Cost of Functional Medicine Doctors Visits
Because most functional medicine doctors do not accept health insurance, there are understandable questions and anxieties surrounding the cost associated with functional medicine. How much does it cost to be seen by a functional medicine doctor? What tests will I need and how much will that cost? How many visits will I need to go to? Is it possible to find a functional medicine doctor that does take insurance? The answer to all of these questions is: it depends.
Initial Visit and Associated Costs
The initial visit to a functional medicine doctor is oftentimes the longest and most involved. It is at this point that the provider gets a thorough individual and family history, checks for any possible environmental factors that may be contributing to the chronic conditions that the patient is suffering, and gets an idea of any other lifestyle or behavioral factors that may play a role (i.e. smoking, nutritional patterns, stress and stress management). It is this holistic understanding of your baseline health, practices, and environmental inputs that will help your doctors determine the cause of your disease and form a treatment plan to address it.
The cost for these visits can vary quite a bit depending on location, expertise, overhead, and other factors. On the average, functional medicine doctors generally charge around $460 per hour. Most visits, of course, do not last an hour, and some providers offer bundles or packages that include a set number of visits over time for a fixed price.
Regardless of what a practitioner charges or how they structure their billing, transparency is much more expected in the world of functional medicine; this is actually one of the numerous benefits of working outside of the confines of the health insurance industry. Before making an appointment with a functional medicine doctor, it is completely reasonable to ask exactly what each visit and test will cost along the way.
Average Costs for Common Tests
Along with increased transparency surrounding office visit costs with a functional medicine doctor, the costs of the various tests and diagnostics that may be ordered are also highly transparent. Unlike a visit to a traditional medicine doctor who is often unable to anticipate the cost of a test or medication that they may order, functional medicine doctors have a firm grasp of the prices that have been set by the providers they work with.
In recommending various tests, it is a very common practice among functional medicine doctors to review the costs associated with those tests so that their patient can make an informed decision about what tests to prioritize if not all can be undertaken.
Some of the most commonly ordered tests and diagnostics include simple breath tests, stool testing, analysis of any potential food sensitivities, and hormone panels. Though these tests do vary by region, lab, and provider, average costs generally run between $200 and $700 per test. While insurance may cover some part of some of these parts, this also varies and should be explored on a case by case basis.