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NOVEMBER 12, 2011 • ISSUE 144

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Dr. Robert Herron, author of the new study


Over 5 years, the TM groups’s physician expenses decreased by 28%
(view enlarged chart)


Michael P. O’Donnell

Study Shows Medical Costs Decrease 28 Percent Over Five-Year Period

Former faculty researcher Robert Herron published a new study in the current issue of The American Journal of Health Promotion. His study found that people with consistently high health care costs experienced a 28 percent cumulative decrease in physician fees after an average of five years’ practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique compared with their baseline.

“This article has major policy significance for saving Medicare and Medicaid without cutting benefits or raising taxes,” Dr. Herron said. “Now it may be possible to rescue Medicare and Medicaid by adding coverage for learning the Transcendental Meditation technique.”

Dr. Herron compared the changes in physician costs for 142 Transcendental Meditation practitioners with 142 non-practitioners over five years in Quebec, Canada. The subjects in the control group were selected to match the profiles of the Transcendental Meditation technique group according to age, sex, and region. Data was provided by the Quebec Health Insurance Agency, the only health insurance provider in the province of Quebec.

“This study addresses an important issue that will be of interest to our readers,” said Michael P. O’Donnell, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Health Promotion. “The manuscript is well organized and clearly written.”

This study’s findings were similar to earlier ones. In a previous Canadian study, the medical expenses of the Transcendental Meditation technique group were 5 to 13 percent lower than controls each year for six consecutive years.

In addition, in a sample of American health insurance enrollees, the Transcendental Meditation technique participants had reduced rates of illness in all disease categories. An 11-year study found that subjects age 45 and over who practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique had 88 percent fewer hospital days compared with the control group. Their medical expenditures were 60 percent below the norm.

Dr. Herron is the Director of the Center for Health Systems Analysis in Fairfield, Iowa and author of New Knowledge for New Results: A Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Skyrocketing Medical Costs. Dr. Herron was the first to describe the impact of the Transcendental Meditation technique on health care costs as a PhD student at MUM. As an independent researcher and consultant, he has conducted extensive research on how to improve medical system effectiveness and reduce national and corporate medical expenditures.

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