Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Locked
togb
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:36 pm

Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by togb » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am

Not seeking medical advice or any medical information from individuals....

I am considering trying Functional Medicine. The doctor has been highly recommended by friends for whom I've seen great results. The doctor is expensive and does not take insurance, which seems to be the norm for functional medicine.

All doctor appointments will be out of network. I think I can get most if not all of the labwork in network, and some of the consultations may qualify for minor assistance (example out of network nutritional counseling qualified for 60% of their set price-- which I'm sure is less than will be charged, but hey, it's something).

Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?

jayk238
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:02 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by jayk238 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:59 am

Be very careful about functional medicine.

I would recommend it only if you could go to a well regarded center. Cleveland Clinic, UPMC, Chicago, etc.

Its generally not covered by insurance.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:09 am

togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am
Not seeking medical advice or any medical information from individuals....
I am considering trying Functional Medicine. The doctor has been highly recommended by friends for whom I've seen great results. The doctor is expensive and does not take insurance, which seems to be the norm for functional medicine.
All doctor appointments will be out of network. I think I can get most if not all of the labwork in network, and some of the consultations may qualify for minor assistance (example out of network nutritional counseling qualified for 60% of their set price-- which I'm sure is less than will be charged, but hey, it's something).
Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?
What, exactly, is "functional medicine"?

Are such folks board certified and have either an MD or DO degree?

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:14 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:09 am
togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am
Not seeking medical advice or any medical information from individuals....
I am considering trying Functional Medicine. The doctor has been highly recommended by friends for whom I've seen great results. The doctor is expensive and does not take insurance, which seems to be the norm for functional medicine.
All doctor appointments will be out of network. I think I can get most if not all of the labwork in network, and some of the consultations may qualify for minor assistance (example out of network nutritional counseling qualified for 60% of their set price-- which I'm sure is less than will be charged, but hey, it's something).
Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?
What, exactly, is "functional medicine"?
Are such folks board certified and have either an MD or DO degree?
Here is what Wikipedia says:

Functional medicine is a form of alternative medicine[1] which proponents say focuses on interactions between the environment and the gastrointestinal, endocrine, and immune systems[2], but opponents have described it as "pseudoscientific silliness"[3] and quackery.[4] Practitioners develop individual treatment plans for people they treat.[2] Functional medicine encompasses a number of unproven and disproven methods and treatments.[5][6]

I stick with "regular" physicians - BUT am greatly influenced by "lifestyle" changes to improve my health - nutritionfacts.org

mhalley
Posts: 5820
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by mhalley » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:14 am

Never heard of functional medicine, but a quick internet search convinced me to run away from it. Try functional training at the gym instead.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 4922
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: 10/90 Allocation - Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:17 am

"Functional Medicine". . very catchy.

Actionably, as in all things.
1. Research
2. Verify
3. Buyer Beware

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:56 am

mhalley wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:14 am
Never heard of functional medicine, but a quick internet search convinced me to run away from it. Try functional training at the gym instead.
My conclusions, as well..

Maybe look for one of these https://www.plantbaseddoctors.org/

Loik098
Posts: 602
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 9:29 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by Loik098 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:26 am

I recently went into my bank in order to upgrade my safety deposit box, and I chatted with the banker who helped me.

Although I knew the answer to my question, when I asked her about her training, she informed me that the bankers at her bank don't have to have any special sort of training or degree in order to be a banker. They just have to be able to "sell" very well. She repeated that remark a couple of times, the one about "ability to sell." My banker looked to be in her mid- to late-20s. She told me she did not have any college training, and her only work experience was as a teller for 3-4 years at this branch. After admitting these facts, she appeared rather hesitant to push her standard financial spiel on me, but needless to say, she probably very much wanted to manage the bulk of my financial matters.

Functional medicine looks very similar: doesn't really matter how much training you have (if any), what you're selling, or whether it succeeds. The key is your "ability to sell." There is no "smart" way to handle costs when you've been taken.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:35 am

Loik098 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:26 am
I recently went into my bank in order to upgrade my safety deposit box, and I chatted with the banker who helped me.
Although I knew the answer to my question, when I asked her about her training, she informed me that the bankers at her bank don't have to have any special sort of training or degree in order to be a banker. They just have to be able to "sell" very well. She repeated that remark a couple of times, the one about "ability to sell." My banker looked to be in her mid- to late-20s. She told me she did not have any college training, and her only work experience was as a teller for 3-4 years at this branch. After admitting these facts, she appeared rather hesitant to push her standard financial spiel on me, but needless to say, she probably very much wanted to manage the bulk of my financial matters.
Functional medicine looks very similar: doesn't really matter how much training you have (if any), what you're selling, or whether it succeeds. The key is your "ability to sell." There is no "smart" way to handle costs when you've been taken.
I am in the banking/credit union business - and no specific education/training is required. Some aspects relate to customer service and selling. Many, though, are operational, compliance and accounting.

BUT - bankers do not operate on you or prescribe drugs or handle your "person". These regerenced "meical professionals" do!

boglegirl
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by boglegirl » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:08 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:14 am
..

I stick with "regular" physicians - BUT am greatly influenced by "lifestyle" changes to improve my health - nutritionfacts.org
+1 I love Dr. Greger's advice. The claims in his book and on his podcast & website are all backed by scientific research. AND he's not trying to sell anything (except, I guess, for his book). Most of the new nutritional "experts" are trying to sell you supplements or alkaline water or whatever the current trend is, e.g. Dr. Weil, ugh.

Dr. Greger has really changed how I eat for the better. I haven't gone vegan, but I'm making much better choices on a daily basis. For example, for an afternoon snack instead of chips & sour cream (my nemesis), I'll eat an apple with almond butter.

I guess this doesn't address the OP's question, but I was just glad to see a shoutout for Dr. Greger and nutritionfacts.org.

2comma
Posts: 1223
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by 2comma » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:17 pm

Please learn to become a skeptic, a critical thinker. Here is an accurate idea of what "functional medicine" is https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/wh ... -is-bogus/. This isn't medical advice because this stuff isn't medicine except in the sense a witch doctor is practicing medicine.
If I am stupid I will pay.

togb
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by togb » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:21 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:09 am
togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am
Not seeking medical advice or any medical information from individuals....
I am considering trying Functional Medicine. The doctor has been highly recommended by friends for whom I've seen great results. The doctor is expensive and does not take insurance, which seems to be the norm for functional medicine.
All doctor appointments will be out of network. I think I can get most if not all of the labwork in network, and some of the consultations may qualify for minor assistance (example out of network nutritional counseling qualified for 60% of their set price-- which I'm sure is less than will be charged, but hey, it's something).
Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?
What, exactly, is "functional medicine"?

Are such folks board certified and have either an MD or DO degree?
Functional medicine seeks to create wellness, avoiding big health issues, rather than treating the eventual health issues. I think the certifications and education most likely fall on a bell curve-- same as anything else. My particular doctor went to medical school, did a residency and practiced traditional medicine, but has rounded this out with the traditional medicine perspective that resonates with her own thinking.

In short, she's a full medical doctor, besides having the functional medicine certification (which I suspect is not as robust as med school-- but seems like a really strong basis for helping patients.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:24 pm

boglegirl wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:08 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:14 am
..I stick with "regular" physicians - BUT am greatly influenced by "lifestyle" changes to improve my health - nutritionfacts.org
+1 I love Dr. Greger's advice. The claims in his book and on his podcast & website are all backed by scientific research. AND he's not trying to sell anything (except, I guess, for his book). Most of the new nutritional "experts" are trying to sell you supplements or alkaline water or whatever the current trend is, e.g. Dr. Weil, ugh.
Dr. Greger has really changed how I eat for the better. I haven't gone vegan, but I'm making much better choices on a daily basis. For example, for an afternoon snack instead of chips & sour cream (my nemesis), I'll eat an apple with almond butter.
I guess this doesn't address the OP's question, but I was just glad to see a shoutout for Dr. Greger and nutritionfacts.org.
Yes .. In addition, Dr Greger demonstrates how numbers and statistics can be twisted and manipulated to lead to a faulty conclusion. This helps in all aspects of life - not just health/medical. Many expensive screening tests and subsequent treatments show HIGH "cure" rates - BUT little or no (sometimes negative) reduction in death rates. He explains this apparent conflict.

togb
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by togb » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:32 pm

OK, I appreciate the concern from those who do not like functional medicine, and I realize that there are detractors from anything alternative, just like there are detractors for anything traditional. If I get started and it seems hinky, I'll back away, I'm pretty smart that way. 8-) I do not seek medical advice here. I have an MD, a DC and a DDS in the family who give me great advice and counsel.

But if anyone has any brilliant ideas for leveraging insurance assistance against out of network medical professionals, I'd love to hear. I think maybe ensuring lab work is done by in network labs is my biggest help, followed by some potential for offset to any visits that can be considered nutritional or dietary counseling, since that is covered by my insurance.

Thanks all.

stoptothink
Posts: 4190
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:39 pm

togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am
Not seeking medical advice or any medical information from individuals....

I am considering trying Functional Medicine. The doctor has been highly recommended by friends for whom I've seen great results. The doctor is expensive and does not take insurance, which seems to be the norm for functional medicine.

All doctor appointments will be out of network. I think I can get most if not all of the labwork in network, and some of the consultations may qualify for minor assistance (example out of network nutritional counseling qualified for 60% of their set price-- which I'm sure is less than will be charged, but hey, it's something).

Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?
Well, you kind of have to talk about what health issues you are trying to address before anybody can make relevant comments about whether or not functional medicine is worth a try, and that is kind of off-limits on this board. Most modern health issues are very lifestyle-related, and a functional medicine practitioner may (or may not) be more qualified to assist you with that.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:48 pm

togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:32 pm
OK, I appreciate the concern from those who do not like functional medicine, and I realize that there are detractors from anything alternative, just like there are detractors for anything traditional. If I get started and it seems hinky, I'll back away, I'm pretty smart that way. 8-) I do not seek medical advice here. I have an MD, a DC and a DDS in the family who give me great advice and counsel.
But if anyone has any brilliant ideas for leveraging insurance assistance against out of network medical professionals, I'd love to hear. I think maybe ensuring lab work is done by in network labs is my biggest help, followed by some potential for offset to any visits that can be considered nutritional or dietary counseling, since that is covered by my insurance.
Thanks all.
Maybe an approach is to identify networks or plans that have providers that are more "flexible", "cooperative" and "understanding" of legitimate alternative approaches. I think I have that, to a degree, in my Kaiser plan and with my chosen Primary Care Physician.

Primary care physicians can me MD or DO degreed. They can be Internal medicine or family medicine as well. There may even be a few of the "old style" GP folks still around. Depending on your plan, there are some specialists who also function as Primary care physicians. [For example, for a while my Endocrinologist was also my Primary Care Physician]. In some states (Virginia just became one) Nurse Practioners can now "practice" without being in a Physician's practice (not sure of all the details).

JoeRetire
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:49 pm

togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am
Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?
Having your lab work done in network makes complete sense.

From the few friends I know who dabble in "functional medicine" practitioners, pretty much everything else is paid out of pocket. They just chalk it up as "the cost of doing business" with such folks. Maybe a faith-based cost sharing program would help (I wouldn't know)?

I manage out of network costs in general by avoiding them wherever and whenever possible.

Additionally I won't spend any money on what I consider non-medical medicinal practice (although my wife occasionally insists on visiting chiropractors).

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:17 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:49 pm
togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am
Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?
Additionally I won't spend any money on what I consider non-medical medicinal practice (although my wife occasionally insists on visiting chiropractors).
I feel strongly the same! Never saw one - and have no intention of ever seeing one.
Last edited by dm200 on Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jayk238
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:02 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by jayk238 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:21 pm

I think we should take a step back and understand that functional medicine can help patients. There are a lot of patients that we get that standard medicine just doesn't help. But its important to go to a reputed center that has doctors trained in this. A lot of it by them is basically hand holding, making the patient feel heard, and ensuring that many different alternatives are not going to harm the patient or interact with their current meds. Finally, the actual doctors who do this also are able to provide verified therapies that can help a patient. How many of you have heard of the FODMAP diet? I didnt think so. I dont have the time to do this with a patient but a functional doctor can and well. Its important to not dismiss everything as nonsense are bad just because EBM (Evidence based medicine) doesn't say definitively it works. Please lets not dissuade OP from making choices for himself. Let him and a doctor do that.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:24 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:21 pm
I think we should take a step back and understand that functional medicine can help patients. There are a lot of patients that we get that standard medicine just doesn't help. But its important to go to a reputed center that has doctors trained in this. A lot of it by them is basically hand holding, making the patient feel heard, and ensuring that many different alternatives are not going to harm the patient or interact with their current meds. Finally, the actual doctors who do this also are able to provide verified therapies that can help a patient. How many of you have heard of the FODMAP diet? I didnt think so. I dont have the time to do this with a patient but a functional doctor can and well. Its important to not dismiss everything as nonsense are bad just because EBM (Evidence based medicine) doesn't say definitively it works. Please lets not dissuade OP from making choices for himself. Let him and a doctor do that.
Lots of things can "help" patients - from faith healing to placebos.

jayk238
Posts: 375
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:02 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by jayk238 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:33 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:24 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:21 pm
I think we should take a step back and understand that functional medicine can help patients. There are a lot of patients that we get that standard medicine just doesn't help. But its important to go to a reputed center that has doctors trained in this. A lot of it by them is basically hand holding, making the patient feel heard, and ensuring that many different alternatives are not going to harm the patient or interact with their current meds. Finally, the actual doctors who do this also are able to provide verified therapies that can help a patient. How many of you have heard of the FODMAP diet? I didnt think so. I dont have the time to do this with a patient but a functional doctor can and well. Its important to not dismiss everything as nonsense are bad just because EBM (Evidence based medicine) doesn't say definitively it works. Please lets not dissuade OP from making choices for himself. Let him and a doctor do that.
Lots of things can "help" patients - from faith healing to placebos.
I have seen patients benefit from functional medicine. Its a disservice to refuse patient autonomy which we hold above all else. If the placebo effect works for a patient, doesn't bankrupt them and doesnt cost a lot, doesnt lead to other things- predatory practices etc, and doesnt cause harm then I'm all for it.

Its one thing to be dismissive online and its another thing to see a living breathing human being swear by something that we think is placebo effect when everything else that supposedly has real efficacy fails them and they are still in pain or upset.

Oscar Wilde:

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing

Btw. Faith healing kills people in life threatening situations. Placebos if used properly and aren't used in life threatening situations help. If my patient wants to pray for healing while getting proper treatment then I am so so so for it. Big difference.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18300
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:52 pm

togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am
Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?
I don't have an answer to your question and, like you, I'd like to get tips from the Bogleheads who do.

As a counter point to previous posts criticizing functional medicine, I consider it a valid approach to enhancing your health. When someone has a disease, a conventional doctor is usually the best choice. But there are many wellness techniques that conventional medicine does not touch.

Buyer beware applies to conventional doctors as well as functional doctors. Some conventional doctors are incompetent, some conventional doctors make serious mistakes, some conventional doctors have profit motives for recommending drugs, procedures and surgeries.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:41 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:52 pm
togb wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:51 am
Interested to know if anyone has found smart ways to manage the costs for functional medicine specifically, or out of network medical cost in general?
I don't have an answer to your question and, like you, I'd like to get tips from the Bogleheads who do.
As a counter point to previous posts criticizing functional medicine, I consider it a valid approach to enhancing your health. When someone has a disease, a conventional doctor is usually the best choice. But there are many wellness techniques that conventional medicine does not touch.
Buyer beware applies to conventional doctors as well as functional doctors. Some conventional doctors are incompetent, some conventional doctors make serious mistakes, some conventional doctors have profit motives for recommending drugs, procedures and surgeries.
Victoria
Yes - over the years - I have encountered several such folks. Scary experience - fortunately I got out of there before any of them "did" anything. (Never at Kaiser, though)

JoeRetire
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:09 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:21 pm
I think we should take a step back and understand that functional medicine can help patients.
Psychics can "help patients" too. Unfortunately that kind of help tends to help separate patients from their cash more than anything else.

JoeRetire
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:14 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:33 pm
If my patient wants to pray for healing while getting proper treatment then I am so so so for it.
How about if a patient wants to pray for healing instead of getting proper treatment?
If the prayer had any significant real effect that would certainly be a reasonable alternative, no?

Frankly, I believe people can do whatever they wish to do regarding their own healthcare, as long as they don't hurt others, and as long as I don't have to pay for it.

mrb55
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:28 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by mrb55 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:55 pm

Conventional Medicine versus Functional Medicine

Conventional Medicine:. Doctor to Patient: I'm sorry but you have a developed a chronic lifelong disease for which there is no cure. We also have no idea what the cause is. Oh, but wait, we have this wonderful maintenance medicine that is EXTREMELY expensive and that you must take for the rest of your life. I may even get pharmaceutical kickbacks for steering you in a certain medicinal direction.

Functional Medicine:. Doctor to Patient:. You have developed a disease. However we would like to try to have you follow a certain regimen of careful diet, exercise, relaxation techniques, and good consistent sleep while we attempt to determine, through blood, stool, and urinalysis tests what your body is reacting to which may have caused this problem in the first place. We would like to determine the root cause of your problem in order to try and rectify it, thereby eliminating (not curing) the disease.

Conventional Medicine:. No cures forthcoming because there is no profit or money in it. However, expensive lifelong continual therapy is everywhere....think... recurring subscription/revenue stream. Treat the symptoms not the cause. Results....opioid crisis.

Functional Medicine:. Attempt to identify root cause and eliminate the source of the problem. If necessary, prescribe conventional medicine to treat a problem while continuing to seek out root cause.

Ask yourself if your conventional medicine doctor really cares about trying to find the cause of your problem. Or are you just a number on a big revolving conveyer belt.....Meet, discuss, prescribe, NEXT!!!! :annoyed

folkher0
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:48 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by folkher0 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:47 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:33 pm

I have seen patients benefit from functional medicine. Its a disservice to refuse patient autonomy which we hold above all else. If the placebo effect works for a patient, doesn't bankrupt them and doesnt cost a lot, doesnt lead to other things- predatory practices etc, and doesnt cause harm then I'm all for it.

Its one thing to be dismissive online and its another thing to see a living breathing human being swear by something that we think is placebo effect when everything else that supposedly has real efficacy fails them and they are still in pain or upset.

Oscar Wilde:

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing

Btw. Faith healing kills people in life threatening situations. Placebos if used properly and aren't used in life threatening situations help. If my patient wants to pray for healing while getting proper treatment then I am so so so for it. Big difference.
Every day on this forum we see posts about people "feeling" the market is high or having success with wealth managers who charge fees and loads and commissions. What is the harm? The market is going up and investments are growing, right? 1% advisor fee every year doesn't sound like that much anyway.

This "functional medicine" thing strikes me as so similar to what so many posters say about Edward Jones and other financial advisers every day, and that this forum in general advises against in the financial world.

I will freely admit: there are certain problems that medicine does a terrible job with: back and other chronic pains, fibromyalgia, palliative care, and many Axis 2 psychiatric disorders. If you want to go to a "functional" doctor for this type of thing have a go at it. If you have kidney, liver or heart failure, a treatable cancer, atherosclerosis, endocrine problems, etc, please be careful with providers who don't have real evidence to support their faddish practices.

Finally, a doctor who doesn't take insurance is a red flag to me. It makes me concerned that he/she is likely to offer expensive/unproven testing and interventions that are likely not covered by insurance anyway.

It surprises me a bit that people who frequent a personal finance forum with the stated philosophy of avoiding unnecessary fees, keeping it simple, recognizing the historical limitations of predicting the stock market, and are militantly hostile to financial advisors would go down this road with their personal health and well being.

2comma
Posts: 1223
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by 2comma » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:56 pm

folkher0 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:47 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:33 pm

I have seen patients benefit from functional medicine. Its a disservice to refuse patient autonomy which we hold above all else. If the placebo effect works for a patient, doesn't bankrupt them and doesnt cost a lot, doesnt lead to other things- predatory practices etc, and doesnt cause harm then I'm all for it.

Its one thing to be dismissive online and its another thing to see a living breathing human being swear by something that we think is placebo effect when everything else that supposedly has real efficacy fails them and they are still in pain or upset.

Oscar Wilde:

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing

Btw. Faith healing kills people in life threatening situations. Placebos if used properly and aren't used in life threatening situations help. If my patient wants to pray for healing while getting proper treatment then I am so so so for it. Big difference.
Every day on this forum we see posts about people "feeling" the market is high or having success with wealth managers who charge fees and loads and commissions. What is the harm? The market is going up and investments are growing, right? 1% advisor fee every year doesn't sound like that much anyway.

This "functional medicine" thing strikes me as so similar to what so many posters say about Edward Jones and other financial advisers every day, and that this forum in general advises against in the financial world.

I will freely admit: there are certain problems that medicine does a terrible job with: back and other chronic pains, fibromyalgia, palliative care, and many Axis 2 psychiatric disorders. If you want to go to a "functional" doctor for this type of thing have a go at it. If you have kidney, liver or heart failure, a treatable cancer, atherosclerosis, endocrine problems, etc, please be careful with providers who don't have real evidence to support their faddish practices.

Finally, a doctor who doesn't take insurance is a red flag to me. It makes me concerned that he/she is likely to offer expensive/unproven testing and interventions that are likely not covered by insurance anyway.

It surprises me a bit that people who frequent a personal finance forum with the stated philosophy of avoiding unnecessary fees, keeping it simple, recognizing the historical limitations of predicting the stock market, and are militantly hostile to financial advisors would go down this road with their personal health and well being.
Well said! After spending most of my life learning to become a skeptic, to trust science, to become a critical thinker I've learned how to sniff out BS pretty well. When it comes to finances the Bogleheads impress me as being critical thinkers. The idea that your not likely to outsmart the market by timing it and to ignore the noise, keep investing and stay the course ring true to me and no slick salesman is going to convince me they can predict the future or that their high commission insurance product is going to be good for me. But...

When it comes to some things we have some very non-critical thinking going on around here. Let me give some examples:

Dowsers? I had a professor that swore he could dowse for water. I was immediately skeptical but he almost convinced me he could. Later in life I saw there were several double-blind studies where they had tested dowsers to find water and they were no more likely to find it than random chance. Of course all of the people that think they were dowsers had many excuses for why their magic didn't work.

Acupuncture? So you went to one and you got better. Well, many things just get better all by themselves. Believe in your acupuncuture? Plenty of scientific research where they placed the needles randomly and guess what, same results. Do a google search on accupuncture and you'll probably get hundreds of first results praising the results of the therapy but dig a little deeper. Try to prove your belief false. We all have our cognitive biases so we're going to look for things that support what we believe. Admit you are human and frequently wrong.

Non-GMO? This is scary! They are modifying the genes of plants/animals. Humans have been doing this for centuries (selective breeding of livestock for example). Fact is science has found ways to do this quicker. Could they create some mutation that's harmful/deadly, sure, except there are protocols in place to prevent this. Sad fact is we won't be able to feed the future population of the earth without crops that are more resistant to drought, insects and better able to increase yields. Fact is we are using most of the arable farmland available in the world already, there is no more land to farm, we better find ways to make it more productive. Who is going to starve to death because of your mistaken belief that genetic engineering is just somehow wrong?

Organic? How could this possibly be wrong to believe it's all good? Well, fact is if you can't use chemical fertilizers if you grow organic, you've only got one alternative, manure. Want to make the world organic, you'll have to feed a whole lot of cattle to get your fertilizer. Is this possible, no. So you can afford organic, you're convinced it's better for you, what the heck. Is this not a universal life salesman convincing you to pay something excessive over low cost alternatives we believe in?

These are just a few of the logical fallacies that are easy to fall into. You come upon a belief and then you only see stuff that supports that belief. It's called confirmation bias and we all have it but is that the best way to navigate through life? You have to convince yourself it is better to confirm your biases with evidence and seek out narratives that are counter to what you truly think is right, maybe I could be wrong. This I believe is the path all Bogleheads took to saving and investing and we figured out we should ignore the noise and listen to Mr. Bogle and Taylor and other BH's. My wish for everyone here is they challenge their beliefs constantly and make a lifetime commitment to seeking out what is not easy or obvious but is real.
If I am stupid I will pay.

Loik098
Posts: 602
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 9:29 pm

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by Loik098 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:01 am

jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:21 pm
Finally, the actual doctors who do this also are able to provide verified therapies that can help a patient.
That's where you're wrong. FM's sales trick is to "individualize" its approach to the patient to the degree that most of what it's doing can't be verified at all. That's the point: intentional obfuscation. Could a patient benefit? Sure, maybe. Will a patient benefit? No idea.

Secondly, one doesn't have to be a "doctor" to get a FM certification. An acupuncturist or chiropractor can get one.

Sure, it brings in patients with promises we all want to hear: the promises of "extra time spent" and "all the labs you ever want to run" so that it can ultimately tell you a lot of the same things a conventional MD would (emphasizing healthy lifestyles, nutrition, exercise, sleep, cessation of bad habits, etc.).......but then also likely sell you things you may or may not need, such as supplements (yay Vitamin C infusions!), detox agents, tests, diets, or whatever. Run a lab test 100 times, eventually you'll "find" some sort of an abnormality to fix. Will any of these tests/pills/diets work? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'm sure you'll find a few converts out there who swear by them.

Because there's zero evidence that such a one-man-treatment-scheme will work, and because it's so easy for anyone to obtain "certification" in FM, insurance companies aren't interested, and the OP will find that there are no clever or smart ways to get reimbursed. Hence, buyer beware.

HongKonger
Posts: 1053
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:35 am
Location: Deep in the Balkans

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by HongKonger » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:49 am

2comma:

Organic fertilisers also include nettle tea, comfrey tea, wood ash, kelp/seaweed, human urine, cover crops, rock dust, leaf mold and compost.

As for your non GMO rant, the majority of farmland is in fact used to grow crops to feed animals which will then be eaten. Furthermore, I think you will find the opposition to GMO crops is mainly of the system that is required to grow them - massive use of insecticides and herbicides/monocropping/ killing of soil/the potential for cross pollination and the subsequent 'ownership' by the agro chemical companies/the financial ruin that farmers endure after being sold the myth of higher yields/the elimination of heirloom varieties and loss of food sovereignty to agro chemical companies...and so on. Plus selective breeding is not quite the same as taking the genes from a fish and putting them in a tomato now is it.

To the OP: Could you explore a treatment centre or intensive course/retreat in another country that might be a more cost effective jump start to your therapy? My own experience has been such that practitioners are well aware of their cost implications so are open to negotiation upfront about block booking discounts etc.
Last edited by HongKonger on Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by dm200 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:18 am

2comma wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:56 pm
folkher0 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:47 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:33 pm

I have seen patients benefit from functional medicine. Its a disservice to refuse patient autonomy which we hold above all else. If the placebo effect works for a patient, doesn't bankrupt them and doesnt cost a lot, doesnt lead to other things- predatory practices etc, and doesnt cause harm then I'm all for it.

Its one thing to be dismissive online and its another thing to see a living breathing human being swear by something that we think is placebo effect when everything else that supposedly has real efficacy fails them and they are still in pain or upset.

Oscar Wilde:

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing

Btw. Faith healing kills people in life threatening situations. Placebos if used properly and aren't used in life threatening situations help. If my patient wants to pray for healing while getting proper treatment then I am so so so for it. Big difference.
Every day on this forum we see posts about people "feeling" the market is high or having success with wealth managers who charge fees and loads and commissions. What is the harm? The market is going up and investments are growing, right? 1% advisor fee every year doesn't sound like that much anyway.

This "functional medicine" thing strikes me as so similar to what so many posters say about Edward Jones and other financial advisers every day, and that this forum in general advises against in the financial world.

I will freely admit: there are certain problems that medicine does a terrible job with: back and other chronic pains, fibromyalgia, palliative care, and many Axis 2 psychiatric disorders. If you want to go to a "functional" doctor for this type of thing have a go at it. If you have kidney, liver or heart failure, a treatable cancer, atherosclerosis, endocrine problems, etc, please be careful with providers who don't have real evidence to support their faddish practices.

Finally, a doctor who doesn't take insurance is a red flag to me. It makes me concerned that he/she is likely to offer expensive/unproven testing and interventions that are likely not covered by insurance anyway.

It surprises me a bit that people who frequent a personal finance forum with the stated philosophy of avoiding unnecessary fees, keeping it simple, recognizing the historical limitations of predicting the stock market, and are militantly hostile to financial advisors would go down this road with their personal health and well being.
Well said! After spending most of my life learning to become a skeptic, to trust science, to become a critical thinker I've learned how to sniff out BS pretty well. When it comes to finances the Bogleheads impress me as being critical thinkers. The idea that your not likely to outsmart the market by timing it and to ignore the noise, keep investing and stay the course ring true to me and no slick salesman is going to convince me they can predict the future or that their high commission insurance product is going to be good for me. But...

When it comes to some things we have some very non-critical thinking going on around here. Let me give some examples:

Dowsers? I had a professor that swore he could dowse for water. I was immediately skeptical but he almost convinced me he could. Later in life I saw there were several double-blind studies where they had tested dowsers to find water and they were no more likely to find it than random chance. Of course all of the people that think they were dowsers had many excuses for why their magic didn't work.

Acupuncture? So you went to one and you got better. Well, many things just get better all by themselves. Believe in your acupuncuture? Plenty of scientific research where they placed the needles randomly and guess what, same results. Do a google search on accupuncture and you'll probably get hundreds of first results praising the results of the therapy but dig a little deeper. Try to prove your belief false. We all have our cognitive biases so we're going to look for things that support what we believe. Admit you are human and frequently wrong.

Non-GMO? This is scary! They are modifying the genes of plants/animals. Humans have been doing this for centuries (selective breeding of livestock for example). Fact is science has found ways to do this quicker. Could they create some mutation that's harmful/deadly, sure, except there are protocols in place to prevent this. Sad fact is we won't be able to feed the future population of the earth without crops that are more resistant to drought, insects and better able to increase yields. Fact is we are using most of the arable farmland available in the world already, there is no more land to farm, we better find ways to make it more productive. Who is going to starve to death because of your mistaken belief that genetic engineering is just somehow wrong?

Organic? How could this possibly be wrong to believe it's all good? Well, fact is if you can't use chemical fertilizers if you grow organic, you've only got one alternative, manure. Want to make the world organic, you'll have to feed a whole lot of cattle to get your fertilizer. Is this possible, no. So you can afford organic, you're convinced it's better for you, what the heck. Is this not a universal life salesman convincing you to pay something excessive over low cost alternatives we believe in?

These are just a few of the logical fallacies that are easy to fall into. You come upon a belief and then you only see stuff that supports that belief. It's called confirmation bias and we all have it but is that the best way to navigate through life? You have to convince yourself it is better to confirm your biases with evidence and seek out narratives that are counter to what you truly think is right, maybe I could be wrong. This I believe is the path all Bogleheads took to saving and investing and we figured out we should ignore the noise and listen to Mr. Bogle and Taylor and other BH's. My wish for everyone here is they challenge their beliefs constantly and make a lifetime commitment to seeking out what is not easy or obvious but is real.
Very good!

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 46056
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Functional Medicine/ managing the costs

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:38 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (derailed in several directions, medical advice - including health claims of diets). The reasons medical advice is not permitted in this forum:

1. This is an anonymous internet forum. It is not possible to verify anyone's identity (nor do we want to). Credentials also imply accurate advice, which may not always be the case.
2. There can be disagreement among experts, which can be harmful if someone is basing a medical decision on the advice.
3. A member's description may be incomplete.
4. Readers will misinterpret the member's description.
5. Readers will misinterpret the given advice.

Since real harm can be done, we do not permit medical advice and is the reason for the first sentence in: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Locked