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    Integrative Medicine Primary Care FAQ

    The Institute for Health & Healing's Integrative Medicine Primary Care is rooted in our pioneering practice of integrative medicine and expands traditional primary care to address the mind, body and spirit of each patient. Our team utilizes both conventional medical approaches and evidence-based complementary therapies.

    What can patients expect

    • Holistic care for acute, complex and chronic medical conditions, as well annual physicals, health maintenance and immunizations

    • Personalized preventative care, nutritional support, behavioral health services, fitness planning, group visits and health education

    • A team dedicated to exploring all avenues of health and healing in partnership with their patients

    • Same day appointments, extended office hours and convenient parking

    • Lifestyle & wellness programs

    • Access to leading integrative medicine experts for consultations and second opinions

    • In-house lab testing and onsite store

    Additionally, primary care membership provides a gateway to a healing community that includes in-house practitioners who provide acupuncture, chiropractic care, Ayurveda, nutrition, psychotherapy, and a variety of massage/bodywork and skin care therapies.



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    How we're different from other primary care Clinics

    We go beyond standard guidelines of primary care to consider your mind, body and spirit in our assessments and care. Your physician-led primary care team focuses on optimal health as it partners with you to create personalized care plans. Your path to wellness is based on your own definition of health and can include goals like changing lifestyle and behavior, feeling more spiritually fulfilled, and increasing physical comfort, energy and vitality. We have evidence-based holistic treatment options onsite and easy access to a variety of services (like Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic care, massage, nutrition, etc.) coordinated by your primary care team.
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    What can I expect during my first appointment? How long is it?

    All of our primary care providers believe a person’s health is comprised of physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual factors. They also believe patients can participate in care planning and can help define their health goals. You can expect your first visit to be at least 60 minutes long – it will be a comprehensive assessment of the factors mentioned above, as well as other areas, like sleep, stress management, nutrition and exercise. You will also address any specific health concerns you may have.
    Based on this visit, you may be referred to other team members, such as an osteopathic physician or medical acupuncturist to help with pain management, a nurse practitioner who focuses on nutrition and mind-body therapies, or even a Social Worker who can help you make changes in your life and identify community resources.
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    Who is on my team? How often will we meet?

    The composition of your care team is based on your goals, preferences and initial assessment. Your team may include your physician as lead, and various other practitioners to support your personal plan for optimal health. Appointment frequency will be guided by your team – you can meet with them annually for your comprehensive physical, or you may have more frequent visits based on your needs.
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    Do I get to choose my primary care doctor or nurse practitioner?

    Yes, and we are happy to help you with that decision based on your preferences.
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    Can I see another doctor or nurse practitioner if mine is unavailable?

    Yes. Our team approach means that multiple providers are available for you, when you need them.
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    What if I have a chronic medical condition?

    The primary care team will address your condition, seeing you as frequently as necessary, referring you to on-site practitioners or outside specialists as appropriate, while closely coordinating all of your care.
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    What if I want to receive treatment outside of the Institute for Health & Healing?

    With your approval, your IHH team can coordinate care with any external provider you see.
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    Will basic medical procedures like pap smears or blood pressure screenings be available?

    Yes.
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    What if I'm sick. Can I get same day appointments?

    Yes. We offer same-day appointments as needed.
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    Do you have extended hours?

    Yes. The clinic will eventually be open before and after normal business hours several days a week, and several Saturdays each month. To start, we are open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 8 am to 6 pm. On Tuesday and Friday we are open from 8 am to 5:30 pm. The lab draw hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:50 pm (last lab draw is 4:45 pm) and closed for lunch between 12:30 - 1:30 pm.
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    Can I communicate with my doctor or nurse practitioner and make appointments online?

    Yes. Please go to www.myhealthonline.sutterhealth.org webpage.
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    What if I already have a primary care physician but wish to transfer care to IHH?

    If you have a PPO, POS or Medicare plan, you may join our primary care practice whenever you like. If you have an HMO, you will need to contact your insurance provider to learn more. Should you choose to retain your existing primary care provider, IHH specialty consultation and treatments are still available to you.
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    How is the primary care clinic different from the existing IHH clinics in San Francisco, Marin, Santa Rosa and Sacramento?

    Currently the San Francisco clinic (and the clinics in Marin, Santa Rosa and Sacramento) provides a wide range of integrative medical options. The addition of primary care represents a significant expansion of our services at that location.

    The existing clinics will continue to care for their patients regardless of where they receive primary care, and will serve as a resource for IMPC patients for treatment and therapies recommended by their IMPC physician or nurse practitioner

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    How does primary care connect to the specialty practice?

    Your IHH Primary Care provider may want to coordinate your care with IHH specialists for in-depth assessment and/or treatment. Patients can be referred for services in Functional Medicine, Osteopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, Chiropractic Services, Ayurveda, Integrative Psychotherapy, Massage & Bodywork Therapies, Feldenkrais and Skin Care.

    Your primary care provider and/or team will remain involved in your care and coordinate all activities to help you achieve your health goals.

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    Can I continue to make appointments with IHH providers in the existing specialty clinics if I don’t have or want a primary care physician

    Yes, we will continue to provide the same high quality integrative medicine consultation and treatment that we currently offer in IHH clinics. Many of our patients will retain their longstanding relationship with their primary care providers. Integrative Medicine Primary Care expands IHH services beyond what we currently offer: comprehensive primary care for those who seek an integrative medicine approach to the full continuum of their care, including the preventative and acute care needs we weren’t able to meet until now.

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    Will insurance cover my health care in the IHH primary care?

    If you have a PPO, POS or Medicare plan, we can bill your insurer for services in the primary care clinic. If you have an HMO plan or Kaiser insurance, we are considered out of network. In that case, you can participate as a self-pay patient.
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    If I get a referral from my IHH primary care physician to an IHH specialty clinic, will my insurance cover the therapies I receive there?

    Coverage for in-depth assessment or treatment from one of our specialty physicians or nurse practitioners is covered by PPO and POS insurance plans and Medicare. Coverage for complementary therapies like acupuncture, psychotherapy and chiropractic services will depend on your individual plan. Contact your insurer or your employer’s benefits representative for details.
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