The Price of Functional Medicine: How Much Should I Expect to Pay?
Want to try functional medicine, but not sure how much it will cost you? You’re not alone.
Demand for functional medicine has skyrocketed in the last 5 years. There were 1.6 million searches for practitioners through Institute of Functional Medicine’s website just last year!
Unsurprisingly, one of the first questions we get from patients is “How much will it cost?”. Cost transparency is a huge problem in our healthcare system and unfortunately, functional medicine is no exception.
Why is functional medicine not covered by insurance?
Functional medicine is still relatively new, and most insurance companies won’t accept its preventative benefits until there are longitudinal studies proving its outcomes and preventative benefits.
The model is also difficult to support through insurance because doctors spend an hour or more with patients 1:1.
How does pricing work for functional medicine?
Most functional medicine doctors sell their services in bundles or packages, which include a long initial 1:1 appointment (usually 60-90 minutes), and sometimes also include the in-depth labwork and follow-up appointments. This is because most patients work with a functional medicine doctor for a period of time to fully see benefits that result from lifestyle changes.
What is the minimum price for working with a functional medicine doctor (MD or DO)?
We ran the numbers for 25 Functional Medicine doctors (only including MD’s and DO’s) in the U.S. We decided to show the “minimum price of working with them”, meaning either the price of just the initial consult if they do a-la-carte, or the price of their cheapest package if their pricing is structured that way.
Average Price: $1,277
Lowest Price: $280
Highest Price: $4,700
What’s the average price per hour of a functional medicine doctor’s time?
Average Price: $ 460
Lowest Hourly Price: $125
Highest Hourly Price: $648
Average Time you get with the Doctor, with a package: 146 mins
Does this seem high to you? Let’s compare to Western doctors and specialists.
The average annual salary for a doctor in the U.S. (between both specialists and primary care) was $299,000 per year, according to Medscape in 2017. Assuming doctors spend 40-60 hours a week on patient care, this comes out to an hourly salary of $100-150/hour.
However, doctors that practice functional medicine spend more than just an hour for each hour-long visit with the patient. They also approximately an hour of pre-appointment preparation, including reading through the patients’ case, reviewing labwork and preparing for the appointment.
References & Further Reading
The data in this article is based off our proprietary Rupa Health dataset of 25 functional medicine MD’s across the U.S.
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