Policies & Procedures
Is your doctor a “real” pediatrician?
Yes. Our pediatrician is trained and board certified in General Pediatrics, and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He completed his Pediatrics residency in 2003 at UC Irvine and Long Beach Memorial/Miller Children’s Hospital before working in a variety of pediatric settings: outpatient clinics, pediatric urgent care, and even in the main emergency room of a large children’s hospital. He brings this breadth of experience to your child and you can be assured of a more comprehensive view than some of the holistic providers who market themselves as “holistic pediatricians”, yet do not have much (20 hours required by some naturopathic schools in pediatrics), if any, specific training in pediatric medicine and may not recognize a more serious illness as a result. Compare this to the thousands of hours of training in pediatric medicine and rotations through inpatient wards, intensive care units, etc. There simply is no comparison. This is why Pediatrics is a specialty of medicine in it’s own right.
Will your doctor work in conjunction with my child’s regular pediatrician or other holistic practitioners?
For those patients that prefer to come to our practice on a functional medicine or biomedical autism consultative basis, we are happy to work with your PCP. In fact, we would encourage an open and honest dialogue between all providers involved in your child’s care. Your PCP may not have had the time or the specific interest to learn about many of the therapies provided and therefore our doctor will be more than happy to coordinate with them to maximize your child’s potential.
Do you have acute care appointments available?
Yes. You can schedule your child to be seen for sick visits. Although we may not always be able to get you in the same day (depending on how heavily we are already scheduled), we will always try as much as possible to get your child in as soon as we can. Usually, this is the same day or the next day.
We can take care of problems such as strep, flu, urinary tract infections, abdominal pain, suture removals, etc . Of course, we will try to use the best combination of natural remedies and conventional treatments as is appropriate. Since our doctor also spent many years working in pediatric urgent care and the emergency room, he also has the added benefit of being able to recognize when your child is too sick and needs a higher level of care at the emergency department.
Does your doctor see newborns in the hospital or admit to area hospitals?
For newborns, although it would be ideal to come to the hospital nursery to see the new addition, it is not possible to do this as we have patients that come to the office from all over Southern California, let alone just Orange County. To try to go to all the various hospitals would not be possible.
Additionally, the trend in all of medicine is to allow doctors who are specialists in hospitalist medicine care for those patients ill enough to be in the hospital. There have been many studies that have shown that outcomes, length of stay, etc are better with hospitalists. We have made an agreement with the Hospitalist Division at CHOC Orange and Mission for any hospital/acute care needs that may be beyond the scope of what can be provided at the office. We will work with them to coordinate any care needs that may arise, answer any questions about “unconventional” treatments that may arise. In truth, if your child is ill enough to require hospitalization, then this is the time to acknowledge and allow the allopathic model to do what it does best– fix us when we are broken! We can, in turn, use the integrative model to help minimize side effects from the conventional treatments.
What about Vaccinations? Do you carry vaccines? What is your philosophy of vaccination?
What about Vaccinations? Do you carry vaccines? What is your philosophy of vaccination?
“We should quietly hear both sides.”
Yes, We DO have vaccines in the office. We have tried to purchase the vaccines with the fewest additives available to minimize any concerns over side effects, etc. as much as possible. We will gladly provide vaccines according to the standard schedule if that is what your family desires, and are also flexible with scheduling vaccines. We understand there is considerable conflicting information in regards to this issue and it can be confusing and overwhelming for families to know what the right decision for their child should be. We believe in an intelligent middle-ground on the vaccine issue; and, ultimately, we do not have a vaccine agenda that we are going to try to force upon you and your child. We will try to give your family the best assessment of your child’s relative risks of vaccinating vs. non-vaccinating and respect your informed consent decision.
Does your office do lab work, blood draws, X-rays, etc?
We perform “point of care testing”, including rapid strep tests, urine tests, etc, in office. We are in the process of building the lab capability for performing blood draws at the Rossignol Medical Center site once we find the best nurse for the job. These labs will be sent to Quest, Labcorp or West Pacific Labs as required by the patient and insurance contracts. For functional medicine/ biomedical autism labs, we have separate lab slips and will provide you with the appropriate “kits” to provide to the lab, which are frequently mailed via FedEx overnight to the respective lab directly by you once the specimen has been collected (urine, stool, hair, etc).
For any radiology needs (X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, etc), we will provide you with a order sheet to bring to an area radiology department to have the test performed and the results will be sent to our office, as in any standard medical office.
Do you sell supplements or other alternative remedies? Do I have to buy them from you?
We sell a small selection of commonly used supplements that we have taken the time and care to check and assure that they are as pure as possible and actually contain what they say they contain. We generally only sell or stock those that our patients can not obtain elsewhere, such as the local Whole Foods, Mother’s Market, etc, or if we can buy them for a discounted price that we can then pass on to our patients.
Additionally, for those who are interested, patients may get an access code to an online “drop ship” company where you may buy directly at a discounted rate from retail via our online dispensary.
If you are not comfortable purchasing supplements from our office, then there is absolutely no problem. We will gladly provide you the name and strength of the supplements and you may purchase them at your local health food store, online shop, etc. We find that many appreciate the convenience (Anyone who has gone down the supplement aisle at a health food store knows that it can get overwhelming very quickly) and having the confidence that what they are buying has been recommended by their physician. Additionally, they find that our prices are comparable or even less than the cost of buying their supplements independently, as partial distributor discounts are being passed on to our patients.
Do you see adult patients?
Not routinely, although depending on the age and nature of the problem, this may not be an issue. Please call the office to discuss a visit for anyone over 18 years of age so we may discuss and make the best decision. Although we have knowledge of holistic treatments for adult problems and functional medicine training also involves many adult-medicine diagnoses, we feel that it is generally best to keep our focus doing what we have the most training and experience doing: caring for children. However, our integrative health coach can help all the family maximize their wellness through lifestyle and nutrition changes.
Do you see “Self-Pay”, Cash patients?
Yes. We are out of network with insurance carriers in order to retain control and delivery the best quality of care possible, rather than care being dictated by a third party payer who does not necessarily know what is best for you and your child.
We currently used a tiered system of cost, in order to make the office and visits as accessible as possible. The simplest visits– preventive well care– is billed the least expensive, while increasing levels of complexity become more as the amount of work involved in those cases is increased. (Out of visit reviewing of medical records, lab reviews and recommendations, increased communications, etc).
Please also remember that when comparing self pay rates with different providers, make sure you understand what you are getting for the money. How much time is the doctor spending with you? Is it a 10 minute visit or a 45 minute visit?
What about using my Health Care Reimbursement Account (HRCA) Cafeteria plan and Health Savings Account (HSA)?
Likely a part of your employee benefit package is a HRCA/ Cafeteria plan where individuals can set aside pre-tax dollars for qualified medical expenses. The services billed at Raising Sages should qualify for use of your HRCA. Please inquire with your employer or health plan for specifics. For self-employed families, a HSA combines a tax favored savings account with a high deductible health insurance policy. 2018 offers individuals and families additional opportunities to save for current and future health care with a Health Savings Account (HSA):
HSA holders can choose to save up to $3,450 for an individual and $6,900 for a family – and these contributions are 100% tax deductible from gross income.
Minimum annual deductibles are $1,350 for self-only coverage or $2,700 for family coverage.
Annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, copayments, and other amounts, but not premiums) cannot exceed $6,650 for self-only coverage and $13,300 for family coverage.