Fees and Billing
The cost of healthcare is a concern for most of us. We want all our patients to understand the cost of this type of care before starting a treatment plan. It’s very discouraging for both us and patients to start a care plan only to learn they can’t afford it. For this reason, we like to discuss the costs of the laboratory, treatments, IVs and office in advance. This lets us design a diagnostic and treatment plan that fits each patient’s budget.
We offer Care Credit, which lets you spread the cost of care over time. Care Credit can be used for one time procedures like stem cells and AminoFix or for ongoing care. Whatever your need Care Credit has a plan to meet your needs.
Most of the patients that come to us have seen multiple providers but haven’t found a solution to their healthcare challenges. The integrative medicine approach is fundamentally a more comprehensive approach to healthcare issues than traditional medicine. We believe it’s also a more cost-effective approach, but initially, it may seem more expensive. Traditional medicine bases itself around the premise of diagnosing the disease/problem and then prescribing medication to manage the symptoms, but not to eliminate the source of the problems. Traditional medicine only requires a 5- or 10-minute office visit. A functional medicine workup is much more involved and requires a lot more time and more laboratory testing to get to the root causes of health care problems. The payoff is a much better result.
If you’re not sure this type of medicine is right for you, then we suggest a short initial office visit to discuss our methods and costs of care to see whether this is the right fit for you. This type of medical care doesn’t work for everyone. For one thing, it requires a significant commitment from the patient to follow the treatment plan, which is generally not limited to just taking a pill each day. If you’re looking for that type of medicine, you’re definitely in the wrong place. However, if you’re looking for a solution that not only resolves a medical issue but also restores wellness and energy to your body, then you’re definitely in the right place, but you also need to understand what’s required to accomplish this goal.
Our initial office visits are typically one hour long. During that time, you give a history, take a physical, and we design a diagnostic plan. This plan usually requires multiple lab tests. This is because most of our patients have abnormalities in the majority of the lab tests we perform. It is our job to determine which of these abnormalities is the most important and contributes most to the dysfunction so we can treat that first. Because we’re giving comprehensive care, our diagnostic system is also comprehensive so we don’t miss a critical piece of your healthcare puzzle. Many patients find this overwhelming both from the point of trying to understand what we’re doing and the lab tests costs. Therefore, a frank discussion of the costs and the need for each lab test is important for you, the patient, to understand. In most cases, benefits will come in stages as we find and correct problems.
Some patients prefer getting all the test results done and getting to the bottom of their problems as quickly as possible. Others prefer a more step-like approach because it’s more affordable in the short term and easier to understand. Either way works for us. Our goal is to optimize your health and to do that, we need to provide care tailored to each patient’s needs and capabilities.
Office fees vary based on the time required. The initial office visit for a chronic illness is usually one hour to 90 minutes. Follow-up office visits are 20 to 30 minutes.
LDA (low dosage allergy) shots cost $180 per treatment session, which can consist of one to three injections. We have a family plan for those with three or more family members getting an injection at the same time. The family fee is a total of $360 for each treatment session. We include the initial LDA treatment with the first office visit. A free allergy consultation of up to 15 minutes is available to see if LDA is right for you. If you decide to proceed, then there’s the normal office fee, which includes the first LDA treatment. This visit may be billable to your insurance; subsequent LDA treatments are not.
We bill allergy consultations requiring more than 15 minutes at regular rates.
Insurance and Billing
We are happy to send a claim to your carrier, but we’re not an in-network provider for any insurance plan. Unless you have an exclusive PPO plan, your insurance company will generally cover the cost to some degree. We usually collect a copay of 40 percent and bill the rest to your provider. If your provider pays 80 percent of the visit and you paid 40 percent at the time of the visit, then you will receive a refund.
Many of the laboratory tests we do are in the form of take-home kits. Specimens (urine, saliva, or stool) are collected at home and then sent directly to the laboratory. Many of these laboratories have a double fee schedule. The lab will bill your insurance, but the fee schedule is generally much higher than the cash or physician price. We recommend you prepay these laboratory tests to get the lowest possible cost for both you and your insurance company. If a test is not covered, you get the lowest price.
Most patients need a battery of tests to get a full picture of what’s going on. Testing can be done at the beginning or as we go along.
IV supplies are becoming more difficult to obtain and more expensive. The cost of the same IV can vary as much as 500% between suppliers. Therefore, we require full payment at the time of service for IV therapies or they may be charged to your Care Credit account.
Medicare and Medicaid
We don’t accept Medicare and Medicaid. This means by law neither of us can submit a claim for any services to Medicare or Medicaid. We do provide a 15 percent discount for Medicare patients.