Frequently Asked Questions
How are your methods different from other practitioners? Brigitte uses her extensive training from two of the top education resources for functional medicine- the Institute for Functional Medicine and the School of Applied Functional Medicine- to find imbalances and problems that are typically misunderstood and/or misdiagnosed by conventional medicine practitioners who attempt to address the symptoms, not the root cause/damaged system. She incorporates her coaching background to help clients facilitate change at their own pace, in a way that works for them.
How long does it take to see results? Results vary by each person. Some people feel dramatic improvement within the first weeks or month, others may take a longer. Our standard programs are for a minimum of 3-6 months. Remember, your body didn’t fail overnight. Years of stress and illness takes its toll, and it takes a proper amount of time to restore.
How many tests do I have to do, and how much do lab tests cost? You are not required to do ANY tests in order to see benefits when working with us, but most clients prefer to use some testing data to find subtle underlying causes of their symptoms. This generally offers more rapid results and helps to target your therapy. Common tests may include typical annual labs, nutrient deficiency testing, food allergen and reaction testing, comprehensive stool testing, cortisol testing, various hormone levels, Omega 3 indexing, and organic acid testing. Testing can be done using blood, urine, saliva, or stool, depending on the test performed. We do ask that clients upload their labs from the past two years via the patient portal for review at least 48 hours before their initial visit.
Why do you only accept clients from Washington state? RN and ARNP licensing requirements only allow healthcare providers to provide counsel to clients in their state of licensure. Potential clients outside of Washington state should attempt to find a provider in their local area. Conversely, our new Client Education Series is available to people in any location, as it is education that does not involve a provider/client relationship.
Why are you not able to see Medicare beneficiaries? Federal law prevents healthcare providers from accepting cash payments from Medicare beneficiaries. As this practice is cash only (see more details below), we are unable to offer services to Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare beneficiaries are able to purchase and apply the education included in our Client Education Series.
Why do you require all clients to have a primary care provider? Brigitte practices as a consultant in functional medicine, nurse coaching, and education. She does not provide any primary care practices, and requires that all clients maintain a relationship with their own primary care provider, and that they have had a physical exam within the past 12 months. If she suspects a disorder or condition that is not appropriately treated with functional medicine interventions or virtual visits, the client will be directed to promptly consult their primary care provider or emergent services (if indicated) about any suspected and concerning problems, when appropriate. Brigitte has several years of experience in primary care and critical care, and there is certainly a strong need for both in many cases. This falls far outside the scope of virtual functional medicine consulting. If you ever have concerns of an urgent nature, you should consult your primary care provider or emergency services, as appropriate.
How much time do I have to move or cancel my appointment?
In order to reserve your time, all appointments are prepaid at the time of booking. If for any reason you cannot make your appointment, please let us know at least 48 hours before your scheduled time, so we can reschedule accordingly. New client paperwork requires at least 48 hours to complete and review, and returning clients typically schedule weeks in advance. Therefore, we are not able to reschedule with short notice in most instances and would otherwise lose income when a client no-shows or late cancels an appointment. Missed appointments will be refunded at 50% of the prepaid rate.
What if I am late to my appointment? Brigitte will wait 15 minutes on the platform for our scheduled appointment. If you arrive in that time, the visit will commence, but our end time remains as scheduled. For example, if we are scheduled to meet from 1pm-2pm, and you log in to our meeting at 110pm, we will have fifty minutes to meet. No partial refunds will be provided for visits started late, as Brigitte will be present the entire scheduled time.
Can I write with questions between visits? We offer a messaging service to current clients to answer clarifying questions between visits. You will get access to this and the messaging service after scheduling your first visit. If you have new concerns, ongoing conditions, or questions that require a detailed response, an appointment will be necessary. This can often be arranged within several days, depending on schedule availability. Beyond this, we are very firm in devoting business hours to our scheduled clients and reserving private hours for family. We answer messages during business hours, and strive to reply promptly. If we are unavailable for any extended reason such as vacation, you will receive a notification.
Do you accept payments from FSA (flexible spending account) and HSA (health savings account) cards? Many health insurance companies do allow consulting and coaching by an RN or ARNP to be paid for through FSA and HSA accounts. You are able to pay using these cards through our payment system. We encourage all clients using these accounts as payment to confirm that their insurer permits coaching by an RN or ARNP. Some insurers may require a letter of medical necessity (LMN) from your primary care provider to be submitted to them prior to approval. More often than not, your insurance will allow you to use FSA and HSA funds to receiving coaching from me, but be sure to confirm this prior to scheduling.
Why don't you accept health insurance? When clinics bill health insurance companies directly, the providers are required to become participating providers. The provider must sign a contract that allows the insurance company to determine which services they will and will not provide and how much they can charge for those services. A participating provider must agree to accept the fees the insurance company establishes, regardless of whether the fees are reasonable or applicable to that practice. In general, these established fees cover the actual cost of the briefest (and we believe the lowest quality) care. Providers who are participating providers are required to accept discounted fees for their services, and they cannot bill the client for the difference between their fee and what the insurance company will pay. Most providers and clinics cope with the requirements of being participating providers by keeping their office visits very brief, so that they can see many clients within a given time frame. Unfortunately, we have found that we cannot be participating providers in the insurance networks and provide the time-intensive, well-researched care that we offer.
Can your office provide documentation that can help with getting insurance reimbursements for consultations and/or test kits? Absolutely! Per your request, we will provide a superbill to you that lists CPT and diagnosis codes that you may submit to your insurance company. This superbill provides the codes for consultations and lab tests. Most insurance companies will not reimburse for supplements. Please note that we cannot guarantee reimbursement.
Why do you sell nutrition supplements when I could get cheaper ones over the counter? We recommend nutritional supplements as an adjunct to dietary and lifestyle modification. This approach is central to the well-researched and science-based practice of functional medicine. We offer therapeutic, quality nutritional supplements as a service to our clients. With a few exceptions, we do not offer nutritional products of similar quality to those that are widely available over the counter. We only recommend high-quality nutritional products from the top nutritional research laboratories in North America and Great Britain, and we price them at a discounted rate. Clients are in no way required to use any supplements as part of their treatment plan, and they are welcome to obtain their supplements elsewhere. Unfortunately, with years of experience reviewing lab work on patients taking a varying quality of supplements available over-the-counter, we can confirm that quality does matter.
What is your return policy on supplements and tests? Opened or used products are not returnable unless they arrived damaged. Pre-approval is required on all returns. Refrigerated items cannot be returned. 15% restock fee of purchase price less shipping and handling may be refunded on unopened and non-refrigerated items. No supplement returns will be accepted after 30 days on all regularly stocked items. Special orders cannot be returned. Prepaid tests can be returned for credit within 3 months of purchase.
Any content on this website is in no way a substitution for medical care, nor is it ever advised to make any changes to health or medical recommendations made by your healthcare providers. It is recommended that you discuss any new lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise with your primary care provider. Every effort is made to provide up to date, evidence based health recommendations, but this is no substitution for discussing any changes with your own healthcare provider. All information on this website is to be considered for informational purposes only, and to be used at your own risk. Despite best efforts, content or services on this website may, from time to time, contain errors. Furthermore, we are not responsible for the actions or failures of any third parties associated with this website.