We are committed to providing the highest level, most comprehensive care for our patients. As part of this, we use many different functional medicine laboratory tests that require extra overhead in terms of both support staff and clinician time. As a result, we have instituted a $50 administrative and interpretation fee for each test ordered (this does not apply to LabCorp and Quest). This helps us to offset the cost associated with having these tests available to our patients. The costs that we bear for this type of testing include:
- staff time to process the test orders and fill out requisition forms
- ordering of test kits and, in some cases, keeping physical stock and shipping the kits to the patient
- obtaining lab results from the individual labs and ordering recollects/billing corrections when labs make errors
- uploading, sorting and organizing the results into the patient chart
- recording lab values in the patient charts to streamline clinician workflow
In addition, our clinicians and staff spend a significant amount of time creating patient instructions to address specific protocols for preparing for each test as needed, as well as answering patient concerns and questions with regards to test preparation.
On the clinician side, time is required to review the lab results and build treatment plans based on the results. In addition, our clinicians spend a significant amount of time researching the best, most accurate, highest yield tests, and we are constantly adjusting our offerings to reflect our patients’ best interest and highest clinical utility. It is our highest priority to only recommend tests whose results will provide us with meaningful action steps for improving the health of our patients.
We recognize that functional medicine care can be expensive and, at the same time, we are committed to trying to keep the costs as reasonable as possible. It should be noted that the cost at which we are able to offer the testing is still below what patients normally pay for these tests at similar practices or lab testing companies.
Diego F. Rutenberg L.Ac.
Holistic Specialists Clinic Director