What to Expect from a Functional Medicine Visit
Functional Medicine providers are trained on how to uncover the underlying causes of your health problems through careful history taking, physical examination and laboratory testing.
In general, a visit with a Functional Medicine doctor, such as Dr. Johnson, is considerably more thorough than you may be used to with a conventionally trained doctor. You can expect to participate in a very detailed discussion about your health history, including but not limited to:
- Your personal and family history
- The circumstances around your first symptoms
- Physical and mental / emotional stressors that may be affecting your health
- A detailed physical examination (specific to your case) will be performed to see if there are any visible signs that provide clues to what is going on under the surface.
These areas help the Functional Medicine practitioner see your health in the context of you as a whole person, not just in terms of your physical symptoms. You may also expect to discuss the experience and care you may have had, or are currently having, with other health care providers, so that we may build upon or improve what care you have previously undergone.
Laboratory testing is likely to be performed as well. While some of these tests are the same ones used by conventional doctors, other more specialized tests will be ordered to determine the causes of your illness. Generally, a conventional doctor has not been trained in how to use or interpret many of these specialized tests, which makes the Functional Medicine doctor's approach unique. Specialized testing includes testing for:
- Whole body hormone imbalances
- Vitamin deficiencies and sub-optimal nutrition status
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Food allergy and sensitivity / intolerance
- As well as specific inflammation and genetic markers unique to you
Functional Medicine Treatment Approach
In addition to lifestyle changes, Functional Medicine treatments may include combinations of:
- Botanical medicines
- Amino acids
- Therapeutic nutrition plans
- Bioidentical hormones
- Detoxification programs
If prescription medications are necessary, your case will be co-cared with a prescribing provider.
It is important that lab analysis and clinical testing findings reveal a nutritional deficiency, before being recommended or prescribed vitamins / supplements. Without this confirmation, a patient would be "guessing" what the best thing to take is, and this can yield unwanted results.
If you were found to have a nutritional deficiency, then specific pharmaceutical grade vitamins / supplements will be prescribed. These differ from cheap "chain store vitamins" in that they have been subjected to more thorough testing for purity and potency. Additionally, Functional Medicine doctors are trained to know which "form" of vitamin / supplement is most absorbable. Sadly, many chain store vitamins / supplements are made in the cheapest, and oftentimes, least absorbable form. If your body cannot use the supplement you are buying, then you are wasting your time and money, and potentially harming your health.
If you were found to have a food sensitivity / intolerance, then a specific meal plan / long term diet avoiding the offending food item will be prescribed. Food sensitivity is not the same as a food allergy.
- Food Sensitivity: provides many ill-defined symptoms such as:
- Joint / muscle pain
- Frequent infections / colds / flus
- Sleeping problems
- And / or many other possible symptoms
- Food Allergy: an immediate reaction involving:
- Difficulty breathing
If adrenal, thyroid, or male / female sex hormones are found to be imbalanced in relation to one another, then either one or a combination of some bioidentical hormones, botanical medicines, and lifestyle / diet changes may be advised. Your symptoms will be monitored and your lab values will be rechecked after a designated period of time.
Insurance Coverage for Nutrition Consulting from Dr Johnson
Functional Medicine visits are very in depth and are likely to be more involved than any type of health care visit you have had in the past. Functional Medicine is very cutting edge and focuses on wellness, prevention, and determining root causes. While our chiropractic services are in-network with most insurance carriers, we are NOT in-network for functional medicine services. Unfortunately, accepting insurance would prevent us from being able to provide the level of care that we feel our patients deserve. For this reason we do not submit functional medicine visits to insurance. If you would like to try submitting on your own, we will be happy to provide you with an itemized receipt after your visit has concluded.
Labs may have some insurance coverage depending upon your carrier and the plan in question, and we cannot guarantee any coverage. If labs are not covered by your insurance, they too will be considered out-of-pocket.
We use Quest Labs for the majority of blood testing. Our office has a provider membership account set up with Quest that drops lab costs down to about 15% of insurance lab rates. These discounted rates only apply to self pay and normal retail rates are charged by the lab if a patient wishes to bill to insurance. Once most patients realize the cost savings, they see that using health insurance is significantly more costly.
Our office also provides some in-house testing from some other sophisticated labs. These types of labs are not routinely ran by conventional providers, and provide many individuals with some of the answers they have long looked for. The cost of these labs varies based on number of tests ordered. Once again, we simply only charge $25 per test kit in addition to "our cost" for the lab (wholesale). We never "mark up" labs to retail, like most other offices do. Some examples of these tests are Female Hormone Panel, Male Hormone Panel, Food Sensitivity Test, Adrenal Function Tests, and many others.
Out of Pocket Cost for Nutrition Consulting Visits
New Patient Nutritional Evaluation and Treatment (45-60 min): $95.00
Returning Patient Nutritional Evaluation and Treatment (20-30 min): $45.00
Phone Consultations: $1 per minute or office visit rate, whichever is greater.
Blood Labs Costs: Wholesale Cost for order / kit, plus 20% interpretation fee
Saliva Labs Costs: Wholesale Cost for order / kit plus $25.00 kit fee
Medicinary and Nutraceutical Cost: Varies based on product
Scheduling - Cancellations - Missed Appointments
New patient visits and returning patient visits will need to be scheduled through the office. This can be done in office or by phone.
If you are a current chiropractic and / or acupuncture patient, you will need to schedule a separate "first time" visit to discuss your care via functional medicine. If you wish to receive chiropractic and / or acupuncture care the same day / time as your functional medicine visits please indicate this when scheduling your appointments.
Cancellations require 24 hour notice.
Missed phone consultations will be charged a $30.00 fee.
In the case of repeat last minute cancellations or repeat no-call-no showing to appointments, payment will be asked for up front when scheduling, as a deposit on your care.
Due to the time allotment involved, if a functional medicine visit is cancelled less than 24 hours, we reserve the right to bill the full visit's cost at our discretion.