National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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Frequently Asked Questions

On this page:

Consumer Questions

Q: Does NCCAM provide referrals to or maintain a list of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners?
A: No. As a medical research agency, we do not refer people to or maintain lists of CAM practitioners or treatment centers. However, our fact sheet “Selecting a CAM Practitioner” includes resources that can help you find a CAM practitioner and provides questions to help you choose one.
Q: Does NCCAM provide medical advice?
A: No. As a research agency, we do not provide medical advice. Information provided by NCCAM is not meant to take the place of your primary health care provider’s medical expertise. We encourage you to discuss all aspects of care and treatment with your health care provider, including any complementary or alternative medicine or practices you are using or considering.
Q: Does health insurance cover payment for CAM?
A: Generally, coverage from insurance companies is limited and is different depending on your state and insurer. Our fact sheet “Paying for CAM Treatment” provides some information about insurance coverage for CAM.
Q: How do I find out about credentialing and licensing of CAM practitioners?
A: Requirements for licensure vary by type of CAM practice and by state. For some CAM therapies, licensure is required in some states and not in others. For other therapies, there are no formal requirements for practice. You may want to contact a nearby hospital, medical school, health licensing authority, or state medical board for CAM credential and license requirements in your state.

The article “Credentialing Complementary and Alternative Medicine Providers” is an NCCAM-funded review of state licensure requirements and other issues of credentialing CAM practitioners that might be helpful.

Our fact sheet “Selecting a CAM Practitioner” includes suggestions and resources that can help you find out about professional standards, training, and other requirements for CAM practitioners.

The National Library of Medicine’s Directory of Health Organizations lists professional organizations that outline standards of practice for certain CAM therapies and may offer information about the type of training required for a license. Search for the therapy or type of practitioner to find organizations that may be able to assist you.

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Research Questions

Q: How do I learn about the results of research conducted by NCCAM?
A: Our Research and Clinical Trials Results page highlights results from several large NCCAM-funded studies. We also provide links to databases you can search for published articles about NCCAM-funded projects and other CAM research studies.
Q: How do I apply for a grant?
A: Our Tips for New NIH Research Grant Applicants provides links that will help you get started and complete all the required steps. The page includes announcements, guidelines, advice on writing grants, and other help. There is also information on the types of projects we fund, as well as our research priorities.

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Web Site Questions

Q: Are the images and text on NCCAM’s Web site copyrighted?
A: Most photos and graphics on our site were purchased and are protected by copyright. Copyrighted material carries a credit line indicating that it did not originate at NCCAM. Please do not copy these photos and graphics on our Web site without permission from the copyright owner. Images within the NCCAM Image Gallery, however, are freely available for non-commercial scientific and educational use. Please see the Image Gallery’s Terms of Use for details.

Text on the NCCAM Web site is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. You may print and copy our publications. Please credit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as the source, and include the publication title and date, where applicable. Do not use our information in a way that suggests we endorse any commercial product or service. Because we routinely review and update information, we encourage you to link directly to our Web site.

Occasionally, the NCCAM site may contain documents or links to documents, such as full-text journal articles, that are copyright protected. Web users may view and print these documents. Contact the copyright owner for any other uses.

Q: Does NCCAM endorse products or other Web sites?
A: No, NCCAM does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services. The information on NCCAM’s Web site may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

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General Questions

Q: How do I contact NCCAM?

Toll-free in the U.S.: 1-888-644-6226
TTY (for deaf or hard-of-hearing callers): 1-866-464-3615

NCCAM Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 7923
Gaithersburg, MD 20898

E-mail: info@nccam.nih.gov

For more specifics, see the Contact Us page.

Q: How can I stay up-to-date on NCCAM’s activities?
A: You can stay informed via monthly or semi-monthly email announcements, our RSS feed, or our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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