Frequently Asked Questions
The thorough nature of the investigative process involved in Functional Medicine is what allows us to discover the underlying cause of your health concerns. It often includes the latest in cutting-edge testing that is not yet recognized by insurance companies. For that reason, there is some up-front expense. However, when compared to the long-term cost of continuing to suffer from a chronic illness, Functional Medicine is highly cost-effective, as it focuses on prevention and health-promoting lifestyle changes that address the underlying causes of dysfunction, restoring patients to health.
Anything worthwhile requires some effort. However, our clinicians and health coaches will use your time wisely making your healing journey easy as they guide you every step of the way. Being a patient at CCFM will not require extensive time commitment or significantly alter your daily schedule.
No matter what your health concern is, there is an underlying cause. Scientists have proven that 90% of chronic health problems are due to factors other than genetics. This means that for the vast majority of problems like chronic pain, asthma, GI issues, autoimmune disease, thyroid conditions, migraines, insomnia, anxiety and depression, when the underlying cause is found and corrected, a newfound expression of health will result.
Dr. Hanner and the collaborative team at CCFM have been serving the people of the Upstate since 1996. They have had the pleasure of helping thousands of satisfied patients regain their health.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Hanner will carefully review and discuss your medical history as well as perform any needed physical exams. If you are a good candidate for our services, Dr. Hanner will discuss the necessary lab tests and schedule your Case Review appointment.
See our ‘Rates and Policies’ page for those answers.
If you are NOT an in-state resident, your initial visit at Carolina Center for Functional Medicine must be in person. After the first visit, all follow up visits can be conducted by phone or virtually using our secure video channel if you choose.
Patients have unlimited email access with our Carolina Center for Functional Medicine provider team. However, if an email question or request is deemed by one of our staff to be too complicated or involved for a response via email they may, at their discretion, require that the patient schedule a phone, telemedicine or in person visit instead of responding via email.
See our ‘Rates and Policies’ page for those answers.
No. We do not accept international patients at this time.
Billing & Insurance Questions
We cannot take the place of your primary care physician. You can message us with any requests through your Patient Portal during business hours, but may take up to 24 hours to respond.
It is important to note the following however:
- We do not fulfill an insurance company’s requirement for an in network primary care physician as we are not in-network with any insurance plan.
- We are not available for same-day acute emergency appointments, please call 911 or your primary care doctor.
- We do not have a 24-hour answering service and do not take calls on weekends. If you need to be seen urgently or have a medical emergency you would need to visit an ER or urgent care center.
We do not work with any insurance company, including Medicare. The reason for this is that although we believe Functional Medicine is the future of medicine, the extensive testing and time we spend with our patients is not something that insurance companies generally recognize at this time. In other words, most of what we do would not be covered because conventional medicine and insurance companies are not designed to search for and treat the root cause of chronic illness.
We will provide you with a detailed billing summary that you may submit to your insurance for reimbursement. There may be procedures or lab tests that are covered depending on your plan’s rules.
Our goal in ordering laboratory testing is to be thorough, yet cost effective. With that said, many of the test we order are only partially covered by insurance, or not covered at all. The reason for this is that many of these labs apply advanced technology that has not yet been accepted by conventional medicine and insurance carriers. Of course, that fact makes it no less important in discovering the underlying causes of your health concerns.
Some examples of labs that we order include:
A comprehensive blood chemistry panel. The panel that we use in the ADAPT framework for our Case Review process provides us with a wealth of knowledge. It screens for an array of issues including, but not limited to, liver and kidney issues, gut infections, viral and bacterial infections, insulin resistance, anemias, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, thyroid dysfunction, and impaired methylation.
Added blood tests for specific conditions. A few specific add on tests may be necessary to fully understand the underlying patterns of functional impairment as they relate to specific conditions.
Advanced stool testing. The scientific literature clearly supports the fact that gut health is of paramount importance. Our stool testing identifies things such as bacterial imbalances, bacterial overgrowth, infection, parasites, leaky gut, methylation issues, nutrient absorption issues, and detoxification capacity.
Urine organic acid testing. Many clues regarding the imbalances in our bodies can be found in testing the urine. These include such things as bacterial and fungal overgrowth, oxidative stress, methylation issues, and detoxification capacity.
Urine Hormone testing. We utilize the most advanced testing available when studying the adrenal and sex hormones.
The lab tests recommended for the Case Review process can range between $500 and $3,900. We will do our best to work with you to only order what best suits your needs, preferences, and budget. Some tests can be staggered over time to help alleviate financial concerns.
No. Much of the cost in Functional Medicine is in the diagnostic testing. The vast majority of this testing is performed at the beginning of care and the high quality labs that we work with expect prompt payment.
No. We do not accept Care Credit at this time.
Take The First Step Today On Your
Do you have questions about our program and starting your path back to health? We are happy to answer any questions you have to determine if Carolina Center for Functional Medicine is right for you.