What Happens Here??
While we cannot diagnose anyone with a less expensive or more convenient syndrome, we do our best to help every step of the way. We believe access to knowledge and health care is a basic human right. To that end, we will try to work with any for-profit or not-for-profit insurance company, including Medicare, Tricare and Medicaid.
just another day at manuka
We have yet to have a person walk in with a bulls eye rash and an engorged embedded tick. The people referred to us have been sick for years. They have been diagnosed with multiple neurological, orthopedic, endocrine, and rheumatic disorders. Many have been disenfranchised by my own profession. We use whatever tools are available to us to get an accurate diagnosis. Many times, multiple diagnoses actually turn out to be symptoms of one diagnosis.
Patients usually come to us by referral or requests for consult, but there are some that are too ill to be treated by their primary care providers. These folks need someone who knows something about vector pathogens to help them. Picking a starting point for treatment is a moving target and treatment plans change as symptoms change. Treatments can include prescription oral, injectable and/or IV antibiotics, anti-malarials and anti-parasitic agents, among other medications. But...we need the best of all worlds, so we also use nutraceuticals, herbs, vitamins, diet changes, specialized physical therapy and close follow up. This level of complexity takes too much time for traditional clinics, the way our medical system is structured.
Other clinicians ask us to see their patients because they suspect their patient has a tick-borne illness. The level of involvement varies with each patient, ranging from diagnostics through treatment and follow up. There are conversations, discussions and grand rounds that go on between doctors, practitioners, specialists, infusion pharmacists, etc. and patients benefit from all their input, thoughts and ideas.
Patients can be seen using what is called "real time telemedicine". This is done through a HIPAA compliant portal (like Skype, but we use a medical interface called Kareo). Ideally, telemedicine is not used with new patient consults unless they are outside of Southcentral Alaska and cannot travel.
Out of Clinic Visits
In some instances, it is necessary to see patients outside the clinic, such as at the infusion center or their homes. Visiting a patient at their home may also depend on other criteria, like if they have anything good to eat!!
Coordination of Care
Gen absolutely loves dealing with insurance companies and scheduling patients for procedures! She has said this on many occasions, usually outside while banging her head against a tree. We think it's a form of chanting meditation!!