How is your practice different from other functional medicine practices?
My personal philosophy focuses on food as medicine, so dietary changes are a critical foundation for deeper healing and future wellness. This may mean eliminating inflammatory foods from personalized food sensitivity testing, or it may mean a comprehensive healing diet removing grains, legumes, and/or casein (dairy) during the healing phase. If you are not already familiar with removing inflammatory foods or introducing nutrient-dense cooking into your life, reading Nourishing Traditions or The Blood Sugar Solution or Practical Paleo before your first visit is strongly recommended (see Recommended Reading). Food recommendations would certainly be accommodated for vegans, vegetarians, or other lifestyle/food choices.
This is a solo practice, but I work closely with a whole foods nutritionist and an acupuncturist who are both local to North Berkeley. Referrals made if necessary and desired. This is not an ideal fit for those need a multi-disciplinary approach consolidated into one location.
Do you take insurance?
This is a fee-for-service consultation practice which means insurance is not directly billed. Insurance-specific paper work (super bill) is provided upon request so that you may seek reimbursement directly from your insurer.
Will my insurance reimburse me for the cost of the visit?
In most cases, a PPO carrier will cover 60-80% of these types of comprehensive office visits (classified as an “out of network” provider), after applicable deductibles have been met. It varies with each insurance carrier, so please check with yours ahead of time to make sure you understand what will be covered. HMOs generally do not cover such specialty services.
Medicare also does not cover these services.
Will any of the diagnostic laboratory tests be covered?
Lab tests that are done in conventional labs like Quest or LabCorp are generally covered per your usual insurance coverage.
Specialty testing labs (Genova, Metametrix, Cyrex, etc.) have varying coverage, depending on the lab’s arrangement with insurers. All specialty send-out labs require either a down payment or full payment at the time the tests are performed. Fees are paid directly to the lab. For blood tests, if additional blood work is being ordered for Quest or LabCorp, there is no additional phlebotomy or processing fee. Fees average $50 if Quest or LabCorp are providing phlebotomy and processing for specialty send-out labs only.
Is financial aid available?
A few slots each month are reserved for those with financial hardships, or for those for whom the standard fees may be difficult. If this pertains to you, please mention it when making your appointment. In-house supplement discounts may also apply. Lab and other diagnostic services, however, are not subject to this, so please check with your insurance as to what may be covered for out-of-network diagnostic services. I will do my best to work with ordering labs with in-network providers, for instance, should you have Kaiser Permanente insurance.
What services are NOT rendered?
- Intravenous (IV) Vitamin Therapy
- Chelation Therapy
- Narcotics Management of Chronic Pain
- Anti-Aging Hormone Therapy
- Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs
- Chiropractic Manipulation