Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t I get your type of services from my primary care physician?
- Although you may receive similar services from your existing healthcare provider, different physician practices are differently staffed with varying constraints of time. Many physicians are pressed for time and encouraged to see as many patients as possible, often one every 15 minutes.
- With today’s electronic medical records (EMR), many physicians spend more time dealing with their computers than dealing with you and taking the time to listen to your concerns fully.
- Many practices don’t have ready access to some needed specialties such as a nutritionist, a physical/occupational therapist, a pharmacist, etc. Many practices do offer some health education materials, but these are often very general, may be challenging to read, and frequently don’t fit your situation or learning styles.
- We aim to give you several options and vetted demonstrations which can be found on the internet which are safe and which you can do in your own home. Give our services a try, and you will have a better idea of how good the education and advice you are getting from your provider. Don’t forget, we aim to do a better job than what you are currently getting, but at the same time, we will work with your provider to eliminate any potential conflicts between what we are saying, and they are recommending.
How do I get the most out of a consultation?
- Write down your key concerns and questions to communicate with the consultant.
- If there are key medical records (e.g. laboratory results, x-ray studies or clinic visit summaries), try to email these to us beforehand for review. This is not mandatory.
- Have a list of your medications and doses readily available, and preferably email this to us beforehand.
Note: During the first consultation we will quickly get a summary of you as a whole person (medical and mental) and zero in on your most pressing concerns. We want to make efficient use of your time while at the same time being helpful.
Will my health insurance pay for your services?
- You can always ask your insurance provider, but in our experience, most will not currently pay for the innovative and flexible way we deliver our personalized services (e.g. some insurance plans require that such services be delivered only in the clinic). Many insurers assume that you are getting these services from your healthcare provider. Many insurers also put unreasonable restrictions on what they will reimburse. You may also ask if your healthcare provider is enlightened to use our help and pay for this for you, and we can help you ask this question. Hopefully, in the future, more health insurance plans and more employers will move towards this flexible, individualized pay for performance direction.
What if I don’t use up all my consultation credit hours?
- All fees once paid are non-refundable. However we will make every effort upfront to accurately estimate how much time we will need to address your question. You can also check us out increment by increment of consultation credit purchased. Again, we don’t want to take your money and not help you appropriately.
Will my information be kept confidential?
- Absolutely. The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is the law and requires us to keep your personal and health information confidential, and we take great pains to ensure that this is done. We will only share this information with other healthcare providers if you give us specific permission to do so.
Can other family members make use of these services?
- Absolutely. We are happy to provide our services to any member of your family under the same credit payment system. Due to the HIPAA law, we cannot share such information with other family members, without the individual’s consent.
What benefits do you offer that I can’t get by cruising the internet myself?
- There is a lot of good and bad information on the internet. Much of the internet information is linked to advertisements to get you to buy their products regardless of whether they will actually help you. Also, as you know, anybody can post almost anything on the internet, despite their actual expertise. We will provide you with information that has been thoroughly vetted by our CHARGE Team, who are all credentialed professionals in their respective specialties.
- We also use additional internet resources that are not readily available to the public but are available to our specialists. Our team has already been collecting such materials in order to develop an extensive library of such materials for you. Most importantly, we will tailor what we give you to your individual situation, considering your other medical conditions, other medications you may be taking, and your state of fitness. This is usually lacking if you just go on your own to the internet.
What health education resources will I have access to independent of a CHARGE Team consultation?
- In addition to the above mentioned education resources, we will be generating an ongoing blog that deals with specific general topics, such as the importance of getting your laboratory tests done. These will be on our website at no charge to our clients.
How will the CHARGE Team actually deal with my case?
- One member of the team will first interview you to obtain initial information and hear your concerns. This will preferably be done via a teleconferencing setup. This individual will then summarize your situation and then present this confidentially to the CHARGE Team members. The team members will study this and bring forth suggestions for help which will be summarized in a document sent to you along with relevant health education materials. After reviewing these materials, you will have opportunities to pose additional questions and concerns. This is the basic pattern but will be modified depending on your situation.
For example, in complex cases, we may ask to gain access to your medical records with your permission and may even talk directly with your healthcare providers (with your permission and on your behalf) to clarify certain points. All of this is to give you the best advice and education possible in ways that you can best use.