Frequently Asked Questions

We’d love to be your partner along your journey towards vibrant health! Please review frequently asked questions listed below and feel free to contact our staff for any other questions via email or phone.

What Is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative Medicine also known as Functional Medicine is a complete rethinking of health and disease based on understanding the whole body. It seeks to identify and take care of the root causes of disease.  It is a shift from medicine by symptoms to medicine by cause. It treats the “whole body” as an integrated system. It searches for underlying causes in the interaction between an individual’s genetic uniqueness, lifestyle, environment, and diet.

Integrative Medicine then engages patient and practitioner in designing a personal tailored health-management program that couples pharmaceutical science, where necessary, with changes in the patient’s environment, diet, and lifestyle.

Is Dr. George a M.D.?

Yes, Dr. George is an M.D. and has been in practice for over 30 years. For more information, read her bio here. 

How long has Dr. George practiced Functional Medicine?

She has been a certified Functional Medicine doctor since 2012. Additionally, she was in training for several years prior to becoming certified.

What Services Do You Provide?

We provide medical care for a variety of chronic health conditions where we work to identify the root cause of that individual’s health concerns. In addition, we offer a range of conventional and specialty testing to help us identify the root cause. We offer support with health coaching, nursing care, a variety of nutraceuticals, and vitamin shots such as B12, B complex, vitamin D, and others.

In the same space, our sister company, IVIDA Nutrient Infusions, also provides intravenous nutrients and stress management tools such as The VIBE bed bioharmonic relaxation, Alpha-Stim, cranial electrotherapy stimulation and HeartMath (using breath to help control heart rate variability, blood pressure, and stress). For more information about these, please refer to our resources page.

Does Dr. George treat walk-in patients who are sick?

No, she does not see any patients not already in her practice who are acutely ill.  Her practice has to do with chronic illness and with performance improvement.

Does Dr. George see children?

Dr. George is not a pediatrician and she will require that you have a primary pediatrician. However, she does see children in special circumstances. Contact the office to have a 15-minute complimentary consult with the doctor or the physician assistant to see if your particular issue and the age of the patient is something we can help you with.

Do you have an in-house nutritionist?

We do not have a nutritionist in-house, but we work with several that we refer to depending on the patient’s location and needs

Does Dr. George prescribe medication?

Dr. George does prescribe medication but always works first with lifestyle, nutrition, supplements, and when needed, prescription medications.  This gives her the best flexibility in addressing your health concerns as she has many “tools in her toolbox.”

What should I expect at my initial "discovery" consultation?

During your initial consultation, which we call a Discovery, Dr. George or her physician assistant will carefully review your symptoms and discuss your medical history to identify what your health- related goals are and to ensure that you are a good candidate for our services before you enter into any of the packages.

In addition, she will review your current diet and make suggestions pertinent to your health issues.

Dr. George likes to take some time specifically to look at your diet, as this is the foundation of health. She will also review the next steps, which include a very comprehensive health questionnaire that you will do at home before your next visit. In Functional Medicine creating a health timeline is a very important diagnostic tool. During this visit, she will show you a sample timeline and explain how together you will create it.

 

 

What's the cost for the initial consultation?

The initial consultation is US$400.

There are three packages currently available to work with Dr. George on your health concerns. People who are generally healthy, professional athletes, or people who wish to optimize their health will usually benefit from the Basic Package.

People who have a variety of health concerns and have seen multiple doctors will benefit from the premium or premium plus packages.

Review the information on the Packages page for the details.

Does your office have a PA at a reduced cost?

Dr. George reviews all patients in coordination with the physician assistant, so there is no price reduction. There is a significant waitlist to see Dr. George. If you prefer to get started right away, you  may want to schedule with the physician assistant.

Is it mandatory to purchase a package to become a patient?

Yes, we require our patients to sign up for either our Basic or Premium package. Dr. George has discovered that she achieves the best results for her patients if she initially works with them intensively. She requires four visits over four months to “move the needle” on identifying and treating your health concerns.

Once that process is completed and your health issues begin to resolve, then you can continue and pay as you go.

Patients who are generally healthy and just wish to improve their performance such as professional athletes will still go through the Basic Package in order to identify if there are other issues that need to be addressed and to improve performance as quickly as possible.

However, for those who are healthy and want to learn more about functional medicine, we do have a few short-term packages available. For students, we have my Dorm Doctor package, for athletes we have a plan and for those wanting to improve their nutrition habits, we have a nutritional plan.

 

Email Etiquette

Patients have unlimited email access with our VIDA Integrative Medicine provider team, including the patient coordinator and medical assistants. 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.

What do you mean by a Team Approach?

At VIDA Integrative Medicine, we believe that patients are most successful in achieving their long-term health goals when they are part of a team. In complex chronic care, it often isn’t enough to have one practitioner to help you be successful in your health goals. You need a team of professionals whose sole purpose is to help identify and address the many facets of the root cause of your health concerns and then to help you make the transition to a healthier you. This team may include not only Dr. George, but medical assistants, a health coach, the patient coordinator, and potentially the physician assistant/nurse practitioner. It can also include people, not on-site such as a nutritionist, neuromuscular massage therapist, physical therapist, chiropractor, etc.

What do you mean by the patient being “participatory” or an active member of the “Team”?

Research has shown that patients who are involved in their health care decisions are most likely to follow through and be actively engaged in practices that make them healthier. By understanding the WHY, WHAT, WHERE, and WHEN of your disease or symptoms, you are able to make healthy decisions daily.

How does your practice foster patient involvement?

We are an “education-based practice.” We want you to understand important details about your conditions so you can sit with us side-by-side in the decision-making process. For example, if your most recent blood work shows a newly diagnosed diabetes problem, you may be assigned some reading related to diabetes, medications, heart disease, and/or lifestyle solutions associated with lowering blood sugar naturally.

Who makes up this TEAM and how does it work?

As Functional and Integrative specialists, our expertise lies in identifying the root cause of disease and then implementing individually targeted interventions including therapeutic diets, nutrient therapy, individualized physical activity, and behavioral modification techniques to achieve our extraordinary patient outcomes. We accomplish this through our multidisciplinary team approach.

Every member of the VIDA IM Team has their own area of passion & expertise. We have weekly team meetings when we discuss & coordinate our patients’ personalized care plans. Depending upon the nature of your issues, your team may include a nutritionist, a health coach, a physician assistant, a chiropracter, or a physical therapist, to name a few.  So rather than being cared for by one provider, your care is carefully orchestrated among a team of experts, each with something unique to add to your experience.

Then we add YOU as an integral TEAM VIDA member. We ask you to give 100%, and we will too! We are excited to work with patients who are willing to invest time, energy, and resources to invest in their health. With this partnership, we realize the most amazing life-changing solutions for you and your family.

Scheduling and Cancellations

What are your COVID-19 Office Policies?

We have temporarily switched to telemedicine via phone or web-based video conferencing for appointments with Dr. George. The exceptions to this are the 90-minute appointments which include a physical examination, and appointments with the medical assistants (blood draws, vitamin injections, etc.). For these in-office visits, we have introduced rigorous additional cleaning procedures, and are cleaning furniture and sterilizing surfaces and commonly-used items before and after appointments. We are allowing only one patient in the office at a time, and have allotted extra time between patients so we can sterilize between patients. For more complete information, including how to order supplements online, follow this link –https://carolyngeorgemd.com/covid-19-office-policies/

 

Do you see patients from out-of-state?

Yes, we do see patients from out of state and out of the country. The Discovery visit can be done through telemedicine (phone or video conference), but to initiate a package, we will need to see you in person initially.

All patients will first need to have a physical examination with vital signs at the beginning of whichever package they sign-up for. After the first visit and depending upon your particular issues, some of the follow-up visits can be conducted by phone or virtually using our secure video conference channel if you choose.

Our patient coordinator can assist you with nearby hotel and other local recommendations.

How does the scheduling work?

We respect that our Members have busy schedules. Unlike most conventional offices, we strive to not keep you waiting. Appointment times reflect the time you are scheduled to see the doctor. Please come a minimum of 15 minutes earlier to complete paperwork and get your vital signs done so that you are ready to see the doctor at your scheduled time. We strive to end on time also so be mindful of scheduling time appropriately. If you have a lot of questions or several results to review, please arrange to schedule more time.

Wellness Packages may be paused due to travel, medical, or personal reasons and resumed at a mutually agreeable time. In order to pause the program, the Member must contact VIDA Integrative Medicine to announce they are taking a leave of absence before missing any scheduled appointments.

VIDA Integrative Medicine reserves the right to terminate the program if the member fails to schedule their next visit within thirty (30) days of their last appointment, and/or if the member misses two (2) consecutive appointments without advance notice/cancellation.

The program automatically terminates if more than sixty (60) days have passed since the member’s last appointment without any prior arrangements to schedule their next visit.

How do you handle changes and cancellations?

A canceled appointment hurts three people: you, your doctor, and another patient who could have potentially utilized your time slot. When an appointment is canceled without adequate notice, we are unable to fill this time slot by offering it to another current patient, or a patient on the waitlist.

If the Member needs to cancel or reschedule the appointment, the Member must do so 48 business hours in advance. Monday appointments must be canceled by the end of business day the Thursday prior.  

The following cancellation fees apply for visits with Dr. George and/or the health coach:

Appointment canceled 24 – 47 hrs. prior to the scheduled time: $100.00 late cancellation fee

Appointment canceled 0 – 23 hrs. prior to the scheduled time: full appointment time is forfeited (100% due)

No-call / no-shows: full appointment time is forfeited (100% due)

Fees for appointments with the medical assistants, such as blood draws, injections, and SIBO tests, will be collected at the time the appointment is made. Cancellations made less than 48 hrs. in advance or no-call/no-show appointments will result in the forfeit of the full fee paid. If the patient reschedules their missed appt., a new fee will be collected.

In the case of extenuating circumstances that prohibit the member from attending scheduled appointments, the member must call the office to discuss as soon as possible. We will carefully handle each occurrence on a case by case basis. 

Some examples of emergencies are car accidents, deaths in the family, or extreme illness. Work issues do not constitute emergencies. In the event of prohibitive weather or transportation issues, the appointment can be held on the phone.

What are your hours?

Our hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m  Monday through Thursday.  Additionally, we are open one Saturday a month.

Billing & Insurance

We Are Not A Conventional Primary Care Physician

It is important to note the following:

  1. 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.
  2. We are not available for same-day acute emergency appointments; please call 911 or your primary care doctor.
  3. 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 will need to visit an ER or urgent care center.
We Do Not Bill Insurance Companies

The cost of any services provided by VIDA Integrative Medicine, which are not included in the episode of care fee will be billed to you directly.

Non-VIDA Integrative Medicine medical expenses such as lab tests and prescription medications may be covered by a member’s health insurance plan per that plan’s rules.

VIDA Integrative Medicine will not submit a medical claim to insurance on your behalf. We cannot assist you with claim resolution for our services.

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 not covered depending on your plan’s rules.

For more detailed information see the Practice Policies page.

Do you Offer Payment Plans?

Yes, we have an option where you can spread your charges over three separate payments.

About Lab Tests

Most conventional lab tests ordered by a VIDA Integrative Medicine physician will be billed directly to your insurance by the lab.

Some specialty lab tests we offer as part of our functional medicine testing program may not be covered by insurance. In these cases, you will be charged a fee for a particular test by the lab or through VIDA Integrative Medicine.

The specific tests ordered will be personalized to you based on your initial evaluation with a VIDA Integrative Medicine doctor and may include blood saliva urine or stool testing.

We will make every effort to make you fully aware of any additional lab fees that may be incurred and to give you the opportunity to choose which lab tests you feel comfortable paying for.

You are under no obligation to purchase any specialty testing.

Should any lab results indicate you may need further testing, you will be directed to continue your care with your primary care physician or a relevant specialist, or should you choose, you may continue to work with your VIDA Integrative Medicine physician.

At home test kits: If a lab test kit is mailed to you by VIDA Integrative Medicine, you will be charged the day the kit is mailed.

If your insurance company only pays for blood work done at a specific lab facility like LabCorp, you must inform us of this in advance of having blood work done.

Take The First Step Today On Your

Journey Back To Health

Maybe you have some questions you'd like to ask before you make a decision on becoming a patient. Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you regarding the process or pricing to help you decide it VIDA Integrative Medicine is right for you. Please call the office at 954-361-5202 ext. 1, Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm or email sally@carolyngeorgemd.com to speak to our patient coordinator. If you are ready to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. George or our Physician Assistant to review and discuss your health concerns