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“A convergence of forces has made lifestyle medicine the most compelling trend in healthcare,” writes Dr. Dean Ornish, in the February, 23rd, issue of TIME magazine.

“A convergence of forces has made lifestyle medicine the most compelling trend in healthcare.”

The cover story of the magazine is on the topic of “longevity,” and Dr. Ornish has a full-page column, entitled “It’s Time to Embrace Lifestyle Medicine” (pg. 97). There are a number of other columns in the issue that contain information supporting each of the four pillars of the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program, especially the life-prolonging and healing roles of meditation and personal relationships (links to Time articles available to subscribers only).

In his column, Dr. Ornish writes:

In randomized, controlled trials, we found that lifestyle changes alone can often reverse the progression of severe coronary heart disease. They may begin to reverse Type 2 diabetes and show, stop, or even reverse the progression of early stage prostate cancer.

Dr. Ornish also explains that the benefits of lifestyle changes will not only save lives, but could revolutionize the entire medical system.

Right now, 86% of the 3 trillion we spend each year on healthcare in the U.S is for chronic diseases that can be treated through lower-cost interventions. That’s one reason it was a goal of Obamacare to radically change the incentives for how doctors treat patients. In a fee-for-service environment, more operations and hospitalizations generate more revenue. Under the Affordable Care Act, new models of payment reward providers for better outcomes, reducing avoidable procedures by aligning incentives to encourage health lifestyle. 

Lifestyle medicine is now reimbursable. Medicare and many private insurers are covering a lifestyle program for heart disease that my team and I developed. This is a game changer, because when reimbursement changes, so do medical practices and even medical education.

Read the full article online here (subscribers only).

 

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