We understand aging occurs, but we have a choice HOW we age.
At aNu, we believe in age management and optimal wellness medicine to achieve ‘aNu’ younger, healthier and happier you.
With wellness medicine we strive to prevent disease, assist with weight loss and treat loss of libido, hormone imbalance, brain fog, depression and loss of energy.
What is wellness medicine?
No two humans are the same in regards to metabolism, nutritional status, exercise tolerance and chronic disease predisposition. Nor are they the same in regards to the optimal treatment options. Therefore, Dr. Watkins practices personalized medicine, tailored to each patient individually.
She will teach you the knowledge and skills you need to effectively live and practice a anti-aging, regenerative, and healthy lifestyle.
Definition of Integrative Medicine
Dr. Andrew Weil defines integrative medicine as a healing oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind and spirit), including all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative medicine. It is a philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically. The focus is to use natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible and recognize that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven and be open to new paradigms.
Definition of Functional Medicine
Functional Medicine is defined as a medical system that addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
Personalized aNu Optimal Wellness Medicine
We blend these styles of medicine to create an individual and personalized practice that is highly patient focused. The patient is the center of the philosophy, which involves optimum health and balance in the body and mind. All of our systems need to be healthy in order for us to perform at our best. We believe in combining elements of many areas including conventional or Western medicine, new methods backed by scientific research, and even ancient Chinese or Eastern medicine. Functional medicine looks closely at how the environment we’re in, our lifestyle and our own genetics affect us and ultimately determine our health conditions.
Much of traditional medicine focuses on alleviating a symptom, either decreasing the intensity of the symptom or making it go away altogether. The problem with this is that, while the patient may feel better, these good feelings may not last for the long-term, and the underlying problem is still there. Pharmaceuticals and prescriptions typically don’t heal a condition, they simply treat it or rather, they treat the symptoms. This is why more and more, people are turning to holistic and functional medicine to help relieve their conditions.
Another big difference about functional medicine that will make sense to you is that instead of treating just one problem, such as a certain disease like diabetes or skin cancer, functional medicine looks at the entire body, the mental and physical condition of the patient, the nutrition and exercise levels, their stress levels, and all the potential imbalances that may exist in their bodily systems. Proponents of functional medicine believe that traditional health care simply treats the tip of the iceberg but hardly ever results in permanent healing and vitality for the individual.
Many factors can be causes of imbalances in the body – inflammation, bacteria, viruses, toxins, emotions, digestion, anxiety, and poor diet. Every patient responds differently to various therapies and treatments, which is why she will closely monitor your progress and adjust your therapies as needed. We cannot promise you a specific level of result as soon as you come see us.
What we can promise you is that she will work side-by-side with you to achieve your optimal health goals for ‘aNu You’.
Why is wellness medicine ‘expensive’?
We spend 60-120 minutes with our patients to get to know and understand the journey that has led them to seek this style of medicine. Everything matters in the medical history and we will focus on many details that other providers overlook or do not have time to address.
The practice is structured so that your medical provider is the caregiver, they consult directly with the patients, they are the ones that returns patients’ phone calls/emails regarding their medical questions/needs, and they will spend multiple hours behind the scenes tailoring the initial Wellness Medicine Plan & updating it throughout the patient’s care when needed.
PCP and specialist visits cost $200-500 and are billed to your insurance and typically last 5-15 minutes. The physician contracts with insurance and they receive a small portion of that cost, with the remaining going to the insurance company. This system has led to the chronic disease that we have in America and we are looking to treat the underlying cause and break this cycle.
We feel that traditional medicine is much more ‘expensive’ as it does not treat the cause of disease or lead to ‘health’. The long term consequences of disease and metabolic issues are much more costly.
Does aNu take insurance?
No, insurance does not cover this type of comprehensive preventative wellness medicine or prolonged 60-120 minute visits.
While we do not participate with insurance companies nor do we file, we do provide appropriate receipts for patients to submit for possible reimbursement when requested. Reimbursement for our services has varied greatly & is not guaranteed. All coding is accurate, however, not all companies reimburse extended visits, etc.
When clinics bill health insurance companies directly, the providers are required to become participating providers. The doctors must sign a contract that allows the insurance company to determine which services they will and will not provide and how much they can charge for those services. In general, insurance companies are not focused on any preventive or wellness medicine services. They are heavily invested in the conventional model of health care that too often relies on drugs and surgery. aNu is committed to the functional medicine model that addresses the underlying causes of your symptoms with specific nutritional and lifestyle recommendations.
A participating provider must agree to accept the fees the insurance company establishes, regardless of whether the fees are reasonable or applicable to that practice. In general, these established fees cover the actual cost of the briefest (and I believe the lowest quality) care. Providers who are participating providers are required to accept discounted fees for their services, and they cannot bill the patient for the difference between their fee and what the insurance company will pay. Therefore, the clinic must write off the difference, often as much as 50% or more of the doctor’s fee for service. At the same time, the participating provider’s office overhead costs have increased dramatically because of the staff, time and equipment necessary for processing and tracking claims.
In today’s healthcare environment, the actual cost for providers to provide services continues to rise, while the percentage of reasonable fees that insurance payments cover is declining. At the same time, the profits of health insurance companies and the salaries of their top executives continue to rise to record levels. Most doctors and clinics cope with the requirements of being participating providers by keeping their office visits very brief, so that they can see many patients within a given time frame.
For labs, we may draw in the office, patient’s home or send patients to the local lab draw stations (i.e. Quest, LabCorp, etc) that participate with his/her insurance company for blood draws and that institution will file with insurance. If a patient has a high insurance deductible and chooses to pay cash for labs (private pay) to save, aNu does contract with labs locally for very reduced pricing as an option (i.e. full panel of labs for $250-350 cash rather than $1100-$3600 billed to insurance). We occasionally do take payment from you in advance and pay these labs directly (which will be in addition to the provider’s fee) for contracted private pay labs.
If your provider also feels like a patient will benefit from more progressive lab testing, such as, hormone saliva testing, food sensitivity testing, urine neurotransmitter, etc. we occasionally take payment from you in advance (which will be in addition to the provider’s fee and other labs) as some of these companies are not local & will bill us, but we can provide a receipt for you to submit for possible reimbursement when requested.
Patients are welcome to pay the with cash, check, Care Credit, HSA/FSA, Visa, MC, Discover or AMEX.
How long are the Wellness Medicine visits and what can I expect?
The first visit is approximately 1 ½ hours between provider & patient so that we may understand the patient, symptoms/lifestyle/stressors and medical needs fully. This allows us to be able to start an education process with the patient & make decisions on what type of testing should be ordered. The second visit is another 1 ½ hours that is scheduled approximately 2-4 weeks later after all tests results are received that were ordered at the initial visit. The patient receives a “Wellness Medicine Plan” at this second visit in writing tailored to their personal needs. Your provider may recommend bio-identical hormones, weight loss regimen, supplements/vitamins, and/or nutritional changes/exercise. They will review the risks and benefits of different options and answer your questions. The third visit is 60-90 minutes and is approximately 6-12 weeks after a patient receives a Wellness Plan. This visit is for the patient to update your medical provider and to provide more information, answer questions & reorder/review any previously abnormal labs.
What is the cost?
Initial Consultation (90 minutes) with MD $500 with NP $300
Initial Follow-Up Consultation (90 minutes) with MD $500 with NP $300
Subsequent Follow Up Consultation
30 minutes with MD $250 with NP $150
60 minutes with MD $500 with NP $300
Each additional 15 minutes with MD $125 with NP $75
Six-month follow up
(45 minutes with lab review required every six months
when on hormones or any prescriptions) $375 with NP $225
Limited Email or Phone Call with MD/NP
Follow up/Medication Change/Urgent Issue
(less than 10-15 minutes) $90
MEDICARE DOES NOT ACCEPT THIS TYPE OF TREATMENT AND SERVICES ARE NOT COVERED AND THEY CANNOT BE SUBMITTED.
No-show/cancellation policy: There will be a FULL CONSULTATION FEE to any patient that fails to show, cancels or reschedules his/her appointment without kindly giving at least 24 hours notice. Not going for required labs is not an acceptable reason to cancel with less than 24 hours notice. Please see policy for information and signature.
We hope this information has been helpful. If you would like to schedule, have further questions, or would like us to expand on the above information, please call our office at 816.359.3310.
Dr. Watkins does not double book appointments and has limited availability due to the extended length of time needed for optimal health outcomes. This policy is to help patients receive the best value and care possible.