People ask me all the time whether or not I accept their insurance, and it honestly breaks my heart a little every time I have to say no. But there is a good reason (nay- two reasons) why it’s not that I won’t take your insurance- I can’t take your insurance.
1. No insurance plan will pay for what I do because insurance still operates within a broken model. Mainstream medicine is more willing to pay for a gastric bypass than one-on-one nutrition counseling and a gym membership. They’ll pay for food allergy testing but not food sensitivity testing. Your insurance is willing to pay for a five minute appointment with your doctor- just enough time for them to write a new refill on your prescription and move onto the next patient. It’s a system that pays for things that will keep you alive, but most likely won’t make you healthy.
Even straight chiropractic appointments are getting harder to bill through insurance. Most insurance companies will only pay for a few adjustments each year. Even then, insurance companies try to tell us what we can and cannot treat and bill for. If you come in with neck pain your insurance will pay for me to adjust your neck. That’s it. If you’re like me and think that the entire spine is connected and that most people benefit from full-spine adjusting, that’s fine. You just won’t get paid for the other areas you treat. This may seem unimportant to a non-DC, but to me this is huge. Last time I checked I was the spine specialist, not the employee at the insurance company. How do they know where you do and do not have subluxations?
2. I don’t want insurance companies telling me how to treat my patients. Well, scratch that. They don’t so much tell doctors how to treat their patients as much as they make their way the only realistic option. You see, I can bill insurance all I want, but the company isn’t going to pay me unless they agree with me. For somebody like me who marches to the beat of her own drum (to the benefit of my patients) this means I wouldn’t get paid.
For that matter, you as the patient could end up getting charged an exorbitant cash price for something the insurance company refuses to pay for! For example, I had a patient with gout who was going to his MD for a check up and some blood work. Since the doctor was running blood work anyway, I asked the patient to ask his doctor to add Homocysteine to the order. The doctor told us that if the insurance company did not agree that this marker was medically necessary (they wouldn’t, I knew) the patient would be stuck paying upwards of several hundred dollars for that test. In contrast, using the co-op I go through, I can run that marker in isolation for $25.
Lastly, in the medical world there is a thing called the “standard of care”, which insurance companies require you to go off of. This means that you treat things the way that most doctors would agree with and practice. Insurance companies will not pay for something unless it follows the standard of care for that disease or symptom.
Insurance won’t pay for it unless it’s the same thing all the other doctors (who you’ve probably already seen) are doing.
But that’s the thing- people don’t just come to me because I’m a doctor. People come to me because I’m different from all the other doctors they’ve seen. I won’t tell you that something is “normal” or “just old age” or “weird”. I won’t just cover up symptoms- I’ll try to figure out what’s causing them. I won’t give you drugs with more side effects than there are children in Disney Land. My goal is to treat things as naturally and holistically as possible. I don’t for one minute claim to have all the answers, but I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to find as many pieces of the puzzle as I can.
If you or somebody you know is interested in working with a functional medicine doctor please call my office at (919) 238-4094 and see if we are the right fit for you. Infinity Holistic Healthcare is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, part of the Raleigh-Durham “triangle” area.