Frequently Asked Questions

Wild Rice wellness - Functional medicine in Denver, co

Functional medicine is the science of health and maintaining function. It takes an individualized approach to figure out how and why an illness occurs in the first place and aims to reverse disease and restore health by getting to the root cause. Unlike conventional medicine which often looks at the body as separate, single systems and lacks time and emphasis on true wellness and disease prevention, functional medicine is a systems biology approach, looking at the body as a whole to find internal balance. Integrative medicine is blending the best of conventional and functional medicine with a focus on lifestyle interventions for optimal outcomes. Wild Rice Wellness offers Virtual Functional Medicine in Denver, CO and throughout the state. 

I grew up in a small town, Menominee, in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Menominee means “Wild Rice People” in the Ojibwe language. Historically, the Menominee and Ojibwe tribes harvested this sacred crop along the shores of Lake Michigan and according to Menominee tradition this was a sacred ritual. It seemed fitting to use a name that takes me back to the roots of my hometown and reflects the food first approach used in functional and integrative medicine.

Welcome to Wild Rice Wellness, Functional Medicine in Denver, CO where we are Rooted in Health. 

a woman meditating cross legged on a mountain top meditation
Do you accept insurance?

No. Payment can be made through credit card, debit or HSA or FSA debit.  I can provide you with a superbill which is a detailed receipt of services that lists diagnoses and testing codes as well as fees charged for your care that you can submit to your insurance. It is the responsibility of the patient to submit this and correspond with insurance and there is no guarantee for reimbursement of services. Due to restrictions imposed by these insurance plans, even for cash pay patients, we cannot accept patients who have medicare or Medicaid plans at this time. This may change in the future.

Why don’t you accept insurance?

When practitioners accept insurance, they are bound by contracts with insurance companies that dictate what services can be provided. Insurance often pays very little for complex care which doesn’t get great results for patients with chronic illness or complex needs. This is why our current mainstream healthcare system is falling short.  In order to provide the personalized and holistic care offered at Wild Rice Wellness we have opted to not bill insurance to ensure that we can meet the needs and goals of our patients. The insurance model is good for “sick care” but in order to deliver personalized, in-depth care focusing on health and wellness we feel that a cash-pay membership model gets the best results.

Are you my Primary Care Provider (PCP)?

The simple answer is No. Even though I am trained as a Family Nurse Practitioner I am not your primary care provider. As part of our patient agreement, you must maintain an active relationship with your traditional primary care provider for yearly physicals, screenings, and urgent needs and care that we cannot provide in this model. We do not provide after-hours care for emergencies or urgent matters. I am happy to collaborate with your PCP or anyone else on your healthcare team regarding your care if you would like me to.

What types of patients do we see at Wild Rice Wellness?

I want to help anyone who is motivated in taking charge of their health and life! I like seeing patients who are complex but whose needs haven’t been heard or met in the traditional healthcare system. I also enjoy those who simply want to optimize their health and add years to their life and life to their years. I have a BIG passion in working with postpartum moms to get them back to optimal health and vitality so that they can enjoy motherhood! And on the flip side, I love working with women who are looking to conceive or are struggling with fertility, there is so much we can do to address the whole person beyond hormones to get the body ready for a health pregnancy!

What does treatment entail?

Each patient will have a 90-120 minute initial consultation to review medical and personal history. After that, a personalized care plan will be curated including conventional lab testing, functional medicine diagnostic testing (always optional), nutrition plan, medications and supplements if needed, lifestyle goals (sleep, exercise, stress reduction) and more. Lifestyle recommendations will always be encouraged as our first line of treatment but medications may be used from time to time based on patient goals and preferences, taking into account symptom severity. This is truly holistic care and a partnership in health. After the initial consultation, as part of our monthly membership, we will meet monthly to review progress and update plans accordingly.

What types of labs do you use?

Patients will have access to traditional labs through any LabCorp laboratory (i.e. thyroid, cholesterol, basic blood counts, nutrient levels) which are often covered by insurance. We may also discuss specialty functional medicine labs (Genova Diagnostics GI Effects Gut Microbiome testing, expanded micronutrient testing with the Metabolomix+, hormone testing with the DUTCH test through Precision Analytical, genetic testing, and more). Lab testing is an additional cost and always optional. Functional lab tests are offered to the patient at the lowest possible wholesale cost without any additional mark-up. 

How long will we work together?

I believe that healing takes time. As most chronic illnesses did not start overnight, it takes time to get to the root cause and get you feeling well! For some people this may only mean a few months, for others healing can take a year or more. My goal is always to work together for the shortest amount of time and there is no set number of visits or length of time we will work together because every patient is unique!

How is functional and integrative medicine different from conventional medicine?

Functional medicine is root-cause, systems biology medicine. With functional medicine we ask WHY an illness or symptom is occurring and HOW can we restore optimal health and wellness - leaning heavy into lifestyle modalities to restore balance but may still prescribe medications when needed. In conventional medicine there is often a focus on a single symptom or system and oftentimes medications are used for each complaint because there isn’t the time to get to the root cause. There is a time and place for conventional medicine as well as for prescription medications, and I want to work alongside your Primary Care Provider to bridge what is missing with lifestyle and functional medicine. I firmly believe that getting to the root cause is the most important step to health. I am trained in both conventional and functional medicine and often use a blend of both approaches to provide truly holistic, integrative care. 

Can you see patients outside of Colorado?

Wild Rice Wellness offers Functional Medicine in Denver, CO (in person at Nuture - A Wellcare Marketplace) and the entire state of Colorado virtually! At this time, I am only licensed in Colorado and can only see patients physically located in the state of Colorado. Even with the introduction of telemedicine, state medical and nursing laws and regulations still apply to virtual visits. I am pursuing licensure in more states, so please inquire and I may be able to accommodate your state in the future. 

How much do labs cost?

Personalized, functional labs can range anywhere from $100 to $600 per test and they are typically not covered by insurance. Basic lab work is typically covered by insurance, however, and many labs, both functional and standard labs, are available at a discounted, cash-pay price. This cost is not included the initial consult or follow-up visit fees. Labs are not required but can be helpful in guiding treatment and healing. I am always happy to review past lab work you have had done!

Do you prescribe medications?

Yes, if needed certain medications like antibiotics, antifungals, thyroid medications, low dose naltrexone, migraine medications and more will be prescribed at the discretion of the provider and working with what the patient prefers. I do not prescribe any controlled substances.

Do you utilize supplements?

Yes. Supplement recommendations are ALWAYS personalized and it is always a discussion between patient and provider on what supplements will be utilized. I utilize a platform called Fullscript which is an online supplement dispensary that has medical grade, high-quality, third party tested supplements. For personal ethical reasons, I opt to not profit in any way from supplement sales which allows me to extend a significant discount to patients on supplements while we work together and beyond. I want patients to know that if I am recommending a supplement it is because I wholeheartedly believe it will help and not that I am profiting off of their purchase. 

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