Frequently asked questions

Functional Medicine SF does not accept insurance. We do provide a Superbill, which you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement if you have an insurance that provides an out-of-network benefit. If you are unsure, call the member services number on the back of your card and inquire about your plan. You can let them know you are planning an appointment with an out-of-network physician and want to know what percentage of your visit will be eligible for reimbursement.Again, HSA and FSA accounts are accepted.
Payment is due at the time of service. Our office accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.

We also accept payment from Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).

We do not bill insurance companies directly, but upon your request, we can provide you with a copy of your completed invoice (Super Bill) so that you may submit it directly to your insurance company for reimbursement.

** Please note that we are are not Medicare providers and are opted out of the Medicare program. Our services can not be submitted to Medicare for reimbursement.

If you have an HSA (Health Savings Account), functional medicine consultations and prescribed supplements are allowable, tax-free expenditures. Health Savings Accounts are a new option for health insurance and they have two parts. The first part is a health insurance policy that covers large hospital bills. The second part of the Health Savings Account is an investment account or retirement account from which you can withdraw money tax-free for medical care. Unused money accumulates with tax-free interest until retirement, when you can withdraw for any purpose and pay normal income taxes. We strongly urge you to look into an HSA as an alternative insurance choice. To find out more, please go to www.hsainsider.com.

We recommend that everyone ask their insurance providers what type of out-of-network coverage they offer prior to using our services.

This is currently only on a case by case option.
Refills are granted at the time of your appointment and not in between visits unless previously discussed.If you are in need of a refill, please have your pharmacy fax the refill request to us at 510.803.5657 and allow up to 7 days turnaround time for your request to be completed.When you are running low on your medication, it may be a reminder that you are probably due for an appointment. Call us at 510.848.8585 and the office manager can help you schedule a follow-up.

Avoiding last minute requests and allowing plenty of time will ensure you get your needs met and will make our service go smoothly.

Dr. Stephanie Daniel usually prescribes enough medication to last until your next appointment.

If you have no issues and you are stable on your medication we will typically provide a 3-6-month supply.If you have issues that are not under control then you usually need to return every 1-3 months for evaluation and medication (thyroid problems, for example).Some patients may have conditions that require co-management in conjunction with your primary care physician and all patients are required to have a primary care physician in place for needs outside the scope of our practice, including last minute appointment, urgent care, management of psychotropic medications, etc.

In summary, we invite you to strive to optimal wellness in partnership with Dr. Stephanie, and to make sure you ask for your refills at the time of your office visit so you are not surprised when the pharmacist says “Sorry, you have run out of medication.” You MUST have an appointment at least every 6 months to receive refills. Otherwise, we cannot safely prescribe for you.

The average medical office is inundated with refill requests and they often need to hire lots of staff to handle the sheer volume of refill requests. Thirty percent of the phone calls to the average office are related to refill requests. Another 20% of calls are second calls in the same day from the same person who did not get their call returned. "It's 4:45 and nobody called me back! I just took my last pill! Help!" We have a firm boundary around this so that we prevent this from causing a bottleneck in our practice.
Physicians usually have many patients to keep track of at the average office. It is impossible for physicians to keep track of your medication. It is also hard on the pharmacists if you wait till the last minute to ask for a refill. Please keep track of your medication so you can ask in advance of using your last pill. It is best to schedule an appointment while you still have several weeks of supply left.
Tell the pharmacist to pull the “hard copy” and make sure that the pharmacist entered it in their system correctly. If you are still having trouble, please call or email us.
If you take a look at your prescriptions and try to get them renewed on the same cycle such as every 3, 6, 9 or 12 months then you will have them all in sequence and easy to remember the renewal date on all of them. Ask each time you go to the pharmacy to make sure you know when you will run out. Keep that list in your wallet so you will know when you come to your appointments.
Pharmacists will usually give you a 3-day supply to tide you over in an emergency. You may also contact your primary care provider (required, since we are integrative consultants only) for last-minute requests – but what works best is for you to create a sane, reasonable plan for your refills.
This test works by drinking baking soda and creating a chemical reaction in your stomach between the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and hydrochloric acid (HCL).
Download the Pdf Here

The result is carbon dioxide gas that causes burping. Ingesting baking soda is an old school natural home remedy for upset stomachs. This test will only cost you about $3 if you need to buy a new box of baking soda. Many people choose to try this test first because it’s very safe, low cost and you can get started tomorrow if it is in the cupboard.

But, there are problems with this test.

Overall all there are a lot of variables to control. Trying to minimize all the variables can be tough and I would recommend performing the test 3 consecutive mornings to find an average. By doing this, you’re looking for more of a pattern than a onetime test of “yes” or “no”. Also, to increase accuracy of the test, you must do it as soon as you wake up in the morning before putting anything in your mouth.

For the record, I’m unaware of any scientific studies that prove this method of stomach acid testing is either reliable or accurate. The results of this test can vary widely and it’s up to your interpretation, both of which are not ideal.

Here’s the quick, at-home way to see if you have low stomach acid:

  • Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 4-6 ounces of cold water first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
  • Drink the baking soda solution.
  • Time how long it takes you to belch. Time up to five minutes.

If you have not belched within five minutes stop timing.

In theory, if your stomach is producing adequate amounts of stomach acid you’ll likely belch within two to three minutes. Early and repeated belching may be due to excessive stomach acid (but don’t confuse these burps with small little burps from swallowing air when drinking the solution). Any belching after 3 minutes indicates a low acid level.

Because the time frames can vary person-to-person, as well as how they drink the solution, this test is only a good indicator that you might want to do more testing to determine your stomach acid.

This test is not accurate enough to rule out low stomach acid.

To rule out low stomach acid you will need to try the Heidelberg test or Betaine HCL challenge test.