FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Saxena began her training in Functional Medicine in 2006 and was one of the first graduates of the Institute for Functional Medicine's Certified Practitioner program. She is one of the senior educators for IFM and is the Lead Faculty member for the Cardiometabolic Advanced Practice Module. She is a Fellow and past Guest Faculty for the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine where she provided curriculum about the role of obesity, insulin resistance, and breast cancer. She is a regular educator at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and A4M conferences, helping doctors learn ways to empower patients on successful lifestyle therapies to reduce illness and needs for medications. She is a prolific teacher and is known for making complex materials simple and actionable. Marrying her excellence in the science of healing with the art of patient empowerment, she achieves the extraordinary results her patient and provider audiences have come to cherish.

Dr. Saxena will be able to handle many of the primary care needs associated with the condition(s) or symptom(s) for which you are seeking her consultation. However, she does require that you maintain a primary care doctor for routine screening exams such as pap smears, colonoscopies, prostate exams, etc. and for after hours or emergency needs requiring immediate care or hospitalization. As a functional medicine specialist, she will take an active role in helping you transition off medications in collaboration with your prescribing physician.

In order to maximize your visit time, we recommend that you organize the key labs, radiology and physician consultations in chronological order, earliest date on the top. It is your responsibility to obtain previous medical records from other physicians, or health care providers that you wish to be reviewed. Bring a printed version of your organized records to your first visit for her reference as needed during your assessment. The more organized, the more that can be reviewed during your allotted visit time. If records are complex and/or dense, a second visit may be necessary to complete the assessment.

Yes, you are most welcome! Many of our patients live outside of the Tampa Bay area or even outside of the US, so we have adapted our practice to work with patients wherever they may be. If you live out-of-town and would like to become a patient, Dr. Saxena can be the consultant on your case with many solutions available to you. If your case requires her to manage new or existing prescriptions, then you will need to be seen onsite for your first visit and once annually to establish and maintain a formal doctor-patient relationship. Most all other consultations may be conducted by phone or Zoom.

No, Forum Health works for you the patient rather than the insurance company. We expect payment at the time of service for services rendered. The services fee is based on the actual time spent with the physician. Some patients may qualify for insurance reimbursement from their policy if they submit an itemized receipt which we can provide. Our services normally qualify for HSA reimbursement. We do not maintain staff to process insurance claims and requests.  

Insurance may be used for some labs, however, Forum Health does not believe that all patients must receive the same, comprehensive list of labs and therefore many labs may not be covered. Forum Health provides affordable lab panels through our LabRx program, which offers an avenue for patients to get early-detection testing outside of insurance making these results private and confidential. 

During your first visit, your provider will map out her big-picture, strategic plan of care based on her visit with you and review of your new patient forms. Many times, she will recommend some essential lab testing that usually can be done through routine lab companies. If you are happy with her assessment and proposed plan of care, you can choose to continue as a patient. Our team will arrange for you to get your labs drawn at our office or a lab draw facility convenient to you. You will then be asked to schedule a follow-up appointment in the next 4-6 weeks to review your initial lab results and track your progress. Then, we partner to determine what evaluation or treatment step makes the most sense based on the visit findings.

Dr. Saxena's new patient appointment is $750.

If you decide to end your journey after your first visit, you may choose to proceed with our recommendations. In this case, you are not responsible for any further fees.

Our providers usually recommend specific supplements to begin your initial treatment plan after her review of your case. Most of these supplements are temporary and work to expedite healing in the early stages of your treatment. Some of them may be useful to continue on a long term basis, especially as safer alternatives to your prescription or over-the-counter medications. Some patients are able to get reimbursed through their flexible spending accounts and/or health savings accounts for these prescribed supplements.

The frequency and length of your follow-up appointments will depend on the nature of your illness and your success with our lifestyle and supplement recommendations. We find that most people who have not worked with functional medicine need more visits their first year. We also see significant improvement after 2-3 visits or 3 months for most. However, if you have a complex/severe condition or have multiple systems in your body that don't function optimally, your healing could take longer than 3 months and may require more visits, spaced out over the year. It takes time for you, your body and our team to steadily 'peel back the layers' of dysfunction. Fortunately, you are always in control of the speed at which you want to implement your recommendations. To support those who desire an ongoing partnership with our practice, Forum Health Tampa has two membership options that provide affordable solutions for our comprehensive functional medicine services. Ask our team about if our affordable membership plans can support your goals.

Your initial new-patient appointment fee includes 1 total hour with our health coach. Our coaches also utilize many resources including online workbooks, educational videos and a private, online health-coaching forum for a comprehensive support program. We find having easily-accessible answers to those common “little questions” can make a big difference in your success. Depending on the complexity of your case and need for educational or behavioral support, additional coaching visits can be purchased. We also offer discounted coaching support through our membership plans because evidence shows that patients with more touchpoints with coaches and providers have greater results and better long-term success.

Provider appointments are intended for those who wish to get personalized functional and integrative nutrient prescriptions based on their medical conditions or desired health goals. All laboratory and radiology prescriptions also require a provider appointment.
Our health coaches are trained to track your progress with your care plan over time alongside your provider to maximize your access to the office and reduce your need for more expensive provider visits. A health coaching consultation is also ideal for those seeking general nutritional guidance about healthy eating, exercise, special detoxification cleanses, weight loss and/or overall wellness.

Indeed we are, and we actually love doing this! In addition to her speaking engagements for physician, patient, and business communities, Dr. Saxena enjoys motivating change in any setting where there is potential for her services to help more people. She offers corporate wellness retreats for C-suite/managers, employee wellness lunch & learns, motivational speaking, and enjoys any worthy and creative use of her skills.

Forum Health | Tampa offers two membership plans:

  • The Total Care Plan
  • The Principal Care Plan

The Total Care Plan - $160 monthly

is for individuals with ongoing health challenges who have not yet identified and/or addressed their underlying root causes.  Most new patients require the Total Care Plan to have the regular consultations needed to identify, treat and track the numerous ongoing symptoms and conditions that have been left unaddressed from a root-cause approach. This plan includes 6 provider visits within 12 months.

 

The Principal Care Plan - $108 monthly

is for individuals who are looking to sustain their current good health through routine functional and integrative medical check-ins. They also enjoy maintaining access to the latest in advanced prevention of issues for which they may be vulnerable to in the near or distant future with our unique expertise.  This plan includes 3 provider visits within 12 months.

  

All plans include:

  • Advanced functional medicine care for 12 months that usually is 10-20 years ahead of what insurance covers
  • Innovative diagnostics, with ongoing analysis and oversight of nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, detox, and gut health
    • Healthcare provider consultations 
    • Virtual health coaching 
  • Health coach visits so we can guide you on how to use your membership services ideally
  • Exclusive discounts on many services and Inwell Biosciences Supplements*

 

​Membership is a one-year commitment.

If you would like more visits than your plan includes, you may add visits at a discounted rate for a 45-minute appointment.

 

Note: The price of a membership plan does not cover all services available from Forum Health. Any visits or services beyond the scope of your membership plan will be subject to an additional cash charge. Prices are approximate, might vary based on jurisdiction, and are subject to change. Insurance reimbursement might vary by patient, plan, and other factors.

 

Forum Health membership is not intended to replace your relationship with a primary care physician.

 

If you are not ready for a membership after your first New Patient Appointment, non-members pay a flat rate of $425 for a 45-minute appointment with Dr. Shilpa Saxena. You can also visit with our health coaches for $65 per 30-minute session.

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