritual” Vital Force
Use Classical Hahnemannian Principles in Treatment
Use Diluted Homeopathic Medicines (potency 6X or greater) Prepared Using HPUS Guidelines
Website of American Medical College of Homeopathy : http://www.amcofh.org/index.html
Practice After Graduation
The majority of students go on to practice homeopathic medicine after graduation in private practice. There are also job opportunities in homeopathic research, homeopathic pharmacy, homeopathic teaching and within the homeopathic industry.
For those who choose to do full-time homeopathic practice, there is an annual average income of $62,000 per year.
Homeopathic practitioners practicing under this exemption must not use the title homeopath or homeopathic practitioner to describe themselves.
Acceptable titles under this exemption would include:
Alternative Medical Practitioner
Complementary Medicine Practitioner
Healing Arts Practitioner
Holistic Health Practitioner
Holistic Health Care Practitioner
Natural Health Consultant
Spiritual Vital Force Practitioner
Vital Force Practitioner
CAN A HOMEOPATH PRACTICE IN THE UNITED STATES?
The practice of medicine in the United States of America is controlled by laws and by licensing boards. For a foreign medical degree to be recognized in the US it must have been granted to a graduate of a medical school that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools at the time of the person’s graduation. The World Health Organization publishes this Directory. Having satisfied this requirement, the graduate who possesses such a degree, and wishes to practice medicine there, must pass a two-day examination in basic and clinical sciences administered jointly by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.
Within the United States, homeopathy is considered a postgraduate medical specialty. The physicians who practice it have completed their orthodox professional training, have received their professional degrees, and have obtained their orthodox medical licenses. They may choose to pursue postgraduate training in a medical specialty. Thereafter, they obtain postgraduate education in the science of homeopathy. The legal requirements regarding who can practice homeopathy in the United States vary state to state. To find out what these requirements are for a particular state, contact the State Attorney General’s Office in the capital city of that state.
The Council for Homeopathic Certification
The Council was established in 1991 to create a standard of professional competency for the homeopathic profession and to assist the public in their choice of homeopathic practitioners. This is done through administration of a certification exam offered to homeopaths that are currently residing in North America, and maintenance/publication of a national directory for homeopaths that have passed this exam. At this time, the Council does not offer the certification exam for homeopaths that reside outside of North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean islands). Also at this time, the application process and exam is completed only in English, and candidates must be proficient in English to successfully participate.
The CHC credentials homeopaths. It is unable to provide referrals, information or assistance for questions on work visas. Granting of the CHC certification does not provide any legal right to work in any North American country. All immigration and naturalization processes in North American countries are completely separate from the CHC, and enquirers are advised to seek appropriate legal counsel for these questions.
The certification the Council offers is not a license to practice homeopathy, and the legal basis for homeopathic practice varies by state or province in the US and Canada.
The certification process consists of 4 parts:
Practical (case analysis) exam
To qualify for the theoretical and practical exams:
You must have 500 hours of formal training, or equivalent practice experience
You must have had a college level course in anatomy/physiology (not included in the above hours)
You must have a current CPR certification
Once you have passed the above exams, you must submit clinical training documentation. Clinical training guidelines are 250 supervision/observation hours plus 10 supervised cases with at least 2 follow-up visits.
After submission of your clinical training documentation, you qualify to submit 5 of your own cases. These need to be chronic cases which show significant improvement over a 6 month period. These should be written as outlined in the Certification Prep Guide.
Once your cases have been reviewed and approved by our Applicant Case Review Committee, you will be contacted to schedule your oral interview. During the interview, you will have the opportunity to discuss your practice, or ask any questions that you might have. Successful candidates receive a certificate stating that they are “Certified in Classical Homeopathy”, and are entitled to use the credential ‘CCH’. This certification is not a license to practice, but is helping to define a national identity for the homeopathic profession.
CHC Certification offers you these benefits:
Attests your proficiency as a classical homeopath to patients and other practitioners using a known standard.
Encourages practitioners who would refer patients to a homeopath in your area to choose you due to confidence in your demonstrated skill.
Includes you in a national directory, distributed in printed form and on-line here, helping you to build your practice.
Qualifies professional homeopaths to apply for registered membership with the North American Society of Homeopaths.
Qualifies you for licensure or legal right to practice in those states which require the CCH credential.
Qualifies you for participation in insurance or provider networks which require the CCH credential.
Strengthens the public view of our profession through acknowledgement of a national standard.
Many Indian graduates with the BHMS degree have been certified by the Council and are now ‘practicing’ in the US.
For more information on the Council for Homeopathic Certification, visit their web site http://www.homeopathicdirectory.com/
Accreditation Commission for Homeopathic Education in North America
ACHENA’s mission is to ensure excellence in homeopathic education. ACHENA relies on the expertise of volunteers for two critical elements in the accreditation process – the off-site peer review and the on-site visit. Peer review team members and site visitors are responsible for providing the Commission with verification of the documentation, practices and assertions of the institution or program seeking accreditation, as it relates to Accreditation Standards.
If you are interested in participating please read the qualifications on our website under the tab Peer Review. Qualified applicants please submit the application form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you looking for a challenging leadership position that advances local, state, provincial and national homeopathic education in the United States and Canada? Homeopathy is undergoing unprecedented growth, and receiving increasing public and governmental recognition.
Join us in helping ACHENA achieve its mission to: Establish standards for the education of homeopathic practitioners and accredit homeopathic schools and education programs. ACHENA is currently accepting applications for open positions for 2011.
Web : www.achena.org
The following organizations have certified practitioners included in this directory. Get more info from their websites:
The certification the Council offers is not a license to practice homeopathy, and the legal basis for homeopathic practice varies by state or province in the US
Council for Homeopathic Certification
American Board of Homeotherapeutics (ABHt)
North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH)
NASH works toward making the practice of homeopathy and the use of homeopathy safe and legal in every state and province through support of Health Freedom Acts and through challenges of legislation that attempts to take the scope of practice away from Professional Homeopaths
Fast-Track Certification of experienced homeopaths
FTC is a process by which homeopaths with a minimum of five years clinical experience can avoid the need to take the first part of the certification process, the written exam.
The purpose of this Fast-Track process is to acknowledge that many practitioners, including some who have trained as homeopaths abroad have a level of experience and education that will allow them to be exempt from the 1st stage of the CHC certification process, which is the written exam
For more details : http://www.homeopathicdirectory.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=94
National Centre for Homeopathy- NCH
The National Center for Homeopathy is an open-membership organization whose mission is to promote health through homeopathy.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine
NCCAM funding research on homeopathy
In areas like Homeopathy for physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of fibromyalgia
Homeopathy for brain deterioration and damage in animal models for stroke and dementia.
The homeopathic remedy cadmium, to find out whether it can prevent damage to the cells of the prostate when those cells are exposed to toxins.etc
Web site: www.nccam.nih.gov
Address: NCCAM Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 7923, Gaithersburg, MD 20898-7923
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate homeopathic remedies
Because of their long use in the United States, the U.S. Congress passed a law in 1938 declaring that homeopathic remedies are to be regulated by the FDA in the same manner as nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, which means that they can be purchased without a physician’s prescription. Today, although conventional prescription drugs and new OTC drugs must undergo thorough testing and review by the FDA for safety and effectiveness before they can be sold, this requirement does not apply to homeopathic remedies.
Remedies are required to meet certain legal standards for strength, quality, purity, and packaging. In 1988, the FDA required that all homeopathic remedies list the indications for their use (i.e., the medical problems to be treated) on the label.22,23 The FDA also requires the label to list ingredients.