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Functional Medicine Cost

Functional and Integrative Medicine Costs in West Palm Beach

Over the past decade, there has been a move towards functional health. More people are searching for functional medicine doctors and professionals to help them overcome health issues that have been difficult to resolve. But how much does it cost to work with a functional medicine professional? We are going to answer this question and tell you what you need to know when looking for a functional health professional to work with.

What is functional health?

When you go to see a conventional clinician, they will look at the symptoms you have. The collection of symptoms you have may correspond to a specific disease or condition. Often, they run lab tests that can assist in validating a diagnosis. The clinician then prescribes medications, surgery, or other treatment options to address the symptoms. Conventional medicine manages a disease once it has occurred. But there is little in the conventional medical system that works on prevention.

A functional approach to health is different. Functional health practitioners look deeper. They act as detectives looking for underlying, and often more subtle causes of symptoms. These practitioners are looking for why different systems of the body are malfunctioning so that they can support the body’s ability to heal. They look for root causes. This allows functional health practitioners to help clients prevent severe chronic illness by addressing symptoms before the disease occurs.

Specialists

It is not uncommon to find practitioners who specialize in certain areas. So, it is important to understand what a practitioner’s focus is. There are practitioners who specialize in digestive health, hormone health, women’s health issues, Lyme disease, as well as those who have a general health focus. It is important when researching a practitioner to understand what their area of focus is so you know if they are the correct fit for your health needs.

Using lab testing

A growing number of functional practitioners are being trained to use lab testing with clients. But the parameters they use are very different than the parameters used by doctors to diagnose disease. They look for more subtle patterns that may indicate that a system of the body isn’t functioning the way it should.

Most conventional doctors disregard the subtle patterns. They look for patterns that fall within the lab test’s reference ranges. These tests are used to confirm the disease. But these subtle patterns, that typically fall outside of the conventional reference ranges, can tell a story.

What does it cost to work with a functional medicine professional?

When looking for a functional practitioner, you will discover that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to what they offer and how they charge for their services. Practitioners typically assess fees in one of two ways:

  • Pay per appointment
  • Package plans
  • Most practitioners offer an initial consultation appointment which tends to be longer than follow-up appointments. Initial consultations can cost anywhere from $350 up to just under $1000 and depend on the type of patient and what is being addressed.

Individual appointments

It is more challenging to find functional practitioners who offer individual appointments. Most offer packages or subscription services instead.

Packages

Most functional medicine practitioners prefer to bundle their services in packages. In packages, practitioners combine an initial consultation, a set number of follow-up appointments or coaching, the lifestyle plan or protocol created for the client or patient, and email or phone support. Some practitioners opt to offer lab testing as a part of their package. Others keep testing as a separate cost.

The benefit of investing in a package is that you understand the largest costs upfront. There won’t be expensive surprises down the road. It is common to find 90-day or 6-month packages. Some practitioners will also offer 12-month packages.

Package pricing

Packages start at around $800 for a three-month package. Packages at this end typically did not include lab testing, although a few did include recommendations for lab tests based on information provided in the initial consultation. Programs at that price level that do include functional lab testing typically only provide general type of labs.

On the higher end were programs that ranged in price from $5500-$7000. These programs tend to be offered by practitioners who are highly skilled. Packages from these practitioners tend to include more extensive lab testing, which definitely impacts the price point.

Lab testing can be costly, but necessary for uncovering areas within the body where subtle signs of dysfunction are occurring so that you can get to the root of what is causing issues. These practitioners understand the need for greater exploration so that they can get results for their clients and patients.

Lab testing costs

The bulk of the cost from working with a functional medicine practitioner will most likely come from lab testing. Particularly if the practitioner wants to do a thorough health assessment.

Labs commonly used by functional medicine practitioners often include:

  • Mucosal barrier test
  • Food sensitivity test
  • GI pathogen test
  • Metabolic profile test
  • Hormone test
  • Heavy metal testing
  • Licensed functional practitioners may also want to include a full blood chemistry test as well.

Individual lab test prices start at around $75 and go up to$1500. The average test price is around $600.

Is working with a functional medicine practitioner covered by insurance?

Unfortunately, most of the time the answer is no. Some licensed functional doctors do work with insurance carriers, but this is not common. Be aware that if a licensed functional doctor does offer to file insurance you will be considered out of network. This will still mean out-of-pocket costs for you. Other practitioners are now working with flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA). Check with a practitioner to see if they offer this option.

Other costs you should be aware of?

Supplements

There may be additional costs associated with working with a functional medicine professional. Most will recommend a specific protocol including several supplements that your body will need as it begins to rebuild health. Many practitioners offer supplement discounts but expect that you will have to purchase some supplements.

Re-testing

If you are working with a practitioner for an extended program, they may wish to have you take specific lab tests again to be sure that the protocols they created for you are working and that progress is being made. You may not need to retake every test that you did initially, but it is not uncommon for retesting to be requested.

Foods

Switching to a healthier way of eating also means an increase in what you spend at the grocery store. Switching to all organic foods or eliminating things like gluten from your diet and eating gluten-free can be more costly. But that may be recommended by your practitioner according to your lab results.

Additional support

What if you are working with a practitioner on a three-month program and time runs out… but you are making good progress and aren’t ready to go it alone quite yet. You may want to consider purchasing another three-month package, some additional coaching, email, or phone support. Consider that when selecting a program.

How much should I budget for working with a functional medicine professional?

When looking at the cost to work with a functional medicine professional, it is important to make a budget.

But planning how much to budget will depend on what level of help you’re looking for. If you are looking for the bare minimum, you should at least budget $4000-$5000. This can cover basic program costs, lab testing, supplements, and possibly some retesting. Ideally, you should budget $3000-$6000 so that you can easily cover everything you need.

Although this may seem like a lot of money to many it really isn’t. Many people we work with at Vista Wellness MD have spent thousands of dollars going to doctors that haven’t been able to give them answers. Or they’ve wasted money trying the latest supplements without understanding what their body really needs.

The most important thing that you can do is to do your research on different practitioners you may be considering working with. Know what your budget it and don’t be afraid to ask your practitioner questions about possible additional expenses so that you understand upfront what the cost may be to you. Working with a functional health professional is a great opportunity to take your health back!

If you are interested in learning more about working with us at Vista Wellness MD, contact us today.

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When it comes to restoring health and wellness, there is an emphasis on building a strong connection with the patient, allowing for more in-depth and personalized care. We offer our services to the residents of West Palm Beach, Wellington, Acreage, Loxahatchee, Lake Worth and surrounding areas.

Disclaimer: All information on this site is for informative purposes only. It is not intended to be medical advice and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Any/all communications through this website do not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Images may not be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express permission from Vista Wellness MD.

8993 Okeechobee Blvd, Ste 108, West Palm Beach FL 33411

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