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January 5, 2000

Conventional Medical Care and Unconventional Therapies

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(1):56-57. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-283-1-jbk0500

To the Editor: Drs Druss and Rosenheck1 correctly point out that "complementary" and "alternative" are not synonymous; they are, in fact, mutually exclusive. Because most users of unconventional care also obtain conventional treatment, resulting in higher overall health care use, the authors conclude that "complementary" is the more appropriate term. Refuting the notion that access to unconventional care might reduce total use, this article delivers a warning to third-party payers considering reimbursement for such practices.

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