Your first visit at Montana Whole Health may look a little different than a visit with a conventional medical doctor. Your naturopathic physician typically spends 45-60 minutes with their patients in the first visit. They listen carefully to determine the underlying cause of what is making you or your child ill. The first visit also includes a thorough but gentle physical exam – for children the exam can be performed in Mom or Dad’s lap, if desired. Your doctor will also evaluate previously completed labs, imaging or other doctor visits. They will carefully review medications and supplements, checking for potential interactions. Additional labs or imaging will be ordered, if necessary, and you will receive the first phase of a treatment plan.
Your doctor’s work doesn’t end there. Between the first and second visit (typically 1-3 weeks) the doctor will carefully review your case, do additional research and consult with previously seen doctors, if necessary. Montana Whole Health physicians work tirelessly to put all the pieces of the puzzle together so you can have truly individualized care. After all of this your physician will develop the second phase of a treatment plan that encompasses all of your or your child’s health needs.
The second visit includes discussion of the treatment plan, the results of labs or research, and time for answering questions.
Follow-up visits are every 3-12 weeks (2-8 weeks for children), and are essential to tracking and continuing progress for the long-term improvement of health. At these subsequent visits your doctor will address other factors of your or your child’s health in a step-wise fashion, leaving you and your family in continually better health.
Dr. Krumbeck and Dr. Featherman are in-network providers for Allegiance, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Missoula County, Pacific Source, United Healthcare and Montana Health Co-op. However, some plans specifically exclude naturopathic coverage. Remember that you are responsible for confirming that your plan covers naturopathic physicians. We are considered an out-of-network provider for other insurers. However, some companies extend their out-of-network coverage to naturopathic physicians. Please double check with your insurance company before coming for a first office visit.
We are happy to bill your insurance for you. You may also use your health savings account to pay for visits, copayments or supplements. Check with your insurer to determine eligibility and benefits. It is the patient’s responsibility to pay any amount that their insurer denies. Verify Your Insurance Benefits
Unfortunately naturopathic physicians are not included in Medicare or Medicaid health plans, including CHIP (Healthy Montana Kids).
For a full list of costs and what to expect please see our page Fees.
Naturopathic physicians (ND’s) attend four-year graduate schools that are nationally accredited by the Council for Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). The CNME is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, which classifies the ND degree as a Doctorate-Professional degree, on par with MD and DO.
The first two years of professional education is similar to that of an MD or DO, and includes instruction in basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, and more). The final two years of instruction are dedicated to clinical sciences – the naturopathic treatment of patients and training in primary care. Naturopathic physicians sit for two sets of exams, the NPLEX basic science exam and the NPLEX clinical science exams.
Naturopathic doctors are licensed by each individual state – to be eligible for licensure a physician must be a graduate of a four-year naturopathic medical college, complete 4,100 hours of clinical training, and pass both the basic science and clinical science portions of the NPLEX exam.
Naturopathic doctors are specialists in the natural treatment of conditions, and have extensive training in botanical medicine, nutrition, physical medicine, homeopathy, counseling as well as conventional methods like pharmaceuticals.
For more information see Dr. Krumbeck’s blog post on this subject.
Yes. For most patients we perform conventional bloodwork. This may include screening labs like cholesterol, a complete blood count, a comprehensive metabolic panel, and a brief thyroid screen. This is the bare minimum we recommend for all our patients annually. We strongly believe that all pediatric patients should be screened for celiac disease, vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency and lead toxicity at least once in their lifetime. For many patients we recommend additional thyroid workup, women’s hormones (timed according to the menstrual cycle), markers of inflammation, screening for autoimmune diseases, and vitamin levels like B12, folate and vitamin D. All labwork is selected based on the patient’s symptoms and the full picture of their health.
We also offer specialty lab tests with U.S. Biotek, Genova Diagnostics, Great Plains Labs and others. We perform food allergy and sensitivity testing, including IgE and IgG testing for patients with allergic diseases, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines. We order Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth breath tests for patients with suspected SIBO and IBS. We offer comprehensive digestive stool analysis for patients with unexplained failure to thrive, abdominal pain, gas and indigestion, and more. These stool specimens give detailed information on the microbiome, the body’s ability to digest fats and proteins, a screen for inflammatory bowel disease, and a full parasite test. We also use urinary organic acid testing for patients with ADHD, autism and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Organic acids testing shows urinary metabolites of neurotransmitters, citric acid cycle products (giving an overview of mitochondrial function), and much more.
Finally, we offer review of SNP tests, including MTHFR, MAOA, COMT and others.
We understand that many conventional providers have questions about these test. No test is perfect, but most of these tests, when interpreted correctly can give extremely useful information that puts the pieces of the health puzzle together.
We can see patients via Telemedicine, but our naturopathic medical licenses restrict care to patients in the state of Montana, or to patients we have previously seen in-office.
As a naturopathic physician Montana Whole Health physicians treat the individual, not the disease. Each patient has a unique set of health factors and these unique factors need to be addressed, not the symptoms of the problem. For kids this can include all the conditions listed in the Children page. For adults this can include the conditions listed in the Adult page. For families desiring to conceive this can include the conditions listed in the Infertility page. For postpartum women this can include the conditions listed in the Postpartum Care page.