Damn the evidence and regulations: VA goes full speed ahead with medical pseudoscience

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Science Based Medicine

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has announced (VHA Directive 1137: VA Provision of Complementary & Integrative Health) that acupuncture, reiki, and reflexology, among other “complementary and integrative health [CIH] practices” will now be included in the standard veterans’ medical benefits package. [Translation: You, the taxpayer, will foot the bill.] The VHA found “adequate evidence exists to support the use” of some of the these CIH practices, despite their own evidence review showing otherwise (“List I”).  These must be offered at all VHA medical facilities, either on-site or by referral to community providers. Other CIH approaches (“List II”) will be included in veterans’ medical benefits because they “are generally considered to be safe,” any pretense of efficacy having been totally abandoned; whether to offer them at any particular facility is optional.

(Aromatherapy has since been added to List II.)

To make it easy, the VHA has created its own codes for

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