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Q & A with Dr. Vikki: Billing and Insurance at HealthNOW Medical Center

Today’s edition of Ask Dr. Vikki question comes from a friend of mine, a fellow celiac and Graves’ disease sufferer.  I met Susie and her daughter (and her mother and father) several years ago and all of them are diagnosed celiacs (and there are even more celiacs in the family).  I hope to have Susie share her family’s celiac story in a future guest post here on my blog, it will absolutely blow your mind.  It will also demonstrate the crucial importance for family members of diagnosed celiacs to get routine testing.  It does not matter if a person tests negative for celiac at one point in time, if you are genetically susceptible, then you could develop the disease AT ANY TIME in your life (Susie’s dad was diagnosed in his early 90’s).

Before going any further, I would like to share that Dr. Vikki has written a new e-book, “Gluten Intolerance - What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You,” and it’s available for FREE to new members of HealthNOW Medical Center’s website.

So don’t procrastinate, go register right now (it’s FREE!) :-D

-Heidi

Dr. Vikki Petersen, a Doctor of Chiropractic and Certified Clinical Nutritionist, is founder of the renowned HealthNOW Medical Center in Sunnyvale, California.

She is co-author of  “The Gluten Effect,” a bestselling book that has been celebrated by leading experts as an epic leap forward in gluten sensitivity diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Vikki herself is acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of gluten sensitivity.  Featured in an exclusive interview on CNN Headline News, Dr Vikki is also endorsed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America for her contributions to gluten awareness in our country.

 

Hi Dr. Vikki,

I am a friend of Heidi’s (we met at the Albuquerque Gluten Intolerance Support Group).  I am a celiac, as well as my daughter, my sister, my brother, my niece, my mother, and my father.

My daughter, Shannon, has suffered with chronic fatigue symptoms, as well as debilitating migraines for 15 years.  Shannon is 36 and has been on a gluten free diet for about five years now.  She lives in Houston and her insurance is with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and it does not cover chiropractic services.  Shannon has seen many doctors in Albuquerque, Wichita, Dallas, Washington, Baltimore (including Dr. Fasano), and Houston.  No one has been able to able to help her with her migraines or her chronic fatigue.  She would like to have the following tests that Heidi had through your clinic:

GI Effects Stool Profile from Metametrix

Organix Comprehensive Profile from Metametrix

Functional Adrenal Stress Profile from BioHealth Diagnostics

Arrays #2, #3 and #4 from the brand new Cyrex Labs

I noticed that you have an MD as the medical director at your clinic.  Can she request the tests for Shannon, so that they will be covered by her insurance?  Can her name be used as the medical director of your clinic, so that Shannon’s insurance will cover her care through your clinic?

Also, how much does it cost for the tests above and the clinical visits necessary for diagnosis and treatment, if her insurance refuses to pay the charges?

I watched your video about how gluten sensitivity causes autoimmune disease on Heidi’s website tonight, as well as several others from your website.  I am quite frightened by the statistic that you stated on your video about autoimmune disease being the third leading cause of death in the US.  I have been diagnosed and treated for Graves Disease in addition to my celiac, so I understand how one autoimmune disease can lead to another.  My father is a celiac and also has rheumatoid arthritis, which you described in one of the videos that I watched tonight.  I wish that my Dad would really stick to the gluten free diet, but it is hard to tell a 95 year old man what to do!

Thank you for your help.

Susie

Dear Susie,

Thank you for your question.

Although my (and Dr Rick’s) degree is Doctor of Chiropractic and Certified Clinical Nutritionist, our clinic, HealthNOW Medical Center, is a medical-based clinic as regards our nutritional care.  All new patients are seen by our medical director and the charges for medical and nutritional care are billed under the umbrella of medicine as we are an integrated team.

Should someone require chiropractic or physical therapy care, then the charges would be billed under those doctors specifically as they are delivering the service solely.

Therefore, the fact that your daughter’s insurance doesn’t cover chiropractic is no problem whatsoever.

Your daughter’s symptoms are something that we have very good success treating and I agree that the tests that you list out are likely a great place to start.  I’m sorry that others haven’t been able to help and she has been suffering so, but I do feel confident that we can bring some new treatment to the table.  We’ll know better after her initial phone consultation.

As regards to prices I’m going to ask you to call our clinic because when a price is put down in writing, if it later changes (as they do), then it can be a cause of potential upset.  I can tell you that our prices are very reasonable and we do everything we can to assist in this area. I encourage you to call Eric at 408-733-0400.  He is in charge of all our Destination Clinic patients. He will also be able to cite the cost of the lab tests which, by the way, should be covered by your daughter’s insurance since she has PPO.

We look forward to meeting her and helping her to feel better.

I feel very strongly about lessening the effects of autoimmune disease which, as you correctly stated, is the third leading cause of death in this country. Therefore we should definitely look at what we can do for you to ensure that your body doesn’t continue to create such conditions.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen
www.healthnowmedical.com
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect
Dr. Vikki’s blog
Dr. Vikki on Twitter
HealthNOW Medical Center on Facebook
Register to become a member on the HealthNOW Community Forum

And now for the winners of the Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bread Giveaway!

Each winner will receive the following:

(1) pkg. of Hamburger Buns

(1) pkg. of  San Juan 7-Grain Bread

(1) pkg. Mountain White Bread

(1) pkg. Cinnamon Raisin Bread

(1) pkg. Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia

(1) pkg. Cranberry Crunch Muffins

Congratulations go to:

#65, Christy

#104, Sonya

#14, Brenda

Congratulations ladies, I will email you for your shipping information! :-D

If you have a question that you would like Dr. Vikki Petersen to answer in a future blog post here on Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, please email your question(s) to me at: askdrvikki@adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com

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