The Nov. 17 article, China clinic gives Americans new hope, is grossly misleading concerning the cost of acupuncture, physical therapy and massage here in the U.S. The article leads your readers to believe that the $30,000 charged for these services in China is a mere fraction of the cost here. In addition, the article doesn’t mention the costs of air travel, food and the displacement from home surroundings for the treatment period.
Let me be more specific. As a retired osteopathic physician, I practiced medicine, medical acupuncture with and without electrical stimulation and osteopathic manipulation for 35 years in Des Moines. I treated the same types of cases mentioned in the article. The charge for the above would be less than $170 per visit. Local massage therapy could be handled for $65 to $100 per treatment. Physical therapy appointments are currently between $150 to $180 per treatment.
Multiply all of the above given treatments daily for 90 days and the end result is nowhere near the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” as claimed. In reality, it would be closer to $40,500.
The article is also misleading by giving the blanket statement that the above services are not covered by insurance. Many of these services are covered by the insurance industry and Medicare. Read your policy to find out what is covered and what is not.
Lastly, this article is a disservice to the physician and non-physician practitioners of acupuncture here in Iowa and nationally. It leads your readers to believe that the only hope for someone who has suffered a debilitating medical condition is to travel to that magical land of China to get help.
I have been to China more than once. I have lived, traveled and studied there. It is not magical. It is a polluted and overcrowded mess. And besides, you can get the same treatment here.