Music Therapy as a Complementary Medicine
The introduction of the Affordable Care Act this year proved to have rippling effects in every part of healthcare, including complementary medicine which can be defined as medical services or products that are outside of standard care of medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (NIH: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2014). Another crude definition is that this form of medicine is not evidence based and cannot be demonstrated to have a meaningful and consistent effect on patients who use these therapies. These complementary forms of medicine are not meant to be used alone, but rather in conjunction with traditional medicine as prescribed by practicing physicians. Alternative medicine means that a specific therapy is used in place of traditional therapy which is opposite of complementary medicine which is used together with traditional medicine. The complementary therapies most commonly used by patients include natural products, meditation, chiropractic, guided relaxation, and homeopathic treatments (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), 2014). Slowly music therapy is showing promising signs of being a contender in complementary therapy for a variety of patients, some of which include cancer patients, schizophrenia, brain injury, depression, and elderly (Kamoika, 2014). In the year 2007 almost $33.9 billion was spent by adults in the United States out-of –pocket for complementary therapy (Paying for Complementary Health Approaches, 2013). This figure represents about 1.5% of the total annual health care spent, while $268.6 billion was spent on out-of-pocket for other medical expenses, representing 11.2% of total health care cost.
While traditional medicine is readily accepted by insurance companies for payment and reimbursement, complementary and alternative medicine is not yet at that stage. But as more of the...