Contact Us
(615) 721-8008‬

Working with a Functional Medicine Provider

Holistic Health

More people than ever are looking for high quality functional medicine practitioners. And it’s no wonder — the benefits of a whole-person, functional medicine approach to wellness is more evident than ever.

Modern medicine that you will find in a hospital has failed so many over the years. Conventional medicine is great in the emergency room, but functional medicine (combining traditional folk medicine with cutting edge 21st century research) treats the patient as a whole person, not a collection of individual, unconnected organs.

I don’t generally say “folk medicine,” as I see it as “wisdom medicine,” utilizing every single tool in our belt to make sure each patient lives a healthier life.

Functional medicine providers often enter the field because of their own disappointing experiences with conventional medicine. My patients say their functional practitioners have been more sympathetic and respectful towards them than our conventional counterparts.

What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine (FM) is a research-based, whole-person approach to your health.

How is FM different from conventional medicine?

  1. FM treats underlying causes of diseases, instead of symptoms.
  2. FM caters to each individual, and doesn’t just “work well enough” for the largest number of people.
  3. FM treats the whole body, and doesn’t divide the body into a dozen unrelated systems.
  4. FM is preventative, not reactive.
  5. FM treats the mind, body, and spirit.
  6. FM uses the latest 21st century research, and doesn’t wait on pharmaceutical companies to approve the most profitable option.

A functional medicine approach recognizes the importance of dietary, social, spiritual, and lifestyle changes on a patient’s overall health.

Does insurance cover functional medicine?

There is, unfortunately, no comprehensive functional healthcare insurance plan. Your best bet is finding the best fit for your situation. If a provider taking insurance is important to you, then do your research and see if you can find a provider who accepts insurance. 

If you are not able to find a provider who resonates with you, then check into practices that offer a concierge medicine (membership) model or inquire about other options they may offer. 

Some insurance plans cover visits to a nutritionist. 

Out of pocket costs include most everything else, like specialized lab tests and dietary supplements.

Many functional medicine providers (including myself and other well known providers such as Dr. Mark Hyman) do not accept insurance. These clinicians will provide a type of detailed receipt known as a superbill, and you can file this with your insurance carrier.

More often than not, insurance companies will cover basic costs, like lab tests that a conventional doctor may have administered anyway. This can lower the cost of your visit by hundreds — possibly even thousands — of dollars. I support anything that can lower the threshold of entry for people wondering if they should try functional medicine.

The important thing is to understand what your provider offers and what may or may not be covered by insurance ahead of time so you know what to expect.

Differences Between Functional, Holistic, Naturopathic & Integrative Medicine

Several terms are pretty similar to one another: functional, holistic, naturopathic, and integrative. Although these terms can be used almost interchangeably, let me take you through what each of these really mean.

What is the difference between integrative, functional, and holistic medicine?

What qualifications should your functional medicine provider  have?

Just because someone calls themselves a functional medicine doctor, doesn’t mean they have the right qualifications.

Here are some certifications to look for in your functional medicine practitioner:

Other qualities you can look for in functional medicine practitioners: 

Functional medicine providers may have received additional qualifications in addition to their educational certifications. The most common of these are The Institute for Functional Medicine and American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).

Finally, here are some red flags to look out for:

Finding a Functional Medicine Provider 

You can often find a functional medicine provider within an hour of where you live — less if you live near a large city.

A simple Google search may do the trick. Googling “functional provider for chronic disease” or “integrative physician for autoimmune disease” or even “functional medicine near me” may yield useful results.

Sites such as CareDash or ZocDoc provide access to patient reviews, delving deeper than a Google search may be able to.

Online databases to search for functional medicine practitioners include:

Testing, Genetics, and Bioindividual Medicine

Think of this like a prep sheet for your first trip to an integrative medical practice.

At an appointment with a functional medicine practitioner, expect:

In Summary


The Fork Functional Medicine
200 9th Ave S.
Franklin, TN 37064

Phone: (615) 721-8008
Fax: (615) 237-8331‬

Hours of operation

Monday: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: CLOSED
Saturday-Sunday: CLOSED

By appointment only

Telemedicine visits are available to patients in the State of Tennessee. See further information under patient info.