The Benefits of a Cash-Based Practice for Patients

As an Integrative and Functional Medicine practice, AgeWellMD, more specifically, Hope Engsberg, MD, made the decision to be a cash-based practice over the traditional model of insurance-based medicine. This decision was not made lightly or without great consideration.  Dr. Engsberg researched both models and spoke with several providers before making this decision.  Dr. Engsberg came to the conclusion that cash-based medicine is in the best interest of the patient.

Here’s Why:

  • Dr. Engsberg believes in Individualized Medicine – meaning, every patient has a unique set of needs and challenges that require a unique set of solutions.  There is no cookie-cutter solution.  To practice Individualized Medicine effectively, it requires adequate time for each individual patient. Many of the cookie-cutter solutions schedule 15 minutes per follow-up visit with no exception.  Dr. Engsberg believes in developing a doctor-patient relationship that includes discussions of all components of the patient’s life – the connections between mind, body, and spirit.  She knows that a problem in one area translates into problems in the entire system.  She takes the time needed to address the patient by looking deeply into the person to tease out how much of the illness is being caused by nutritional deficiencies, lack of exercise, excessive stressors, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, toxins, and medications, as well as other pillars of health.  From here, she develops a comprehensive plan for each patient to address both acute symptoms and long-term goals— AgeWellMD is a patient-centric practice.  The insurance-based model is not structured this way.
  • Dr. Engsberg believes in being available to her patients.  To her, this means both in time and presence.  She is not rushed; therefore, she can spend the time needed and be present to listen to each patient truly.
  • Dr. Engsberg believes that advanced testing helps to get a real understanding of each patient’s unique biology. Tests such as micronutrient panels, metabolomics (understanding the biochemistry of the individual on a cellular level), advanced cardiometabolic (looking much deeper into the processes that initiate and propagate cardiovascular diseases), cancer markers (understanding the genes and the initiating events that lead up to the development of cancer and detecting it before it becomes a problem), and messenger testing (understanding the full pathway of hormones, not just the end-result testing), are only a few that she uses to dig deeper for the betterment of the patient’s health.  The insurance-based models may restrict or limit these tests, therefore limiting the physician’s ability to get to the root cause of the issue.
  • Dr. Engsberg believes in wellness instead of illness.  The best way to wellness is the prevention of disease, preventing illness. The insurance-based model is based on sickness and disease – treating the “sickness” to create health.

This is why AgeWellMD is a cash-based practice.  Learn more about our financial policy.