Q. My long-time family doc is retiring and I’m looking for a change. What do you mean when you say your Family Medicine practice incorporates Lifestyle Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulation?
A. Our practice merges these modalities because our approach is holistic. For example, you come in for a sprained ankle. We will treat you with conventional therapies such as ice, rest, pain relievers, etc. In addition, we may incorporate OMT or make a physical therapy referral if appropriate. From the Lifestyle Medicine perspective, we will work with you to discern why you may have sprained your ankle and suggest ways in which you might alter your practices or habits to prevent a similar injury in the future, e.g., more adequate stretching before team sports participation.
Q. Must I be an established patient in your Family practice to schedule a Lifestyle Medicine consult?
A. No. We would be happy to work with you to identify lifestyle modifications that meet YOUR goals for better management of your health and wellness. In addition, with your consent, we will be happy to forward results of any objective testing and a consult note along to your current primary care provider at no charge.
Q. How long does an average Osteopathic Manipulation session last?
A. We’ve all heard–“the hipbone is connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone; etc.” It is difficult to say how long the average session will last. Because an initial complaint (let’s say toe pain) could be ultimately caused by a knotted muscle underlying a tight muscle in the calf, it could take a little time to complete a process that makes the actual culprit accessible and amenable to treatment. In any event, an OMT session would seldom last more than 60 minutes.
Q. The chiropractor has recommended treatments three times a week for eight weeks for my back. Can OMT fix it in fewer visits?
A. It’s impossible and inappropriate to second guess another’s treatment protocol, and without details of a specific injury, it is also impossible to say how many OMT sessions would be necessary. However, generally speaking, OMT might be implemented once a week for several weeks. In addition, because Dr. McCleskey is a Board-certified Family Medicine physician, she may augment OMT with other treatment modalities or refer to an appropriate specialist should that become necessary.
Q. My household consists of three children (7 mos, 5, and 12), my husband and myself, but we are without health insurance. Can you provide care for us all? Is our lack of insurance an impediment?
A. As a Family Medicine physician, Dr. McCleskey is trained to provide care for all age groups, and her practice model accommodates self-pay patients. (Please see Pricing page on website for current fee schedule.)
Q. What “stuff” do I have to buy to implement or maintain the Lifestyle Medicine recommendations?
A. The short answer is–“nothing.” We don’t sell pills, shots, or specialty foods. We help you identify your goals and what you are willing to do to achieve them. We then help you acquire knowledge and a skill set for success, all within the confines of evidenced-based medicine.
Q. Why are your office hours not posted?
A. At present we are working with the community to develop wellness program offerings and introducing our practice to other healthcare professionals and the public via presentations at relevant venues. As this requires time away from the office, we schedule patients by appointment rather than standard office hours.
Q. Why do you not accept walk-ins?
A. Please see the above answer.
Q. What do I do if I can’t keep my appointment?
A. It’s simple–pick up the phone. We would appreciate contact as far in advance as possible, and will be happy to reschedule for you.
Many of our colleagues find it necessary to immediately debit a “late cancel” or “no show” fee to the patient’s account (and send it on to collections). We, however, prefer a more forgiving policy of a one-time grace, with penalties implemented only when a pattern of irresponsible patient behavior is demonstrated.
Q. What is “Shop-with-a-Doc”?
A. Lifestyle Medicine interventions might include group activities such as “Shop-with-a-Doc” where a small group of patients will learn how to efficiently traverse the grocery store, seeking out the items best suited to their individualized goals, how to decipher and interpret the information on nutritional labels, how to research newly available grocery items, etc.
(All participants will acknowledge understanding in advance of the outing that exchange of personal information regarding goals might occur during such an activity.)
Q. Why don’t you take my insurance?
A. We chose to implement a practice model that removes, as much as possible, external impediments to patient-centered medicine. While we keep in mind the requirements of insurance companies should referral for tests or the services of a specialist become necessary, we don’t want the restrictions and limitations imposed by third-party payers to dictate your treatment options.
In addition, we wanted to keep our overhead (and therefore patient fees) as low as possible, enabling us to provide quality care for those without traditional health insurance.
Direct-billing insurance is not a quick, easy, or inexpensive process. It requires staff time for coding and billing; for communicating with insurance company employees (who sometimes have no medical training) regarding treatment option recommendations/choices; and for verification that reimbursements are correct.
Q. Do you use electronic medical records and, if so, how are you keeping my information safe from hackers?
A. At this time we do not use electronic medical records. Occasionally for clarity your office note may be typed on a computer with the identifying information (name, date of birth, age, etc.) removed. After the note is printed, the identifiable information is added by hand. Information that must be transmitted electronically such a fax, is sent through a third party service that has signed an agreement with our office to keep all your information protected per the federal standards outlined in HIPAA.