Washington Integrative Medicine Association
Washington Integrative Medicine Association

Washington Integrative Medicine Association

  • Problems with Health Care Laws in Washington State
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Latest Posts

Dr. Barrett and Quackwatch Still in Bed with MQAC

Patty Melody is an investigator for the Department of Health. Mike Farrell is an attorney for the DOH that has publically denied Dr. Barrett’s involvement with the Probert Case. Dr. Barrett was declared an unreliable witness by Northern California Court of Appeals as such should not be part of any legitimate legal or licensing matter. Read More

The email tells a different story.

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It is All About the MONEY

The real reason big Pharma and the Federation of State Medical Boards are attacking integrative providers — $$$$  13.7 billion dollars.

Integrative medicine just won’t go away.  Major medical schools like Duke and Harvard now have integrative medicine fellowships.  When will medical boards finally see the writing on the wall?   Even the Catholic church had to finally admit Copernicus and Galileo were right.   The old style of medicine of doesn’t fix anything. Allopathic medicine is mostly about controlling the symptoms of disease with drugs, not about treating the cause. It is a fabulous model for Big Pharma, the patient never gets better and has to take medicine to feel well.



It has been estimated that up to $100 billion is lost to health care fraud in the United States annually (Stern, 1994). Medical interventions that do not conform to prevailing scientific standards are becoming increasingly popular. It is estimated that, in 1990, Americans made 425 million visits to providers of “unconventional” medicine, exceeding the number of visits to all US primary care physicians, at a cost of approximately $13.7 billion (Eisenberg et al. 1993). It may be recognized that some alternative therapies may be beneficial and therefore warrant further investigation and possible integration into mainstream medical practice. However, because of the lack of reliable scientific evidence and clinical validation, safety has not been established for most of these modalities. Questionable healthcare practices can pose significant risks to the public safety, either by causing direct patient harm or indirectly, by being needlessly expensive, delaying a more effective treatment or from being administered in an incompetent manner. This proliferation of questionable health care practices and promotions will continue if left unchecked and unregulated. State medical boards are charged with protecting the public from the unprofessional, improper, incompetent unlawful fraudulent and the deceptive practice of medicine (Essentials, Section 1) and, therefore, state medical boards must assure that physicians practice responsible medicine.

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Statistics Show MQAC is Targeting Integrative Care Providers

The state of Washington has opened its databases to the public. This data has been helpful in comparing actions against traditional providers compared to integrative providers.  WIMA (Washington Integrative Medicine Association) obtained the data in this article by using the State of Washington licensing database. WIMA also conducted a search to determine how many active traditional physicians DOH Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) took actions against their licenses compared to integrative physician licenses.

WIMA now knows the MQAC has targeted alternative providers. This new data reveals the scope of those attacks. However, integrative medicine is now a board-certified specialty taught at several medical schools.

The data shows that MQAC took actions against only 2.14 percent (573 out of 26,750) of actively licensed physicians in the state of Washington. Compare that to over 42 percent (13 of 26) of active integrative providers it took actions against. WIMA also compared the findings to naturopathic physicians whose practice style is similar to that of integrative physicians. We found a sanction rate of only 2.49 percent (32 out 1287).

To quantify the sanctions against integrative providers WIMA prepared a spreadsheet listing integrative physicians in the state, and then it searched the database for each integrative medicine provider to determine whether the commission took action.

The physicians on the Naturopathic Physician Board are all naturopaths. However, traditional physicians judge integrative physicians. There are no integrative physicians on the medical commission. The difference this makes is striking. The sanction rate is approximately 20 times higher for integrative physicians compared to traditional physicians or naturopaths, who have their own board.

Integrative physicians should scrutinize other integrative physicians. Instead, MQAC employs sham peer reviews conducted by physicians with no training or experience in integrative medicine.
The Washington State legislature has passed a law stating the practice of alternative medicine is not grounds for discipline. MQAC has simply ignored the law and pursued integrative physicians at every opportunity. In some cases, it started investigations against providers who had no complaints, which against it stated policy.

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  • The provider database is accessible by visiting:

    There is a short instructional video showing how WIMA did its search and acquired its data.

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    Letter to Governor Inslee

    Governor Inslee letter from integrative physicians complains about unfair treatment by MQAC receives no response from Governor Inslee.

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