Did you know that in Oregon, Naturopathic Doctors are paid less than MDs, DOs, even Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants - for every single office visit?
And I'm not talking 2% or 5% less. I'm talking 30-60% less.
That doesn't seem right, does it?
Yet insurance companies are allowed to pay us less, just because they can.
The Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians is trying to correct this injustice with a Pay Parity bill, House Bill 2673.
Our first attempt at passing a Pay Parity bill was in 2019. It was unsuccessful, largely due to blockades and intentional faulty messaging provided by the insurance companies. We have come up with (what we hope are) effective tools to address this.
A lot has changed since 2019, I don't need to tell you that.
But what I can tell you is that as a profession in this state, the economic impact of unfair insurance coverage was not fair and not great in 2019. In 2021 it is truly devastating.
If we do not act, there will be widespread negative repercussions in Oregon for anyone who is an ND or would like to see an ND. Perhaps permanently.
The OANP needs to demonstrate we're not alone. That others care about this issue.
Here's a short list of who should care:
So, what can I do?
I'm so glad you asked.
I invite you to use this very simple letter template, edit and write in it what you wish (even 1 or 2 sentences is wonderful), and email it to email@example.com.
They will be collecting up all the letters and using these to show that we have public support for our bill. Though these will all be collected up together, if you do not know your senator and state representative, you can find out who they are here>>>
We do have far-reaching support for our bill. It is supported across the aisle, and also across the healthcare fields. We just need to show the evidence.
I have attached word document templates below. You can send in a word document, or even just copy and paste your message into an email and send to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Deadline: please send it in this week! Things are moving fast, and we need to show our support now!
Subject: Re: HB2673, Support Fair Pay for Naturopathic Doctors (NDs)
Dear House and Senate Health Care Committees, Oregon Legislature,
My name is (Insert Your Name) and I am a patient of a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and your constituent. I would like to share my experience working with an ND as a medical provider and ask you to please support HB2673.
(Insert your experience here. Use the following as a prompt)
I have worked with many types of medical providers, and none have taken the time and shown the care in my health and welfare like my Naturopathic Physician. The level of education, support and competent care that I have received has not only helped me move forward with my health conditions, but has renewed my faith in the healthcare system.
Unfortunately, right now in Oregon NDs are not being fairly compensated for their valuable contributions to healthcare in this great state. This makes it more difficult for people like me to access this unique and essential level of care. It also limits my choices when it comes to healthcare.
My ND manages the majority of my healthcare needs whether it be my annual physical, lab orders, health screenings or prescription(s). They also refer me to other competent providers and specialists when appropriate. In addition, they teach me about diet and nutrition, how to stay active, manage stress, improve my sleep and become more proactive in my own healthcare. All of these things come together to create a more complete treatment plan for my health and I have never felt better.
I am asking you to vote yes on HB2673 and support fair pay for Naturopathic Doctors.
(Insert Your Name)
Will this actually make a difference???
Yes, yes it will. I have sat in on numerous senate and house healthcare committee hearings and can tell you from experience that our organization saying, "please bring our bill to a vote, we have 1,500 letters of support" will make a much bigger impact than, "please bring our bill to a vote, we have 5 letters of support."
Politicians are much more likely to act, even whether to call a vote or not, if they know that there is a ton of support behind the bill.
Every letter of support counts.
Now the question is, can I count on you???
I hope so, and truly appreciate your support.
Patient letter template:
Letter template for my fellow NDs:
Letter template for my allied healthcare professionals:
After encountering tech issues. all. last. week, I'm finally able to share all those tons of resources I was mentioning in my IG and FB videos>>>
At around 45 min, it was much longer than anticipated, and while dense, I think encapsulated a lot of the hot button questions I've been receiving around the vaccine, primarily:
Does the vaccine work?
What are the side effects?
Who shouldn't get the vaccine?
That other doctor over there (on the internet) is telling me not to get it. Why do you two disagree?
And finally, if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding, should I still get vaccinated?
If you need yet another reminder, I am not an immunologist, epidemiologist, virologist, infectious disease specialist, or anyone doing research in any of these fields.
I'm simply a Naturopathic Physician who is doing their due diligence to learn, then pass along, all the good resources, research articles, and related information I can to my patients and audience.
And as a reminder, Dr. Zwickey's interview>>> is a great primer on what the vaccines actually contain and do.
Do they actually work?
Here in the US we have two manufacturers of the vaccine available, Moderna and Pfizer.
This information is taken directly from their Phase 3 trials, both following tens of thousands of research participants, both those who received the vaccine and also those who received a placebo.
First looking at Moderna>>>," Of 196 COVID-19 cases in the study, 185 were in the placebo group, making the vaccine 94.1 percent effective. The vaccine completely prevented severe disease. All 30 severe cases and one death among study participants were people who had gotten the placebo."
And here's the info on Pfizer>>>, "The trial has so far enrolled more than 43,000 people. Of those participants, 38,955 have completed the vaccine regimen, which consists of two injections spaced three weeks apart. At the time of the analysis — which looked at data seven days after participants received a second dose — a total of 94 people in the trial had confirmed coronavirus cases."
So yes, for both vaccines, those who received the vaccine were far, far less likely to catch Covid-19 than those who received the placebo (fake).
Concerns about their side effects and ingredients?
In the previous vaccine info article, I posted the Moderna fact sheet. Here is the Pfizer one>>>
They are nearly identical in terms of common side effects (pain at the injection site, fever, chills, generalized aches and pains, headache) and also ingredients.
Serious allergic reaction to these is rare, "during December 14–23, 2020, monitoring by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of a reported 1,893,360 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (11.1 cases per million doses); 71% of these occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination."
Compared to other vaccines, these two have relatively less ingredients, stabilizers/ preservatives and contain no heavy metals - which makes them "cleaner" than many others commonly used.
The only absolute reason why someone should not get the vaccine, as posted on their fact sheets are:
"WHO SHOULD NOT GET THE PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 VACCINE?
You should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you:
• had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
• had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine."
"WHO SHOULD NOT GET THE MODERNA COVID-19 VACCINE?
You should not get the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine if you:
• had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
• had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine"
Even having had an adverse reaction does not preclude you from being able to obtain the vaccine. If you choose to receive either of these vaccines, and have had an allergic reaction to a past vaccine (or an anaphylactic reaction at all) you will likely be observed for a longer time post-injection.
Should those who are pregnant or breastfeeding vaccinate?
I am not a prenatal expert, so if this is relevant to you, please discuss this with your expert.
However, I can share with you that people who are pregnant and breastfeeding are making individualized choices for what is right for them, and thus some are being vaccinated right now.
Experts are currently recommending that each person determine if it is right for them, depending on work exposure and risk.
Here are a few helpful resources:
"Vaccination in pregnancy could be considered where either:
Who's up next to get shots?
Here in the US, states are taking input from the federal government, and releasing access in tiers according to workplace exposure and health status.
On January 25th Oregon entered a modified 1B phase. Our governor recently released that educators and child care workers would become eligible that date, then seniors would become eligible February 8th. I expect to see more shifts and changes as the landscape of vaccine availability is constantly changing.
Here's a refresher on who's in what phase:
That about answers all the questions I've been receiving for now, with what I hope are helpful resources for you to learn more.
To your best health,
Today I'm chatting with two awesome Aussie ladies- Nat and Cecelia from The Wellness Collective Podcast. We talk about why pain happens, what inflammation actually is, and how injection therapy can help. Listen on apple podcasts <<here>> (or find them wherever you get your podcasts).
Today I talked with Dr. Dawn Andalon, the host of Women's Health Happy Hour, all about things we can do to keep aging joints healthy. We discussed therapies such as PRP injections and prolotherapy- some of my specialites! Tune in <<here>> to learn more. (Podcast is available on apple, spotify, google, or anchor.fm).
Today I'm talking with Dr. Michelle Peris about my favorite topic- joint health! Please join us as we discuss lifestyle and dietary interventions that can help reverse arthritis, and dive in to my 7 step plan to reverse chronic joint pain.
First off, if you care about this topic, take 16 minutes and listen to this interview by Dr. Zwickey>>>
She's an immunologist and was my immunology teacher in medical school. This is an interview for the Natural Medicine Journal.
Here's the Facebook live I shot, sharing my experience and answering everyone's questions>>>
This was filmed the morning of Monday, Jan. 11th.
Here's the Moderna fact sheet I was given when I received my vaccine: