FAQ

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Functional medicine is highly dependent on honesty, commitment, and patience.  You have to believe in me, yourself, and the process. Although I have a high rate of success and your plan will be thoroughly researched and customized to your unique health status and your personal goals, no guarantees can be assured regarding the outcomes of nutritional protocols, dietary changes, or lifestyle modifications.

UPDATE: At this time I am unable to provide consultation services across state lines without an initial in-person visit.  If you cannot travel to see me, do not apply for consultation.  At some point the laws may become more clear, but as an MD I am held to a higher standard than other practitioners of functional medicine.

Virtual visits are for individuals who cannot or choose not to be seen in the office at least once per year. In such a case, a legally binding doctor/patient relationship is not established. Thus, the “telemedicine” or virtual consultation is for educational and health coaching purposes only. Assessments and recommendations are intended to assist you and your local health care provider in using natural means to support your health. Recommendations are not intended to serve as a medical diagnosis or treatment. If you are unable to come to me in person for initial consultation but wish to have an in-person consultation, in some cases arrangements can be made for me to come to you.  Otherwise, I am happy to discuss your health needs and coach you back to health via virtual visits. These consultations are for advice and guidance, but please note that I will be unable to treat you “medically” and will be unable to include this communication as part of your official medical record. Please message me if you have any questions.

In order to give you the full concierge experience, we meet online as if you were in my office, and test kits can be shipped directly to you to be collected. Since I am unable to do a physical exam, there are certain instances where a virtual visit would not be appropriate. In most cases, however, I can take you through the process without you having to travel to see me!

When you call and schedule an appointment, time is reserved especially for you and no one else. Since the appointments are much longer than standard office visits, cancellations are significant interruptions to the schedule. Thus, a minimum of 7 days’ notice is required for cancellations of new patient visits and 2 days’ notice for existing patients. There is a 50% office visit charge for “no-shows” or late cancellations.

My practice is a concierge model and my rates are confidential.  I prefer to discuss them with you in that first phone call after you’ve applied for consultation. I work with a limited number of clients at a time which allows me to concentrate on your case and work closely with you towards your goals.

Medical records can only be released with your authorization. It is your responsibility to obtain previous medical records from other physicians or health care providers that you want me to review. If you feel your medical records are pertinent to your appointment with me, please contact your physician or other health care provider to obtain these records and make sure that I have received them at least 14 days prior to your initial appointment. Your medical records can be mailed or faxed to my office at 864.626.0609 or uploaded directly to your patient portal if you are a registered patient.

There are no requirements that you buy them from me, only that you use the ones I recommend or approve. I use the highest quality, purest supplements in order to guarantee results and reduce potential reactions. If you buy other brands in order to save money, you take the risk of getting substandard or contaminated products.  Don’t bargain shop when it’s your health that’s on the line. You’ll end up wasting money, or worse, damaging your health.

In providing my patients with superb care and unprecedented access to me as their functional medicine physician, I intend to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. In those circumstances, I will certainly continue to serve you however I can during your hospital stay or visits with specialists. In some cases, depending on the level of care and the sorts of expertise required, I will rely on those specialized caregivers to manage your treatment.

I use specialty laboratories for most of my testing, but I also use Quest for more conventional testing. During your consultation, I will determine which tests are needed and then review the testing recommendations, the instructions and cost. Some testing can be performed at home with test kits to collect urine, saliva or stool samples. Others may require a blood draw at a specific time of day. I can draw blood at the office. Some patients may elect to use a concierge lab draw service for the utmost in convenience!

I do not accept any insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid.

My practice is highly specialized and uses advanced and sometimes controversial diagnostic studies and interventions, many of which are not covered by the average health insurance plan, nor should they be. Insurance coverage is really meant for emergencies, non-elective surgeries, expensive medications, routine labs and radiology, and injuries – not health improvement and maintenance.

A growing number of doctors have moved away from accepting insurance because they are tired of insurance companies dictating the amount of time and type of care they can provide their patients.

In the insurance system, every encounter must be submitted as a billing claim to the insurance carrier in order for the doctor to get paid. The doctor only gets a small portion of the billing as payment. Therefore, doctors in the insurance system must see 3,000 patients or more per year (that’s about 30-40 visits per day) just to generate enough billing claims to pay for an office and make a living. This is why you wait so long for an appointment, only to get a few rushed minutes with your doctor.

The insurance system also limits the type of care you get. Your doctor is only able to discuss issues pertaining to the specific visit type so the encounter can fit into an insurance billing claim. Many labs aren’t covered if you don’t have a particular condition that justifies checking them. If you have another issue, you have to schedule another appointment. Most doctors are as frustrated as you are about it.

I won’t sacrifice my patients’ care. I choose my patients’ well-being over insurance payments. Because of this choice, I have complete freedom to provide highly personalized, cutting-edge, and unrushed care. My patients know they can reach me with questions almost any time of the day, any day of the week. I don’t need extra staff just to handle insurance claims. We can discuss any issue that needs to be addressed at any appointment. The focus is on building optimal health, not doing the “bare minimum” or just treating the symptoms of illness after it happens. In this kind of high-value health care practice, you truly get what you pay for.

My services are as a rule limited to that of consultation only. I require that you maintain a working relationship with a primary care doctor for routine screening exams such as physical exams, pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, prostate exams, vaccinations and acute illness care or emergency situations requiring immediate attention or hospitalization.  If you have a team of specialists, I respectfully ask you continue to see them as needed.  My services are an enhancement to – not instead of – your standard medical care.

Though many of my patients are located in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, I have the ability to work with patients wherever they may be by way of virtual office visits.  I prefer the first visit to be in person, and that can be in my home office or a house call.  That kind of one-on-one personalized initial visit can be of tremendous benefit.  If we’re going to be working closely together, I need to know about your life, family, and environment.  If you have a fast internet connection, we can use a telemedicine platform or Skype. I can ship test kits anywhere in the U.S. for you to collect and send to the specialty labs I use.