Eleven things you need to know about a concierge healthcare practice Virginia Beach, Va
Number One - Most basic medicine labs are able to be covered by insurance. Basic labs include things like basic liver panels, basic thyroid testing, basic lipid panels such as cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. These are basic lab panels that a standard allopathic medical doctor would run. These are often covered as preventative lab tests done once or twice per year. Functional labs, these are advanced lab panels, that are more detailed and more specialized are not covered under most insurance plans.
Number Two - In an insurance based model the type of doctor you see reflects how much an insurance company will reimburse. Surgeons and physicians who perform a lot of procedures often get paid the most. Non-surgical medicine, such as cardiologists and neurologists get paid better than internal medicine, family practice, and pediatric doctors. While lastly those that practice naturopathic, integrative, anti-aging, or functional medicine get paid the least amount for their services, regardless of how beneficial they may be to the communities health.
Number Three - Concierge healthcare takes time with each practice member, we work for you! On average in an insurance based model a patient is seen anywhere from 7-15 mins, and the time is spent in and out with their patients. Wait times often go up, because doctors run behind answer questions, looking at labs, as well as charting, as most insurance companies only pay for the face to face time spent with their patients. A concierge natural healthcare doctor spends about 30 mins on average with every practice member answering questions, brainstorming treatment options, and of course listening to their practice members. This requires a lot more time and attention than what an insurance company may choose to spend. Being a concierge doctor also provides the freedom to do outcalls and support patients outside of the office. Dr Steele has been to weddings, funerals, recitals, bike rides, meditations, and more to help a practice member through a life changing or life supporting event. She also has assisted in hospital care, attending doctors appointments with practice members, as well as coordinating health care as a practice members needs may arise.
Number Four - Individualize care is effective because it is out of the box. There are no one size fit all approaches to even practice members with similar manifestations of illness. One diabetic case may be treated very differently from another diabetic case, so attention to detail is paramount when working with a practice member to uncover genetic, environmental, food related, toxicity, as well as immunological challenges. Often times the key to ones health is found as a needle in a haystack, the functional medicine doctors job is to find the needle. This requires time and attention to detail, very different from the very systematized, robotic form of healthcare that we have found ourselves receiving in today's healthcare.
Number Five - Functional Medicine and Integrative Healthcare requires advanced testing. These tests are seldom covered under insurance. These tests should the biochemistry of the body in a unique way taking the guessing game out of the current state of health for the practice member. These tests are often deemed as unnecessary or unproven when really they are the basis to which the body functions. That would be like taking your car into the shop because the check engine light came on and the mechanic saying plugging it into the machine would be unnecessary and unproven. This type of advanced testing provides critical information to the health of the body and the underlying causes of disease provide a more direct pathway to healing.
Number Six - Functional Medicine is about prevention, just as naturopathic healthcare is about prevention. The two go hand in hand. Naturopathic doctors often answer questions such as what foods should I eat, how much should I exercise, how much sleep do I need, which vitamins do I need to take, is there an alternative to these medications that is lifestyle related, etc. Naturopathic doctors goal is never to replace your medical doctor but rather be an adjunct to his/her care, picking up the slack where lifestyle changes are required to facilitate healing. In an insurance based model, the time is not permitted to address lifestyle concerns. It is often a conveyor belt to stabilize a patient and then get them out of the door. The mis-education and lack of information on healthy lifestyle choices is the basis to which many health conditions stem.
Number Seven - Functional and integrative health care requires extensive education. Naturopathic doctors dedicate their lives to study, and research. They are always learning new things and applying them because the field is always changing. New information comes out almost daily that is learned from clinical studies as well as practice. Naturopathic doctors must stay up to date and current on areas of genetics, biochemistry, clinical protocols for various conditions, and changes in public policy for health care as it all affects the way a practice member is cared for in healthcare.
Number Eight - Naturopathic Doctors are healthcare advocates. Naturopaths work to be their practice members healthcare advocates, helping the practice member understand their rights as well as their current healthcare choices. Naturopaths are teachers to their practice members. They often teach as well as find out what their practice members wishes are for their health and then guide them in the right direction. As a concierge natural healthcare practice, we have a list of medical doctors who are integrative and open to natural healthcare that we refer to and know of various healthcare providers both in the natural as well as allopathic communities who are able to help a patient get well. We rally around each one of our practice member with a loving healthy community to help support the patient through their healing process.
Number Nine - Concierge practices do apply towards a practice members deductible. At the end of the year, our concierge healthcare practice can provide our patients with a year end statement to be submitted to their insurance to apply towards their deductible for the year. We also accept HSA or FSA accounts in order to offset costs for our concierge healthcare services. Health Spending and Flex Accounts are offered through an employer and can be applied 100% to our service fees, and because we are budget friendly you know exactly how much you need to set aside pre tax every year to maximize out of pocket expenses. We are also able to provide a superbill for the practice member to provide to their insurance company for reimbursement.
Number Ten - We work with families and we work with budgets. Our concierge natural healthcare program provides a person with a number of healthcare visits, including sick care appointments, review of lab work, and naturopathic general visits for a low monthly budge-table fee. Once a family has a primary practice member they can add on spouses and children for a lower monthly fee, so instead of paying the concierge natural healthcare fee twice, the family is able to be added on at a reduced rate yet still experience the benefits.
Number Eleven - Personal responsibility. Insurance creates a slippery slope in healthcare. Many people value things more when they invest in them, so investment in your health should be no different. Ensuring that you are investing in yourself, your health, and your well being is a wonderful thing. Many people use the same amount of money each month on doing destructive things for their health, such as smoking, eating unhealthy food, drinking, shopping for unimportant things (hello amazon prime). Many of things do not add to your overall health and well-being but rather take away from how you feel overall about yourself, and about your health. This investment is not just in our practice, but rather in yourself and your commitment to yourself providing accountability and support where you need it the most.
Concierge natural health provides the benefits of an integrative functional medical practice with the freedom of a personalized healthcare practice. All of the practice members become like family and we create a community of people all looking to strive to achieve the same goals in their health. We have found we are very unique to the Hampton Roads area, in that we provide the holistic approach, in a family environment, with a budget conscious price. We understand for some families it may be a stretch to come out of pocket in addition to their health care insurance, however we are happy to review various options and creative strategies to offset the out of pocket expense. Living a healthy life is rewarding and saves thousands of dollars in procedures, and allopathic doctor visit copay's over time. Our health insurance was only designed to be an aid in the event of catastrophic emergency such as your car insurance or your homeowners insurance. Although, it is there when you need it and missed if you do not have it, it does not pay for upgrades to your home or routine maintenance on your car and neither one of these things is more important than you and your health. If you are interested in taking the next step towards your health goals, feel free to book a 15 mins. complimentary wellness exam or a one hour consultation by clicking the icon below.