Naturopathic doctors (NDs) complete a rigorous four-year postgraduate medical education program at an accredited school recognized by the US Department of Education. As with conventional medical schools, the training includes biomedical sciences like anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry, as well as clinical sciences such as cardiology, gastroenterology, and neurology. NDs also take courses in natural therapeutics including botanical/herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, counseling, homeopathy, and naturopathic manipulative therapy. Naturopathic training requires
over 1,400 hours of didactic education and over 1,200 patient contact hours, plus preceptorships and internships. They can legally diagnose and treat patients. NDs have the broadest independent scope of any healthcare provider in California other than medical and osteopathic doctors. NDs have physician-level training and are not mid-level practitioners or allied healthcare professionals like nurse practitioners or physician assistants.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) have an excellent safety record in California and throughout the US and Canada. There have been no cases of patient harm caused by a naturopathic doctor in California since licenses were issued in 2005. The National Practitioner Databank, a statistical database maintained by the US Department of Health and Human Services, has no records of malpractice claims against NDs in the US. According to the Databank, there were 15,441 malpractice payments made in California from 2005-201 5, amounting to more than $2.9 billion. None of those malpractice payments were attributed to naturopathic doctors. A 2017 nationwide search by Verdictsearch also found no records of malpractice suits against NDs.
In California, the term naturopath can legally be used by individuals who have not attended an accredited naturopathic medical school and who are not eligible for a California naturopathic medical license. The title naturopathic doctor or ND can only be used by a provider licensed by the state of California. This is an unfortunate and confusing situation that does not exist in other states where NDs are licensed. Naturopaths, or traditional naturopaths, as many refer to themselves, receive diplomas from online programs that are not accredited by the US Department of Education. They cannot diagnose or treat medical conditions, are not trained in the interactions of pharmaceuticals and natural therapies, and cannot call themselves doctors. As unlicensed individuals, naturopaths do not have a regulatory agency, nor are they held to any standard of safety. Indeed, numerous cases of patient harm have been ascribed to such unregulated practitioners. Naturopathic doctors, on the other hand, are licensed as primary care doctors, complete the rigorous training program described above, complete two national board exams before being eligible for a license, and are subject to the same standards for patient safety as a medical or osteopathic doctor.
Our doctors are interested in forming long term relationships with their patients. If you are unsure if naturopathic medicine is right for you, we recommend starting with a free 15 minute coordination meeting to meet the doctor before committing to becoming a patient. You are welcome to skip the free 15 minute coordination meeting by letting our staff know you would like to book your intake appointment. You can find an overview of the process here.
This is a brief conversation about your health which gives you a chance to meet the doctor with no charge and no obligation. The purpose of the meeting is to answer any questions you may have about naturopathic medicine and to determine whether any lab testing needs to be completed prior to your intake appointment. No medical advice can be given during this meeting.
A new patient intake includes a complete review of systems, medical history and full physical exam. You and the doctor will agree to a treatment plan to reach your health goals within your budget constraints. Length of time will be determined by your health needs and can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on your health goals and the complexity of your case. The doctor can provide you an individual time estimate during the coordination meeting if needed.
Yes, our naturopathic doctors are primary care doctors and they can work with your primary care physician or any other specialists as needed. We pride ourselves on taking the time to understand your medical history and family history to provide you the best care. Along with this understanding, we often take extra time to coordinate between doctors and specialists in our fragmented health care system. Since we answer to you (and not your insurance company) we can take the time to ensure care is coordinated.
In order to familiarize you with our process we offer a free 15 minute coordination meeting with one of our doctors for all new patients. This gives you the chance to meet a doctor with no charge and no obligation. The purpose of the meeting is to answer any questions you have about naturopathic medicine and to determine if any lab testing is needed prior to your intake appointment. The doctor can estimate how much cost and time are needed for your specific health concerns during this consultation. No medical advice can be given during this consultation.
Our doctors range from $200 per hour (resident rate) to $240 per hour (standard rate) to $280 per hour (senior doctor rate). Treatment and laboratory analysis costs are charged per service and can be explained in a free 15 minute coordination meeting specific to your needs. Patients only pay for the time spent directly with the doctor or staff, not for any records review or outside research.
In California, some insurance companies cover the services of a naturopathic doctor on an out-of network basis. PPO plans cover lab costs and normally reimburse office visit fees. Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts can also be used to pay for naturopathic services and medically necessary products. Currently, NDs are not covered by Medicare. However, NDs are able to credential with MediCal as Ordering/Referring/Prescribing Providers.
At Revolutions, we choose not to bill insurance directly as our doctors would then be limited in the amount of time that we could spend with you. While we believe insurance is necessary for high cost medical expenses, we find most plans don’t cover the time necessary to provide you with effective primary care. We are happy to provide you with diagnosis and procedure codes to submit to your insurance company but we cannot guarantee reimbursement. Since our consultation rates are substantially lower than what an MD bills your insurance company we often find patients are pleased with their level of reimbursement for office visits. Our decisions are based on what is best for you…not what is best for your insurance carrier.
Lab costs vary depending on your needs and your insurance coverage. Most lab analysis is run through insurance (both HMOs and PPOs) with a set out of pocket cost ranging from $0 to $219. We believe in providing an accurate cost up front for all lab testing whether billed through your insurance or you are paying out of pocket.
California naturopathic doctors can independently prescribe natural and synthetic hormones as well as injectable nutrients. Our doctors also have a supervision agreement with a medical doctor so they can prescribe pharmaceuticals. The supervising doctor does not need to be present, see the patient or sign off on prescriptions. Most other states that license NDs allow broad independent prescriptive rights, which reflects ND training. California law does not allow our doctors to prescribe medical cannabis.
While our doctors are trained in chiropractic care and acupuncture, the State of California does not currently allow our doctors to provide these services. Our doctors closely coordinate treatment with a number of local practitioners and are happy to coordinate care with any other practitioner that you are currently seeing.
We carry pharmaceutical grade quality supplements and match online pricing. If you do find a lower price online, let us know so we can discuss with our suppliers and update our pricing.
Our supplements are continually tested by multiple doctors and thousands of patients which helps us determine which supplements will be effective for you based on your case history, blood work and labs. Our goals is to ensure you receive the highest quality supplements for the lowest prices in the most convenient way.