Frequently Asked Questions
What is Dr. Saxena's training in Integrative and Functional Medicine?
Will Dr. Saxena be my primary care physician?
How can I prepare my medical records from other doctors/clinics/hospitals for Dr. Saxena to review?
Can I be a patient if I live outside the Tampa Bay area?
Does Destination Health accept health insurance?
Will my medical insurance reimburse me for my consultation with Dr. Saxena?
Will my medical insurance pay for lab testing?
What is the average cost of a new patient visit?
How many visits will I need with Dr. Saxena?
What is the difference between a medical appointment and a lifestyle education visit?
Dr. Saxena began her training in Functional Medicine in 2006 and was one of the first graduates of the Institute for Functional Medicine's Certified Practitioner program. She is one of the core educators for IFM and is the Lead Faculty member for the Cardiometabolic Advanced Practice Module. She is a Fellow and Guest Faculty for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine founded by Dr. Weil where she provided curriculum about the role of obesity, insulin resistance and breast cancer. She is a regular educator at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and A4M conferences helping doctors learn ways to empower patients on successful lifestyle therapies to reduce illness and needs for medications. She is a prolific teacher and is known for making complex materials simple and actionable.
Dr. Saxena will be able to handle many of the primary care needs associated with the condition(s) or symptom(s) for which you are seeking her consultation. However, she does require that you maintain your primary care doctor for routine screening exams such as pap smears, colonoscopies, prostate exams, etc. and for same-day or emergency situations requiring immediate care or hospitalization. As a consultant, she will take an active role in helping you transition off medications in collaboration with your prescribing physician.
Dr. Saxena includes up to an additional 30 minutes of professional time in your initial visit fee. During that time, she will review your new patient questionnaire and any pertinent medical records you send. In order to maximize that time, Dr. Saxena recommends that you organize the key labs, radiology and physician consultations in chronological order, earliest date on the top. It is your responsibility to obtain previous medical records from other physicians, or health care providers that you wish for Dr. Saxena to review. Be sure we have received your records at least 7 days prior to your initial appointment. Your medical records can be mailed or to: Dr. Shilpa Saxena, 19105 US HWY 41 N, Suite 100, Lutz, Florida 33549 or you can fax it to: (813) 269-2701. Additonal time for record review can be requested at Dr. Saxena's professional hourly rate.
Can I become a patient if I live outside of the Tampa Bay area?
Yes, you are most welcome! Many of our patients live outside of the Tampa Bay area or even outside of the US, so we have adapted our practice to work with patients wherever they may be. If you would like to become a patient and live elsewhere, you will need to be seen for your first visit only by Dr. Saxena in person to establish a legal doctor-patient relationship by which she can offer prescriptions and orders. All subsequent consultations may be conducted by phone or Skype.
The Destination Health program is not contracted with insurance and therefore does not accept any form of medical insurance or Medicare/Medicaid. However, the office will provide you upon request with an itemized bill with traditional ICD-10 codes and CPT codes at the end of your consultation. You may receive partial or full reimbursement by filing that with your insurance company depending on your policy. You may also be able to use pre-tax dollars from a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for your consultations and lab fees.
Will my medical insurance reimburse me for my consultations at Destination Health?
We will provide you with your diagnosis and test codes and a receipt so that you may file for reimbursement with your insurance provider if you choose to do so. We have found that some insurance companies request additional information that is very specific and specialized to that provider. Given the large number of discrepancies between what each company requires and that time needed to meet those requests, we do not assist with insurance reimbursement above and beyond the diagnosis and tests codes and receipt given at check out.
Will my medical insurance pay for lab testing?
Having run an insurance-based medical office for many years, Dr. Saxena is very familiar with some of the perks and traps of having health insurance. During her time in this model, she became very adept at being able to practice Functional Medicine without the regular need for potentially costly Functional Medicine lab testing. She will thoughtfully order those lab panels that give the critical data that improves your success with diagnosis or prognosis without unnecessarily ordering expensive tests that don't serve you or your finances. She does not believe that all patients must receive the same, comprehensive list of labs. After a thorough review of your case, she will make targeted recommendations to save time, money and hassle.
Here's a summary of options on lab testing fees:
Option 1: We order labs that are available through your health insurance company's participating lab. This means that you will be responsible to the outside lab company for any and all fees determined by your health insurance's contract with the lab company of your choice. We recommend calling your insurance provider prior to your initial appointment to know if this option is best for you.
Option 2: We have a very discounted rate for many of the labs that insurance offers, and we can pass this along to you. This is an attractive option if you prefer to know the cost up front. If you have a high lab deductible, unsure about your lab coverage or live outside the state, this might be your best option. This option requires prepayment.
Option 3: If your case requires it, Dr. Saxena may recommend specialty Functional Medicine lab testing. She will discuss the price and benefits of the test with you, and then proceed if it makes practical sense for you as well. Some insurance programs offer partial coverage of these tests, and we can advise you of that benefit at that time.
What is the average cost of a new patient visit?
Many national expert contemparies of Dr. Saxena estimate between $2000-$10,000 for an initial consultation with testing depending on the complexity of the patient case. Dr. Saxena understands that this is a major commitment; therefore, she prefers to only require a first visit fee of $1800. Unique from others in the industry, her initial visit fee not only includes 90 minutes of expert consultation, but an initial set of recommendations, nutritional guidance by her lifestyle educator on the details of those recommendations, advanced EndoPAT diagnostic testing and HeartMath training for a total 4 1/2 hour Functional & Integrative Medicine Evaluation and Treatment day.
During your first meeting with Dr. Saxena, she will map out her big picture, strategic plan of care. It generally includes an initial lab testing order followed by an appointment 2-3 weeks later when the results are back. If you are happy with her assessment and proposed plan of care, you can choose to continue and our team will draw your labs at the office that same day. If you choose to defer or end your relationship after the first visit, you are not responsible for any further fees. Fortunately, Dr. Saxena has not experienced the latter situation, but it may be reassuring to know the option exists for you.
You likely will be prescribed specific supplements to begin your initial treatment plan. Most of these are temporary and work to expedite healing in the early stages of your treatment. Some of them may be useful to continue as safer alternatives to your prescription or over-the-counter medications. Dietary supplement costs are additional to the $1800 fee; however, they may be reimbursed through your flexible spending accounts and/or health savings accounts.
How many visits will I need with the Dr. Saxena?
The frequency of follow-ups will depend on the nature of your illness and your success with our lifestyle and supplement recommendations. Dr. Saxena finds that most people see significant improvement after 2-3 visits or 3 months. However, if you have a complex or severe condition, your healing will likely take longer than 3 months and may require more spaced-out visits over the year as we work to steadily 'peel back the layers' of dysfunction to get to your optimum
How many visits will I need with the Lifestyle Educator?
You will visit with our Lifestyle Educator during your first appointment and for a 20 minute first follow up after the initial visit. You will be able to connect with her on a user-friendly mobile app so that you have easy access to her for those little questions that make a big difference in your success. Our Lifestyle Educator has been working with Dr. Saxena for years and can offer an affordable solution to getting all the detailed coaching and guidance you need to implement Dr. Saxena's care well. She serves as a bridge and support and always works in collaboration with Dr. Saxena, updating her on your case as needed.
Once recovered from your initial issues, you may choose to take your health status to the next level. Our Lifestyle Educator's 25 plus years experience in personal training, coaching and stress management techniques in addition to her functional nutrition education have helped many become both fit and healthy.
What is the difference between a medical appointment and a lifestyle education consultation?
Doctor appointments are intended for those that wish to get personalized functional and integrative nutrient prescriptions based on their medical conditions or desired health goals. All laboratory and radiology prescriptions also require a physician appointment. In order to establish a legal doctor-patient relationship to do the above, our first patient visit must be conducted in person. Fortunately, many of our busy or out-of-town clients choose to do follow-up appointments by phone or Skype if not easily done in person.
A lifestyle education consultation is intended for anyone, anywhere that is seeking general nutritional guidance about healthy eating, exercise, special detoxification cleanses, weight loss and/or overall wellness. Our lifestyle educators can help you track your body composition over time with advanced BIA technology, design personalized exercise prescriptions after a fitness evaluation while preventing injury, or help you implement practical stress reduction techniques like deep breathing formats, personalized yoga routines, energy medicine exercises, HeartMath and much more.
Unlike physicians, lifestyle educators cannot diagnose medical conditions or bill insurance. So, it is unlikely that these fees will be reimbursed similarly. Fortunately, lifestyle educator fees are comparable to many personal trainers and solo dieticians; however, you have the safety and security of our Lifestyle Educators being affiliated with a notable medical practice.
Is Dr. Saxena and her team available for speaking or training events?
Indeed we are, and we actually love doing this! In addition to her speaking engagements for physician, patient and business communities, Dr. Saxena enjoys motivating change in any setting where there is potential for her services to help more people. She offers corporate wellness retreats for C-suite/managers, employee wellness lunch and learns, motivational speaking, and anything creative or pioneering.