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I already have a primary care doctor. How is PrimeHealth different?
The care received at PrimeHealth goes far beyond that of a typical Primary Care Physician. We combine the best of Integrative and Functional Medicine, Concierge Medicine, and Translational Medicine. Please see below for the definitions of these types of care.
We provide extremely personalized medical attention, in-depth testing for diagnosis and evaluation of health status, innovative and unique treatment options with proven results, and exceptional customer service.
Do you accept health insurance?
- No, we do not accept health insurance. See why not in the following frequently asked question.
- Though we don’t accept health insurance, your insurance will cover most of the blood work that we order and your membership fee often can apply to your out-of-network deductible.
- You will receive a superbill after each visit in order to request out-of-network reimbursement.
- FSA/HSA funds can be used to pay for your membership.
Why don't you accept health insurance?
- Health insurance companies are in the business of sick care, not health care. Health insurance companies pay doctors more for doing invasive procedures, having sicker patients, and seeing more patients, faster.
- In contrast, we take the time to get to know you, keep you as healthy as possible, and seek the least amount of intervention necessary for that to occur. We remove the middleman and keep the doctor-patient relationship sacred. Most primary care doctors are forced to see 20-30 patients per day, and several thousand patients every year in order to make a living. Moreover, frequent insurance changes often prevent patients from keeping the same doctor for even a year.
- If you are interested in understanding the healthcare system more, we recommend the following books: Unconventional Medicine by Chris Kresser, and Health Care Under the Knife by Howard and Waitzkin.
Do I still need health insurance as a PrimeHealth member?
Yes, we recommend keeping health insurance, especially in the case of catastrophic events requiring Emergency or Hospital care.
I already have specialists that takes care of my “insert condition here” (ie: thyroid/hormones/inflammatory bowel disease/cardiovascular disease, etc.) How can I benefit from seeing you?
In addition to the dramatically increased amount of time and attention spent on your case, there is a multitude of treatments that conventional medical specialists are unaware of that can be extremely helpful in reversing and/or preventing worsening of one’s condition.
What does it mean to be proactive about my health?
If you’re reading this, then you’re being proactive! Being proactive about your health means that you are actively seeking and acting upon advice on how to prevent or reverse disease before it’s too late.
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative Medicine is a general term for including multiple types of healing modalities in your care plan. Working with someone who knows, understands, and is open to various forms of healing is imperative to figure out what works best for you.
All treatment plans are individualized and evidence-based and can include Eastern (ie: acupuncture, energy work, herbs, meditation, etc), Western (ie: medications, physical therapy, nutritional supplements, etc), and/or lifestyle therapies (ie: sleep, stress relief, diet, and movement).
What is Concierge Medicine?
Concierge Medicine, also known as “Direct Primary Care”, is a model of medical care where the doctor and patient have a direct financial relationship, without the involvement of an insurance company.
This typically involves an annual membership fee, or retainer fee, for the doctor to be highly accessible to the patient. It allows for a much smaller patient load, and therefore significantly more time, care, and attention for each patient. Given this model of practice, Dr. Rafatjah caps her practice at 120-150 patients (less than 5% of a typical primary care physician), whereas in the past she has carried a few thousand, as is typical for most primary care physicians.
It is a privilege for a doctor to be able to work this intimately with their patients, and allows for fewer errors, is more fulfilling, and allows for much more in-depth care.
(Interestingly, Dunbar’s number is around 150 people. This is the number of people that researchers have found at which most communities, companies and tribes operate best; where everyone knows each other well, and are able to coexist in an intimate social society.)
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine uses systems biology in order to undercover and addresses the root cause of illness, as opposed to addressing only downstream symptoms. It’s a paradigm in which we see the patient and their body as a network of parts, each communicating with each other.
This process requires longer visits to understand the patient’s life story and uses cutting-edge testing in order to better evaluate their condition(s). Treatment plans will address lifestyle habits, environmental and genetic factors, nutritional deficiencies, and includes collaboration with a health coach.
What is Conventional Medicine?
Conventional medicine refers to the status quo of the current medical system. It involves short visits, usually reimbursed by health insurance, mostly centered around treating with medications or surgery.
Unfortunately, this model usually does not address the root cause of the problem.
For example, a conventional doctor treating a patient with depression will likely prescribe an antidepressant as their first line of defense.
In contrast, a functional medicine doctor recognizes that depression is not the result of a deficiency in anti-depressants, and will use advanced testing and extensive history-taking to determine the root cause, which could be due to a vitamin deficiency, a food sensitivity, a hormonal imbalance, digestive issue, personal situation, or other cause.
Functional Medicine doctors don’t put band-aids on the problem, instead, they work to address and fix the root cause
What is Translational Medicine?
Translational Medicine bridges the gap between “benchside and bedside”. It brings new technology in diagnostics and treatments from the scientific research community into the clinical community to treat patients.
It means keeping up with the current scientific research to ensure that patients are getting the best treatments possible and available today.
This involves continuously learning, reading, researching, and attending conferences on many health topics.
Is this type of medicine only for the “worried well”?
No. Preventative Medicine is for both patients that are well and those that are not. It’s a common and damaging misconception that Preventative Medicine is more for those that are already well.
Anyone can work on preventing further disease and work on reversing disease at any stage in their lives.
We care for the young and elderly as well as the well and sick. Whether your goal is to optimize health and continue to thrive, cure an autoimmune disease before it gets worse, get off of the psychiatric medications that you began 20 years ago, optimize health while on some medications, or be the most functional 95 year old that you can be, we can help you reach your goals.
What is the purpose of a health coach?
You and your doctor will create a health plan that may include lifestyle modifications.
It tends to be difficult to modify lifestyle factors without adequate support.
Our Health Coaches are extremely well-versed in various nutritional plans, mind-body therapies and exercise.
They give you the practical tips and support to be successful in reaching your health goals. You are not required to use health coaching, but it is included in your membership.
Are there any requirements for me as a patient?
No, there are no requirements. You are not required to change your current lifestyle, health status or living conditions. We are here to work with you as an individual.
We will give you advice, but the pace and direction of care are ultimately set by you. We are happy to meet you wherever you are and go as slowly as we need.
Do I really need all of these tests? My doctor did my check up and said everything was fine.
The problem is that most doctors do an extremely low range of blood tests at a general physical exam visit. Here is a blog that I wrote about a few essential tests that would benefit everyone.
A powerful way to be proactive about your health and prevent disease is by understanding your current health status through in-depth testing and tracking changes over time.
What conditions do you treat?
Please see the “Conditions” page.
Do you see children?
Yes, however, we only see the children of our current members. Please ask us about our available Family Plans.
Do you see patients from outside of Denver?
Yes, we accept patients from outside Denver and all around the world. While your initial visit and yearly physical should be in-person, all other visits can be done remotely with video-conferencing.
Can I cancel my membership?
- Yes, your membership can be canceled at any time.
- If canceled, you will be refunded for the remaining months.