Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is an evolution in the practice of medicine which addresses the root causes of disease and wellness. As a certified functional medicine doctor at Deep Roots Health, Dr. Kiona will
1) Spend ample time listening to a patient's story in order to get the complete picture.
2) Create a partnership with patients and make sure you understand the complexities of your health
3) Look closely at diet, sleep, movement, and stress.
4) Provide advanced testing to find evidence of biochemical or microbial imbalances in the body.
5) Operate with integrity to provide the best care which is in the best interest of the patient.
Dr. Kiona will be the first physician certified in Functional medicine through The Institute of Functional Medicine in Gainesville. The IFM trains health care professionals to investigate the up-stream causes ofillness. Possible root causes are inflammation, hormone imbalance, gut bacteria imbalance, poor digestion, autoimmunity, hidden infections, and stress. Often the root cause can be traced to inadequate diet, poor sleep or improper amount of exercise which can contribute to rapid aging, fatigue, and chronic illness. For more information on Functional Medicine click here.
Does Dr. Kiona accept my insurance?
Dr. Kiona does not bill insurance for her services. In many instances you can submit your own bill to your insurance company for reimbursement. The amount of reimbursement will depend on your insurance company and Dr. Kiona does not have that information. She will do her best to ensure that the testing she orders is covered by insurance whenever possible and pre-authorizations are sought whenever needed. You will have a well put-together bill to send to your insurance company to seek reimbursement for her services.
Why don't you accept insurance? Dr Kiona says, "I believe that patients and doctors need to take control of what is happening in the exam rooms across America. The insurance regulations that are being applied to physicians have created an unprecedented level of burnout and discouragement, often dictating the amount of time a physician can spend with a patient and which tests are allowed. I believe it is easier to provide high quality, patient-centered care for a reasonable price by eliminating the insurance middle man."
"I truly value and appreciate being able to spend adequate time with each of my patients. In my experience as a primary care physician for 10 years, this was often impossible in a traditional medical practice setting that accepts insurance."
- Do you prescribe conventional medicine?
Yes, when necessary. Dr. Kiona uses conventional medicine and the tools she learned in medical school to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, especially in the cases where overlooking a serious disease would be dangerous. There are many useful and effective tools available through conventional medicine. There are also medications which have been shown to extend life and minimize complications from illness. She likes to use medication judiciously, however she does believe that in most cases, patients will gain more from lifestyle changes to modulate the disease process than they would gain from a pill. Naturally occurring foods contain healing powers that can not be matched the reductionist thinking that boils treatment down to one specific compound found in a pill. However, there are times when medications can create nothing less than a miracle. Sometimes you need pharmaceuticals while you work on changing your diet, moving more, and reducing your stress. Then later, you can come off the medication. There are very few medications that need to be taken for life, but Dr. Kiona can advise you on the subtleties of that decision.
Can you be my primary care provider?
A primary care provider (PCP) is responsible for all aspects of your medical care including screening, all medication refills, and is a resource to you 24 hours a day, providing on-call coverage. Most primary care providers have a panel of patients between 500 and 2000. Being responsible for 500 people is gratifying, but time consuming. Dr. Kiona is focusing on functional medicine in her practice. In order to help the most people, she needs to prioritize which aspects of your health she's going to focus on. By taking on the responsibility of many patients as their primary care provider, the time she would have available for providing functional evaluations would decrease. So for the time being, she would ask all patients who come to see her to keep their relationship with their current PCP. In the future she may have a primary care option for Deep Roots Health, but for now she won’t be able to be your PCP.
How do I get reimbursed from my insurance company?
At the conclusion of your visit Dr. Kiona will provide you with the paperwork necessary to file your claim. You will send this paperwork to your insurance company and they will reimburse you at the rate they have determined for an out-of-network doctor for the specific treatment. The procedure and the rate of reimbursement will vary depending on your insurance company.
Why is your intake form so long? Do you really need all of this? And do you read it all?
A detailed history is a major tenet of functional medicine. Due to epigenetic factors our state of health begins before we’re even conceived! The stress and state of health of our parents change their genes which is then passed onto us. Then the early exposures to antibiotics, certain foods, trauma, and other lifestyle factors in our childhood are a set up for our state of health later on. From there, current lifestyle factors have to be assessed, such as how you eat, how you cope with stress, and your current living and working environment. That’s a lot of information to gather! Dr. Kiona will read through the information in detail during her case review. It allows her to see the clustering of symptoms in your timeline and also allows her to see clustering of symptoms within certain themes such as assimilation (gut health and digestion), inflammation, detoxification, hormone balance, and mitochondrial function.
- Can you help me lose weight?
Excess weight is often a reflection of our lifestyle choices - what we’re eating, how we’re sleeping, and how we’re moving. But sometimes there are more complicated imbalances at work such as hormones, gut bacteria, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies that sap our energy. A third complicating layer is our culture’s obsession with dieting, perfection, and appearance. Each person has a unique path toward health. That path may include losing weight, or it may not. We can’t always control it.
Dr. Kiona's has this to say from her personal and clinical experience: "If you’re feeling poorly and blame it on your weight, I can guarantee that your weight is not the root CAUSE of your issue. It may be a concomitant factor (the imbalance that makes you feel bad also causes your weight to go up). But I know you can feel better regardless of the numbers on the scale. If you hold too tightly to the numbers going down, and then for some reason they don’t, you can end up self-sabotaging healthy, beneficial behaviors that ultimately help you feel good, just because the numbers didn’t drop. So I like to focus on all the things in your life that make you feel good and create health, then let the numbers fall where they may."
- How important is it to take supplements?
There are certain aspects of our modern lifestyle as well as disease processes or medications which set us up for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Based on your personalized medical evaluation, Dr. Kiona can advise you on how to supplement in the most thoughtful and efficient way. Eventually, with a certain amount of effort, most people could get what they need through diet and lifestyle choices and Dr. Kiona will be able to guide you. Supplementation usually needs to be given for a targeted amount of time, then transitioned to a healthy maintenance schedule of diet and whole food supplements..
If you have any other questions please feel free to send an email using the Contact Us page.