Frequently Asked Questions
Anti-aging. Functional Medicine. Optimal Health.
OFFERING HOPE FOR HEALING BY DISCOVERING THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF DISEASE, EMPOWERING THROUGH EDUCATION, AND PROVIDING TOOLS TO RESTORE OPTIMAL HEALTH.
What exactly is Functional Medicine?
in is simplest form, FM seeks to find the root cause of disease. At Foundations Medical Center we take an extensive history and spend a great deal of time discussing lifestyle factors such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, genetics, and stress. We order personalized lab testing including conventional labs like thyroid tests, cholesterol panels, and hormones levels, as well as more complex functional testing such as stool analysis, adrenal profiles, and nutritional panels. Our goal is to find any excesses and remove them, and uncover any deficiencies and replace them.
Who can benefit from a Functional Medicine consultation?
Everyone. The goal of Functional Medicine is not only to improve your health if you have a chronic illness, but to prevent future health issues. It’s a patient-centered approach, where we address the whole person not just your isolated set of symptoms.
How is your clinic different than my regular family medicine clinic?
We spend about an hour and a half with you on your initial visit, taking a comprehensive history and addressing all of your concerns. We ask lots of questions and take a detailed nutrition history. Our treatment plan involves a much more holistic approach including a prescription diet, exercise plan, stress management techniques, targeted supplements, and pharmaceuticals if needed. Our practitioners practiced conventional family medicine for several years, and one of the biggest frustrations was the lack of time to address the whole patient. In our office, we strive to allow every patient ample time to tell their story, and have all their questions answered.
What can I expect during my Functional Medicine consultation?
The first office visit typically lasts an hour and a half. We will discuss your symptoms, health concerns, medical, family, and social history, childhood, diet, exercise and sleep habits, among other information that will help create your treatment plan. We will also review any previous lab testing and/or medical records from your primary or specialty physicians. You will also have a physical exam as well as ample time to ask any questions you may have. At the end of the visit, we will determine which laboratory tests you should proceed with. We typically start with conventional labs to assess your thyroid, blood chemistries, hormones, and cholesterol. Functional testing is also important. Stool analysis and nutritional testing are two of our most common tests, as they give use lots of useful information about what is going on, and how to move forward with treatment.
How do I pay for my visit?
We operate as a self-pay clinic and payment is expected at the time of your visit. We accept cash, check, or credit card. Functional Medicine consultation services may or may not be covered by your insurance plan. We are considered “out of network” so it will depend on your individual insurance policy and the coverage of that policy as to the services and amounts they may reimburse. If you’d like to check with your insurance company prior to your appointment, visits are considered level 5 office visits.
Our office does not bill your insurance directly but we will gladly provide an invoice at your visit with your diagnosis codes, treatment codes and all pertinent provider information to you so that you may send it to your insurance company for reimbursement of billable services. IV infusions, injections, testosterone pellet therapy or the purchase of supplements are not billable services. We are not a participating provider in Medicaid or Medicare.
Why do you not accept insurance?
Accepting insurance means that a provider directly bills the health insurance company on behalf of the patient. To do that, the provider must enter into a contract with the insurance company—and these contracts limit our ability to provide the best possible service to our patients. Foundations Medical Center providers have chosen to not contract with insurance companies which allows us to maintain our principles and give our patients the time and care they deserve at every office visit.
What kind of laboratory testing do you do and is it covered by insurance?
Typically, any blood work that is requested from a lab that is on your insurance plan is covered. However, you may also take Functional Medicine tests. These include urine, stool, saliva, and blood tests, some of which you may do at home. Generally, these things are not covered by insurance. Prices vary depending on which test you take, and reimbursement depends on your insurance.
What is your cancellation policy?
Due to the amount of time set aside in our schedule for each patient, cancellations must be made 72 hours prior to your appointment time. This helps ensure that we are able to meet the needs of all our patients who are waiting for an appointment time. A credit card will be required for your appointment to be reserved and you will be charged a $75 fee for cancellations made less than 72 hours in advance or in the case of a no-show.
How do you address thyroid disorders?
Detailed testing is critical when assessing thyroid function. Most physicians do a standard TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) when evaluating the thyroid. We perform in depth testing of the thyroid that is much more accurate in treating and diagnosing thyroid disorders. A free T4 (thyroxine), free T3 (tri-iodothyronine) and reverse rT3 (tri-iodothyronine) are done in addition to the standard TSH. The T3 and T4 are the thyroid hormones released by the thyroid in response to TSH levels. Patients may have symptoms of thyroid disorders if any of these are low. The reverse T3 is the inactive thyroid hormone and if abnormally elevated will cause hypothyroidism as well. It is also important to test for thyroid antibodies. This will give your doctor an indication of an autoimmune thyroid disorder. By testing all of these important thyroid levels we can treat you properly.
Our goal is to keep your thyroid levels at an optimal range not just "average" or "normal". This will help you feel your best throughout the day and improve your energy and sense of well-being. Patients are generally treated for hypothyroidism with a synthetic thyroid (man-made) that will improve the TSH and T4 levels in the blood. Not all patients get the relief they need with this method because T4 must be converted to T3 in the body to be used and improve symptoms. Without enough active T3, symptoms will still exist. Treatment is customized for each individual and can include different forms of T3 and T4 replacement. Plans include specific recommendations for diet, lifestyle and high quality supplements.