Quite some time ago one of my colleagues said something to me that hit hard. “The only people who can afford you are the ultra-wealthy, who tend not to get the same level of buy-in from the financial sting.”
I have sat with this for months. I believe that paying for what I and many other functional medicine practitioners do is extremely important. In the US we don’t see the cost of our healthcare so we think it doesn’t exist. Medicare takes up to 42% of the budget, so trust me you are paying whether you like it or not. You are just unaccustomed to front loading or even seeing the costs. You are used to being reactionary, which is likely the worst place to be in terms of your health. The heart of our medical problem is not a medical problem, it is a consumeristic mindset that is killing us and the world loudly with donuts and never ending seas of concrete.
The answer to this problem is not more doctor’s visits, but less doctor’s visits and more personal responsibility.
I can’t make what I do free. Then it would have no value and I would get overworked and burn out. Believe me, I have done that and it doesn’t really work for anyone. Those who pay, tend to pay attention.
What I ask people to do is easy to do, and easy not to do, so some skin in the game helps when the meditation cushion gets rough on your bum and you want to trade the evening walk you love for popcorn and a movie.
What I can do is take a page from the Yoga book and have differential costs.
My initial consults have an hour prep time, two hours in the initial consult, and then follow-ups are 60 to 90 minutes. Top that off with at least an hour on emails in the first month and you have about 5 to 6 hours of invested time. That means at my current rate I make less than I did as a personal trainer when I was 26.
Now if you are fixated with numbers moving around on screens, I can guarantee you that this road will be hard and that you likely will not be able to play the long game with your health. And you may not want to, that is your choice. And it is my choice in the face of all this to lower my rates.
Pay what you can afford and be honest with yourself.
I am fully transparent on costs, but if you are choosing my services to save money, don’t. It will just waste both our time and frankly I do not have the energy for trying to convince you that it is worth your effort to spend more money on food, apps and tools that help you be more productive and less neurotic, and supplemental protocols to build you up from underneath. In fact, I regularly refer out or don’t take on clients that doesn’t feel like the right fit.
Here are the costs.
Initial Labwork $225 for females and $292 for males
Initial Consult and Follow-up – Now Variable ($400-$700)
Additional Lab Costs – Variable and I make no money on additional labwork.
Supplements – likely around $300 a month for the first few months with the goal being to get you to just the fundamentals as soon as possible, but sometimes that isn’t possible and you feel so much better you don’t really care.
“For every dollar we spend on our health we tend to get a 17 to 1 return on investment.”