Medical FAQ’s

“Insight is often the first step in the healing process“. Michael Allen MD

About Our Center

Appointments

Fee’s/Insurance

Questions about Holistic Pediatrics and Remedies

About Our Center

How is Center for Living Health  and Dr. Allen different from other pediatric practices?

Why would I want to pay to see Dr. Allen, versus going to my primary care doctor who is covered by my insurance?

What has parent response been to the center?

Can Dr. Allen be my primary care pediatrician?

Does Dr. Allen see Adults as well as Children?

Does your office do labs?

Do you do immunizations in your office?

What is your philosophy on Vaccines

Appointments

Are you taking new patients?

Do you see newborns and children in the hospital?

How long is a typical initial consultation?

What should we expect during our first appointment?

How long are follow up appointments and how much will that cost?

My child seems healthy, do I still need to come in for an initial evaluation?

Do you also have sick/acute appointments?  Same day?

What if I am not an established patient and my child is sick. Can I get an acute/sick appt?

Fee’s and  Insurance

How much does a visit cost?

Do you take insurance?

What form of payment do you accept?

We want to see Dr. Allen, but we heard he is expensive and we can’t afford it

Are you a “Boutique” practice catering to the wealthy?

Questions about Holistic Medicine and Remedies

What is holistic medicine?

What is anthroposophic medicine?

Do you sell remedies and supplements?

How is Center for Living Health different from other pediatric practices?

We are committed to supporting parents who seek  integrative/holistic health care but  who also want the assurance of trained MD.  We offer longer appointment times, help parents reduce the use of drug treatments, and most importantly,  address not only symptoms but also the physical, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual aspects of health and illness.

Our patients like the fact that Dr. Allen is triple board certified in Pediatrics, Integrative/Holistic medicine and Anthroposophic Medicine. He offers support and nourishment to the child and family in a more natural way, but he is also trained to recognize when the body gets overwhelmed and requires a more conventional approach. This integrative approach provides your family the best of both complementary and conventional medicine.

  • Dr. Allen strives to identify areas of  imbalance, and then integrates homeopathic, anthroposophic, and herbal remedies, nutrition;western medicines; and craniosacral therapy in his practice; to support and enhance healing by establishing balance in the body.
  • We offer longer appointment times and limit the number of patients seen per day, so we can take the time to truly listen to you and understand your child’s unique needs.  In contrast, most conventional pediatric doctors usually see 40-60 patients per day with an average visit of only 5-10 minutes.
  • We  believe in educating and empowering parents with treatment options that will support the healing of the whole child, while nourishing and strengthening each child’s inherent healing ability.
  • Many parents say their children get sensory overload when they go to conventional pediatric practices. We designed our Center to provide a tranquil and non-clinical environment for your family.

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Why would I want to pay to see Dr. Allen, versus going to my primary care doctor who is covered by my insurance?

Due to insurance restrictions, most primary care doctors cannot offer the long appointment times and in depth level of care necessary for holistic medicine. The set up of Dr. Allen’s practice allows him to fill an unmet need under most healthcare plans, including individualized attention and longer appointment times that aren’t mandated by the administrative processes of insurance.

While most pediatricians are trained in Conventional Pediatrics. Dr Allen is fully trained and Board Certified in Conventional Pediatrics AND also holds Board Certifications in Holistic/Integrative Medicine and Anthroposophic Medicine, ( he is one of only two certified Anthroposophic Pediatricians in the United States.) giving him more tools and depth of scope in treatment options.

  • Visits with Dr Allen are unhurried, allowing time for him to really listen you and answer ALL of your questions. He utilizes his knowledge of  physical, emotional and spiritual development to uncover areas of imbalance and identify subtle symptoms of imbalance that are often overlooked or discounted by conventional pediatricians. Dr Allen’s new patient consultation is a comprehensive visit to develop a complete picture of your child, and their medical history, past and current health concerns, nutrition, lifestyle and family life, as well as their emotional and spiritual health. This visit usually takes 1-1 1/2 hours. In contrast, most pediatric and family practices see over 25 patients a day, averaging 5-12 minutes on evaluations that primarily treat symptoms and little time for questions.
  • Conventional Medicine treats the symptom (i.e. ear infection), not the whole child.  If you treat an ear infection with antibiotics you may make the ear infection go away, but if you are not dealing with the underlying problem, the child may get the ear infection over and over again. The underlying problem is only masked, which may then cause further imbalances and progression of symptoms. Dr. Allen treats the whole child, not the symptom. He doesn’t look at the symptom merely as something negative to get rid of, but understands that the symptom is a sign of an underlying imbalance. By identifying these imbalances and developing treatment strategies to restore balance once again, the underlying problem is resolved, the symptom will then go away, and the child experiences true healing.
  • Dr Allen creates individualized treatment plans to help nourish and support your child and family on a strategic path back to achieving balance in the body once again, so the symptoms don’t keep recurring. In doing this, he utilizes the best of nutritional, herbal, homeopathic, and anthroposophic remedies, conventional medicine and craniosacral therapy in his treatment plans, in an effort to achieve true healing.

  • Dr. Allen understands that a parent’s intuition is so important. He has seen over and over in conventional practices where a parent’s “gut feelings” about their child’s health were denied, overlooked, or forgotten. He wants you parents to believe and listen to those intuitive feelings you have, because no one knows your child better than you do. Just remember, if anyone doubts your intuitive “gut” feelings, you parents are generally right and we doctors, therapists, etc, are generally wrong.
  • Many parents say their children get sensory overload when they go to conventional pediatric practices. We designed our Center to provide a tranquil and non-clinical environment for your family. Read more about The Center
  • The co-pay to see a conventional primary care physician, who’s priority is symptom relief, is typically $25-$95 for each visit. The difference in cost to see Dr. Allen is nominal, especially if you consider that Dr. Allen will be looking in depth at the underlying imbalance that is causing the symptoms in the first place, and making sure that both are addressed, which can lead to true healing.
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    What has the parent response been to the center?

    Our parents state how amazed they are at the difference between our Center and the care we provide, compared to that of the medical practices they are used to.

    The families that see us become our best advertising. Our Center is growing quickly by word of mouth, and we have families driving from other states to see us now.

    We have tapped a tremendous need, as many parents are looking for alternatives to the status quo in medical care. They are frustrated by the few minutes they get to spend with their health care providers, and tired of walking away with prescriptions that only treat the symptoms.  More and more parents are looking for pediatricians who can truly understand their children, and help guide parents to support and nourish their children as individuals.They want sound advice in managing their children’s health in a natural, safe and effective way; and want to make conscious, compassionate and informed choices for their children

    At our center the experience is different from the minute they walk through the door. We designed it to help prevent the sensory overload that many children feel in traditional offices. Parents tell us their children want to come early for their appointments because they want to have time in our waiting room, and we have families who ask to come by just to spend some time in the waiting room because the children are asking to. So not only are they finding the type of care they want for their families, but they feel their children are nurtured just by being at the center.

    Many of these parents, who despite having HMO insurance, pay to see us for the kind of care they want for their families – an alternative to the way conventional medicine is being practiced. Read More About What Parents Are Saying About Our Practice.
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    Can Dr. Allen be my primary care pediatrician?

    While many of our patients come to Dr. Allen as their main family physician, we recommend that our families maintain a physician who is in their insurance network as their primary care physician (PCP) as a back-up (for hospitalizations, emergency care, and after hours call). Dr. Allen is available for consultations, preventive/well care visits and same-day acute sick visits during routine office hours.
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    Does Dr. Allen see adults as well as Children?

    Yes. We offer medical services primarily for children, but Dr. Allen also sees adults for holistic health consultations but not for specific medical conditions. In addition, the practitioners at our center provide therapies for both children and adults. We realize that for healing of the whole person/family, parents need support too. At our Center we make it easy for the whole family to find the services they need, all in one place.

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    Does your office do labs?

    We do not do labs in our office. However, if you have PPO insurance, we can provide you with a lab slip to take to the lab contracted with your insurance, and the lab will fax us the results. If you have HMO insurance, you can have the labs we recommend, done through your primary care physician and request the lab fax us a copy of the results as well.
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    Do you do immunizations in your office?

    Not at this time. However, we do offer vaccine consultations to help parents better understand vaccines, and can provide the new state required medical provider consultation needed to sign the Vaccination Exemption form.

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    What is your philosophy on Vaccines

    I try to be unbiased and neutral about vaccines. Throughout my over 20 years of practice I have seen children die from vaccine preventable illnesses, and I have seen children suffer pain, seizures and developmental losses after receiving vaccines.

    The most important issue, I believe, is that parents understand that vaccines are of the options available, and whether to do them or not, should definitely be a parent’s choice – not mandated by the medical establishment. If you want to do them great. If you don’t, that’s great too! Life is all about making informed choices and then living with the consequences – we can only do the best we can with the information we have in the moment. No one can tell you what is the “best” decision for any one person – because no one knows! I honor and support parent’s intuitive “gut” feelings about their children. I always tell my parents to pay close attention to these “gut” feelings, because they are usually right, and those of us in the medical profession are often wrong, if we believe otherwise.

    It is very important to me that parents understand what each vaccine does, and that there are options in when to give the vaccines, and how many to receive at one time. I often do vaccine consults where I meet with the parents, listen to what their decisions are regarding vaccines, and then formulate a strategy for them to be able to accomplish their chosen goals. I also recommend that it is always best to do vaccines when the child is healthy. Most of my parent’s that choose to do vaccines, do them on a modified schedule.

    We offer vaccine consultations to help parents better understand vaccines, and can provide the new state required medical provider consultation needed to sign the Vaccination Exemption form.

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    Are you taking new patients?

    Yes, we are open to new patients and families who are seeking the balance of holistic medicine and therapies for their health.
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    Do you see newborns and children in the hospital?

    The current trend is for pediatric hospitalists, neonatologists, and other specialists to take care of patients in the newborn nursery, as well as those admitted to the hospital and intensive care units. The wisdom behind this trend makes sense – the most qualified doctors to take of children in the hospital are the ones that specialize in hospital care, and are available in the hospital 24/7. Therefore hospitalists take care of kids in the hospital, and pediatricians take care of children in an outpatient setting. With this in mind, Dr Allen does not take care of newborns and children in the hospital, but consults with the pediatric hospitalists and neonatologists, and other specialists as needed. Dr Allen visits the children from his practice who end up in the hospital and maintains contact with the family during the hospital stay. Once released from the hospital, Dr. Allen will see his patients for a follow up visit within the first week. For newborns, once discharged, Dr Allen offers house calls to his patients for the initial visit, and can perform all necessary future followup at our office.
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    How long is a typical initial consultation?

    It really depends on the complexity of the child and current issues. Most initial consultations are 60-75 minutes, but we allow enough time for whatever is needed. Dr. Allen feels it is of utmost importance to give parents enough time to be really heard, to have all their questions and concerns answered, and to take the time he needs to completely understand your child and family. Read more on Our philosophy
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    What should we expect at our first appointment?

    Dr. Allen’s goal at the first visit is to develop a complete picture of the child and who they are as an individual, so that he better understands them. To do this we have parents fill out a seven-page comprehensive history from birth through the present, followed by an evaluation. During this evaluation, Dr. Allen observes the child while he takes detailed notes on the entire life of the child including significant physical and emotional events, their birth, breastfeeding, growth, development, and illnesses, vaccination history, medical problems, their challenges and gifts, their sleep, nutritional, and digestive history, their personality and behavior, etc.

    He takes the time to really listen to both the parent’s and child’s concerns and questions. Then he performs an extensive and specialized physical exam and utilizes his knowledge of human physical, emotional and spiritual development, to uncover areas of imbalance, sometimes even before obvious symptoms are apparent.

    If any imbalances are identified, treatment strategies will be developed to assist the child to achieve balance and health once again.
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    How long are follow up appointments and how much will that cost?

    It depends on the complexity, but the typical follow-up appointment usually lasts 30 min and costs $120. However, many follow up appointments can be concluded in as little as 15 minutes, which will cost $60.00.

    As a comparison, the co-pay to see a conventional primary care physician, who’s priority is symptom relief, can be $25-$95 for for a short several minute visit. The difference in cost is nominal, especially if you consider that Dr. Allen will be looking in depth at the underlying imbalance that is causing the symptoms in the first place, and making sure that both are addressed, which can lead to true healing.
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    How much does a visit cost?

    Fees are based entirely on the time the doctor dedicates to your family. Our fees are $60 for every 15 minutes or $240/hour. Most initial consults last 60 to 75 minutes ($240-$300), depending on the complexity and the resulting time spent with the family (the more complex, the longer time usually spent). However, some initial appointments are as short as 30 minutes ($120), or for more complex issues can last longer than 75 minutes.

    Follow-ups and acute visits are usually $60-$180, again depending the complexity and time spent.

     

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    My child seems healthy, do I still need to come in for an initial evaluation?

    Parents can choose whether to come in for the initial evaluation as soon as they find out about our practice, when their child is due for a well physical exam, or when their child is sick or has obvious symptoms of imbalance.

    There are advantages to coming in before your child is sick or has obvious symptoms:
    Firstly, Dr. Allen can pick up on subtle symptoms of imbalance that may not yet be recognized as a potential problem, and early identification can accelerate the path of healing for your child, before more serious symptoms manifest themselves.

    Secondly, after the initial evaluation is done, Dr Allen will already have an internal picture of who your child really is. By knowing this, when your child then comes in with a problem or is sick, Dr Allen sees how they have responded or compensated to the challenges or illness they are faced with, which gives him even more information about who they are and how their body works. The clearer the picture he has of your child, the better the recommendations he can make to help them deal with those challenges and symptoms, which lead to re-establishing balance once again, and ultimately to true health.

    Thirdly, if your child is sick we will do everything possible to see them the same day, but might not be able to do the entire initial evaluation at that time. Good treatment recommendations can still be made, but without the benefit of knowing the whole child.

    During the initial evaluation, Dr Allen takes the time to really listen to the parents and patient, and performs an extensive and specialized history and physical exam, utilizing his knowledge of human physical, emotional and spiritual development, to uncover areas of imbalance. Dr Allen also seeks to identify subtle symptoms of imbalance before obvious symptoms are apparent. His goal is to develop a complete picture of your child and who they are as an individual. This visit usually takes 1-1 1/2 hours.

    If any imbalances are identified, treatment strategies will be developed to assist the child to achieve balance and health once again. Dr Allen believes in educating and empowering parents by offering guidance that will support the healing of the whole child, while nourishing and strengthening each child’s inherent healing ability.
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    Do you also have same day sick/acute appointments?

    Yes. We try to work patients in the same day for acute sick visits. If your child is sick, we will try to do whatever we can to get them in the same day.

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    What if I am not an established patient and my child is sick. Can I get an acute/sick appt?

    Yes. If we are busy and the child needs to be seen, we will do everything to try and get you in that day, but may not have time to do the full evaluation. Dr. Allen can treat the acute situation (i.e. treatment for an ear infection) and we will have you come in another day to complete the consult. See Why do I need an initial evaluation

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    Do you accept insurance?

    We are a fee for service practice which means we do not take insurance. However, we will provide you with a detailed insurance form and receipt to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement, depending on your plan. After working in a conventional practice with insurance for 12 years, Dr Allen did not like insurance companies telling him how he could practice medicine, or what limited treatment options he could provide for his patients. Being part of an insurance network often means that priority is placed on high patient volume with office visits often scheduled for only 5-10 minutes.  Consultations with Dr. Allen can last one-two hours long. Additionally, we would not have the flexibility to offer families treatment plans that integrate the best of conventional and complementary approaches.

    Fortunately today, there are many high deductible PPO insurance plans that can incorporate health savings accounts, so families can actually save money on monthly insurance premiums, and then use that savings to pay for the kind of care they truly want their families to receive. We will provide coded claim forms to turn in to insurance for possible reimbursement in accordance with the terms of your plan, or that may count towards your deductible. (See Insurance options)
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    What form of payment do you accept?

    We accept payment at the time of the visit in the form of cash, check, credit card, and Health Savings Account and Health Care Reimbursement Account credit cards (in accordance with your PPO plan).
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    We want to see Dr. Allen, but we heard he is expensive and we can’t afford it.

    Dr. Allen charges by actual time spent with your family. Some families want to spend more time with Dr Allen, discussing a whole variety of issues or concerns.  And because of Dr Allen’s reputation and successes, he is asked to see children with really complex and difficult challenges, requiring a significant amount of time to understand and treat the whole child. These visits can be 2-3 hours, as they require much more time and coordination of care, and thus can be more expensive.

    However, most initial consultations are usually only 60-75 minutes ($240-$300), and  most acute sick visits or well-baby/physicals are $60 for a 15 minute appointment. This is often much less than the co-pays required at conventional practices, including Kaiser, and significantly less than urgent care centers and emergency rooms. Plus, he is spending more quality time with your child than the quick 5 minute or less visit at most offices.

    We also offer interest free payment-plans, for families who are on a ‘tight’ budget yet want the Integrative and Holistic approach Dr Allen offers. So whatever your family’s budget, Dr Allen can provide the kind of care you are interested in and know you deserve.

    Are you a “Boutique” practice catering to the wealthy?

    No. Boutique practices charge expensive yearly membership fees in addition to individual visit fees, as one way to manage your health care.

    We are a fee for service practice so Dr. Allen can offer his patients an unprecedented level of personalized care. Conventional medicine is no longer inexpensive, and getting more expensive every day. Some conventional HMO insurances (including Kaiser) now charge up to $75 appointment co-pays, in addition to a $6,000 family deductible. This trend is increasing, and shows no sign of slowing down.   As a strategic plan, many of our patients have changed their insurance to a higher deductible PPO plan with a HSA (Health Savings Account), that saves them money on their monthly premiums, that they can then use to pay for the alternative health care they desire for their family. Some of these families actually save money on their health care expenditures. More on insurance options

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What is holistic medicine?

Holistic Medicine is in essence a health approach that looks at the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. It begins with the foundation of modern conventional medicine and extends much beyond that in the realm of nutrition, social, emotional and spiritual aspects of health. Holistic medicine respects and supports the body’s natural ability to heal and be well. Holistic medicine sees each of us as an unique individual, and recognizes each persons inherent healing ability. It involves understanding that when we are in balance, we are healthy, and when we are out of balance, illnesses arise. Therefore, an extensive and specialized history and physical exam are utilized, with the knowledge of human physical, emotional and spiritual development, to uncover areas of imbalance. Then individualized treatment plans are created to help nourish and support the child and family on their strategic path back to achieving balance once again.

Holistic and Anthroposophic medicine call for a time commitment on part of the family, and a willingness and dedication to grow and learn. There are few if any quick fixes or magic solutions. Some medications may make symptoms disappear quickly, but to actually alleviate an imbalance that leads to true healing takes time. The focus is on a team approach, working together to identify areas of imbalance and instituting treatment plans, with the goal of achieving a greater state of balance and health for the child and the whole family.
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What is anthroposophic medicine?

Using modern western medicine as its foundation, Anthroposophic Medicine is a complementary extending medicine that brings a higher dimension to holistic health  by focusing on the health of the soul and spirit as well as on the physical body.

Developed by Rudolf Steiner, it uses medicines and therapies that help patients to overcome illness while supporting inner development, making us stronger and more capable people. It constitutes a holistic and human-centered approach to healing and understanding illness.

Anthroposophy comes from the Greek words anthropomorphic (human) and sophia (wisdom). Anthroposophy means a road to knowledge of man. It offers a more balanced approach to your health by viewing the entire human being in its relationship to the universe in treating illness. This knowledge is derived from a spiritual scientific methodology, which expands on conventional science. It does not see illness merely as an unfortunate accident or mechanical breakdown, but rather as intimately connected to the whole person, and potentially positive. If met and treated in an appropriate way, illness may bring a new balance and opportunities for growth in our lives.
It includes the use of specialized homeopathic and plant medicines, and specialty therapies in treatment. At present Anthroposophic medicine is most widely developed in Europe, where there are Anthroposophic hospitals and many general practitioners. Dr. Allen is one of only two pediatricians in the United States to be certified in Anthroposophic medicine.
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Do you sell remedies and supplements?

As a convenience to our patients, we offer a full line of remedies and supplements available for purchase in our office. All products retail for the same or lower than remedies sold in the area. We are proud to feature products by:

Uriel Pharmacy

True Botanica

Weleda

Boiron

Hyland

Liddell

Historical Remedies

 

If you are interested in purchasing or are running low on any of the supplements we offer at Center for Living Health, you may purchase those at our office during normal business hours.
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