Do you accept insurance?
We do not accept any forms of private insurance. We do accept Medicare for Medicare covered services but all members both Medicare and Non-Medicare must pay our yearly membership fee to be a part of our practice. For non-Medicare patients, this includes the annual physical, follow up visit, and acute visits as delineated along with access to complementary medicine, functional medicine and integrative medicine care and services as outlined. For Medicare patients, the annual fee covers access to care for services not covered by Medicare such as care and services based on complementary medicine, functional medicine and integrative medicine, hypnosis, narrative medicine, Anti-fragility, T’ai Chi, Qigong, and MBSR, advanced medication techniques, and certain biofeedback or device based approaches.
Should I keep my medical insurance if I become a member of your practice?
Yes, we are not an insurance plan or service of any type. If you have private insurance or do not have insurance our membership and all services are strictly on a cash basis. If you have Medicare our fees are strictly designated to cover services that are not covered by Medicare. Either way your regular insurance will still be needed to cover hospitalizations, surgery, ER Visits, Specialty Care, and any other medical services not performed in our office.
Do I have access to care outside of office hours?
Yes, we provide phone follow up and if appropriate office care outside of traditional office hours if needed.
What if I need to be hospitalized?
You may choose any hospital system for your hospital care. We will coordinate your aftercare and follow-up ongoing care post-hospitalization but we do not dictate what hospital you should choose. We will work with specialists of all types from any hospital system to coordinate your care.
What if I am a snowbird?
We provide care for snowbirds at no additional charge beyond our membership fee and usual and customary charges. We will provide coordination of care in your other location or locations and while you are traveling to the extent it is feasible and permissible by regulations. We do need to see you once a year for ongoing care when you are here in Arizona.
What if I am an International Patient?
We welcome international patients. We provide detailed consultation and testing when we see you here at our offices in Arizona. After that as is permitted we are available for secure portal email, phone, and telemedicine consultations as well as coordination of our services with other care to the extent possible.
Do you protect my private health information?
Yes, we use HIPAA compliant secure cloud based encrypted medical records. We can access these records through the cloud by a secure portal and can coordinate care, prescribe medication, or check details of your medical history from both the office and remote locations. Our medical record interfaces with a secure phone app. called Spruce. The practice pays a fee for this service but it is available to you at no additional charge beyond your membership. This app. supports both text and direct phone contact with your doctors.
What is your philosophy on vaccines?
There is little debate that the invention of vaccines transformed the world into a place where people live longer and suffer much less from devastating infectious diseases. We grew up when polio crippled many people and Haemophilus influenza caused fatal meningitis and life-threatening throat infections. These have now been virtually eradicated in the Western world.
When you get a vaccine, there is a good chance that you will develop protective antibodies that will last for many years. You are also helping to prevent the spread of disease. When you are vaccinated, you help yourself and you do your part in protecting others. Sometimes these others are the very young and the very old who don’t mount good responses to vaccination and are thus more likely to get sick and die from infectious illnesses even if they are vaccinated. By protecting the population with vaccinations, we protect the most vulnerable members.
There are some people with compromised immune systems or autoimmunity who may be at increased risk for problems with vaccines. For instance, certain immune defects are reasons not to give live vaccines. Sometimes patients with specific types of autoimmune dysfunction received recommendations from their specialists not to get vaccines or boosters unless absolutely essential. In these cases, we work on a case by case basis to discuss risk-benefit and make individualized decisions with our patients.
ALTERNATE VACCINE SCHEDULES:
While it makes sense that everyone be protected from the illnesses that vaccines can protect against we do understand the concerns about giving large numbers of vaccinations at one time. While this has done well for most people we do believe that there are alternatives and priorities in the sequence and timing of giving vaccines that depend on each individual’s unique situation. If this is something important to you, especially in making decisions about when and how to vaccinate your children, we are happy to work with you to discuss risks and benefits of different approaches to getting the protections that vaccines offer with a schedule that best meets your child’s needs.
When families have concerns about the timing and sequencing of vaccination schedules we are happy to work with them to consider alternative schedules to get the protections vaccines offer by prioritizing which vaccines should be given first and which ones could possibly be spread out over a period of time.
COMPLETE AVOIDANCE OF VACCINES:
We understand that there are rare serious reactions to vaccines these concerns need to be balanced against the risks of getting the serious diseases that vaccines can prevent. For this reason, we cannot support and individual or family’s decision to forgo vaccines altogether. If the avoidance of any/all vaccines is important to you, you may choose to seek care from a provider that best suits your preferences.
Every time that we get a vaccine ourselves, when one of our family members gets a vaccine or one of our patients is vaccinated it’s understandable to worry a bit. We never want anyone to have any kind of adverse reaction whether it is to vaccines, medications, or anesthesia. But we carefully weigh this against the risks of getting serious diseases that could have been prevented. We have seen the consequences of these illnesses and so when it comes down to making the final decision we choose to get them for ourselves and our family and we recommend them for our patients.
In special circumstances where a person has immune or autoimmune problems we agree that careful consideration should be given to risks and benefits and an individualized decision should be made.