Your best health is your most valuable asset.
What are you waiting for?
“I appreciate you taking the time to listen to what I’m looking for. I know there is something in my diet and/or lifestyle creating inflammation or something that is keeping me from reaching the next level, and I think with your help we can nail it down. You’re def. the doc I want to work with on this.”
“Y’all are the best, thank you so much! We have to thank Dr. Birchenough for getting pregnant, we have been trying 1.5 years and 3 miscarriages but are so thankful for your help in getting my body healthy again :)”
“I have been feeling 100% myself the past 2.5 months health-wise. Thank you so so much for helping me get back to feeling good, I am so appreciative! I have no migraines, diarrhea, stomach pain, lethargy, etc, wahoo!!”
After 3 1/2 years and eleven other doctors, Dr. Katherine took the time and interest needed to put me back on the road to good health. Her knowledge and intellectual curiosity combined with her care and patience are a gift to her patients. She surrounds herself with an equally kind and helpful staff – every visit is a positive experience!
…IV therapy is nothing short of a miracle. Increased energy, focus, mindset and noticeable mood enhancement… The office environment is incredibly welcoming. Absolute professionals, Dr. Birchenough is second to none in her craft. You won’t be disappointed in the treatment, or their first class service!
INFORMATION AND RATES
As an MD, Dr. Katherine believes in identifying and verifying metabolic, immune, nutritional, infectious, toxic and gastrointestinal disorders with advanced and comprehensive laboratory testing. Quantification of your individual imbalances allows her to personalize your treatment protocol. Optimal health is not one-size-fits-all! In addition to Functional Medicine consulting and specialty lab testing, Dr. Katherine is now offering Optimal Wellness memberships, natural hormone therapy, IV nutrient therapy, and vitamin injections. She is also trained in Age Management Medicine and Balance Protocol,™️ a systemized approach of achieving optimal well-being based on biological individuality and genetic uniqueness.
What you can expect from Dr. Katherine:
She is an experienced, licensed, board-certified medical doctor certified through the Institute for Functional Medicine and trained in Age Management Medicine and Balance Protocol. She has studied with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the Age Management Medicine Group, the International Peptide Society, and many other organizations and notable individuals, and continues to actively learn and apply new ways of thinking about health. She sees all kinds of patients, from those looking for solutions to complex chronic illness to those who enjoy good health and want to be proactive in maintaining it. Her practice is small and she accepts a limited number of new functional medicine and wellness patients per month in order to maintain a personalized experience and the highest quality of care. Dr. Katherine gets the best results with patients who are willing to maintain a close working relationship with her and her team, provide frequent feedback, and check in often, so she tries to make that as easy and enjoyable as possible. She works for her patients, not for the insurance companies.
She is also currently accepting new female and male patients for natural hormone therapy.
Dr. Katherine prefers to treat you as a whole person instead of focusing on a specific illness or disease, and takes into consideration all of the systems of the body and how they are inter-related. Your workup and treatment plan is designed to balance your body at a cellular level. Her patients come to her with a variety of needs and conditions, and some of those are listed below:
- Health optimization & healthy aging
- Menopause / Andropause
- Thyroid disorders
- Adrenal Fatigue/ HPA Axis Dysfunction
- Stress-related disorders
- Autoimmune disease
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Food sensitivities
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Hormone imbalances
- Brain fog and cognitive decline
- Fatigue and energy issues
- Sleep disturbance
- Metabolic syndrome
- Systemic inflammation
- Toxin-related illness
What she expects from you:
- Dr. Katherine asks that those interested in her functional medicine and wellness programs complete the application for consultation and book a complimentary call with her before she sees you as a patient.
- She requires that you have a primary care doctor for routine health needs. She serves as a specialty consultant and cannot take the place of your regular doctor when it comes to acute illnesses, injuries, and routine health maintenance like mammograms, pelvic exams, prostate exams, cardiac stress testing, and colonoscopies.
- She asks that you always be open, honest, and thorough in providing the required information. Dr. Katherine also asks that you be patient and willing to implement healing strategies that may take 6 months and sometimes longer for complex issues.
- Just interested in Natural Hormone Therapy? Call the office for more information and to schedule.
What she does not treat Specifically, but addresses as part of a whole-person approach:
- Mental illness and psychiatric disorders
- Lyme disease
Dr. Katherine offers her services to those interested in more than a diagnosis or prescription. Please review the information below and feel free to ask questions during your consultation call. You will be given a link to schedule a call after submitting the application.
Initial Comprehensive Case Review
This is an introductory case review and required for all new Functional Medicine and Health Optimization patients. It includes a thorough review of your intake questionnaires, previous records, and lab tests and a 60 to 90 minute initial appointment to really get to know you as a person and a patient. Dr. Katherine will make some initial recommendations for changes in lifestyle and environment, nutrition, and supplements. This serves as an introductory appointment, and at that visit you will be presented with options for a customized Functional Medicine or Optimal Wellness plan. If you choose to enroll in a membership or program, we will apply this to the initial deposit. $795 ($495 for 13 and under) , does not include labs.
For those not enrolled in a membership or program, follow-up visits are billed at $400/hr, 30 minute minimum
Packages & Memberships
Package and Membership patients enjoy exclusive discounts on professional grade supplements, complimentary and discounted services at the office, unlimited portal messaging and support, and prescription refills when needed at no charge.
Functional Medicine Package: If you’ve ever wanted your doctor to be the ultimate partner in achieving your best health, this is for you. Most people need a 6-month plan, the minimum is 3 months. Please apply for consultation and set up a call for more information.
Functional Medicine Membership: Once you’re finished with a program and feeling great, maintain that optimal state by joining the practice as a member, and enjoy substantial discounts on products and services.
Wellness Program & Membership: Tired of feeling tired? Puzzled by why you suddenly feel so old? You’re not alone! Enroll in a Wellness program and work intensively with us until you’ve achieved your goals, then maintain with a membership that affords you free services, as well as discounts on products and services, including Botox!. Please apply for consultation and set up a call for more information.
Fast Track to Optimal: When you’re ready to pull out all the stops and make the most of your health, partner with Dr. Katherine and the staff at OptimalSelf MD to customize a program with particular attention to extending your healthspan and making the next 20 years of your life the best yet. Don’t just survive, THRIVE! Please apply for consultation and set up a call for more information.
Natural Hormone Therapy:
A great option for both women and men desiring treatment for hormone deficiencies. An initial consultation and diagnostic lab work is required to determine if it is right for you. Learn more here.
IV Nutrient Therapy:
An online health questionnaire is required and reviewed prior to your first infusion. If screening labs are necessary, we will discuss those with you and can draw them here. Currently available are Myers cocktail with custom variations, Vitamin C, Glutathione, and NAD+, as well as many others. Come see for yourself how intravenous vitamin therapy can make all the difference! Cost varies based on protocol, starts at $150 for a basic Myers drip. Learn more here.
Classic B12 (both methylcobalamin and hydroxycobalamin available) as well as MIC (“fat-burning”) B12 for a boost of energy and metabolism. Vitamin D3 and glutathione injections also available $15 to $40
Aesthetic/Plastic Surgery Services:
Once you’re feeling amazing, you’re going to want to look that way too! Dr. Katherine has partnered with her husband (the other Dr. B) to provide convenient and accessible aesthetic services and surgery consultations in our beautiful downtown location on Thursdays from 1-7 and Tuesdays 9-12 at the 5 Forks office, as well as occasional Saturday hours. Learn more here.
Payment – We may require a deposit to secure your appointment. Payment is due at the time of service and for programs and memberships will be automatically charged monthly. We are out of network and do not accept private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. You may use your HSA/FSA card.
We can provide you with a HCFA form and coded receipts to submit for reimbursement (except for Medicaid and Medicare). However, you are ultimately responsible for submitting the appropriate documentation that your insurance company requires for reimbursement. Please contact your insurance company if you have questions. Submission of a claim for reimbursement does not guarantee payment and is subject to specific health plan benefits.
We will not negotiate or appeal insurance claims for you. Check with your insurance company about your out-of-network benefits, especially for lab testing. If you are unsure, please take advantage of the low cash prices for labs we offer at our office to avoid potentially high charges for insurance non-coverage.
Due to the amount of time reserved for your appointment, we require notification of cancellation no less than 3 business days before your appointment. Fees may apply.
How do I know this will work for me?
Functional medicine is highly dependent on honesty, commitment, and patience. You have to believe in Dr. Katherine, yourself, and the process. Although Dr. Katherine has a high rate of success and your plan will be thoroughly researched and customized to your unique health status and your personal goals, no guarantees can be assured regarding the outcomes of nutritional protocols, dietary changes, or lifestyle modifications.
How do you do virtual visits?
UPDATE: At this time Dr. Katherine IS unable to provide consultation services across state lines without an initial in-person visit. If you cannot travel to see her, do not apply for consultation. At some point the laws may become more clear, but as an MD Dr. Katherine is held to a higher standard than other practitioners of functional medicine.
Virtual visits are for individuals who cannot or ￼choose not to be seen in the office at least once per year. In such a case, a legally binding doctor/patient relationship is not established. Thus, the “telemedicine” or virtual consultation is for educational and health coaching purposes only. Assessments and recommendations are intended to assist you and your local health care provider in using natural means to support your health. Recommendations are not intended to serve as a medical diagnosis or treatment. If you are unable to come to Dr. Katherine in person for initial consultation but wish to have an in-person consultation, in some cases arrangements can be made for me to come to you. Otherwise, she is happy to discuss your health needs and coach you back to health via virtual visits. These consultations are for advice and guidance, but please note that Dr. Katherine will be unable to treat you “medically” and will be unable to include this communication as part of your official medical record. Please message her if you have any questions.
In order to give you the full concierge experience, you will meet Dr. Katherine online as if you were in her office, and test kits can be shipped directly to you to be collected. Since she is unable to do a physical exam, there are certain instances where a virtual visit would not be appropriate. In most cases, however, Dr. Katherine can take you through the process without you having to travel to see her!
What is your cancellation policy?
When you call and schedule an appointment, time is reserved especially for you and no one else. Since the appointments are much longer than standard office visits, cancellations are significant interruptions to the schedule. Thus, a minimum of 7 days’ notice is required for cancellations of new patient visits and 2 days’ notice for existing patients. There is a 50% office visit charge for “no-shows” or late cancellations.
What are your rates?
Please see the consultation page for more information. Dr. Katherine works with a limited number of clients at a time which allows her to concentrate on your case and work closely with you towards your goals.
How do I send you my medical records?
Medical records can only be released with your authorization. It is your responsibility to obtain previous medical records from other physicians or health care providers that you want Dr. Katherine to review. If you feel your medical records are pertinent to your appointment with her, please contact your physician or other health care provider to obtain these records and make sure that she has received them at least 14 days prior to your initial appointment. Your medical records can be mailed or faxed to Dr. Katherine office at 864.626.0609 or uploaded directly to your patient portal if you are a registered patient.
Do I have to buy my supplements from you?
There are no requirements that you buy them from Dr. Katherine, only that you use the ones she recommends or approves. She uses the highest quality, purest supplements in order to guarantee results and reduce potential reactions. If you buy other brands in order to save money, you take the risk of getting substandard or contaminated products. Don’t bargain shop when it’s your health that’s on the line. You’ll end up wasting money, or worse, damaging your health.
What happens if I need to go to the hospital or see a specialist?
In providing patients with superb care and unprecedented access to her as their functional medicine physician, Dr. Katherine intends to prevent or reduce hospitalizations and specialty referrals. In those circumstances, she will certainly continue to serve you however she can during your hospital stay or visits with specialists. In some cases, depending on the level of care and the sorts of expertise required, she will rely on those specialized caregivers to manage your treatment.
What kind of labs do you do?
Dr. Katherine uses specialty laboratories for most of her testing, but she also uses Quest for more conventional testing. During your consultation, she will determine which tests are needed and then review the testing recommendations, the instructions and cost. Some testing can be performed at home with test kits to collect urine, saliva or stool samples. Others may require a blood draw at a specific time of day. Dr. Katherine can draw blood at the office. Some patients may elect to use a concierge lab draw service for the utmost in convenience!
Do you take insurance?
Dr. Katherine does not accept any insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid.
THERE ARE MANY INDIVIDUAL FACTORS INVOLVED IN HEALTHCARE COSTS AND PRICING:
- The fraction of the total cost that your insurance covers, which varies by plan (ex. 80:20)
- The amount you have already paid for healthcare expenses this year (your deductible)
- If your insurance provider is “in network” or “out of network” with the lab performing the testing
- Whether you meet medical criteria required by insurance for coverage of your testing
Dr. Katherine recommends that you check with your insurance provider about your “out of network” benefits and deductible to better understand any restrictions or financial obligations you may have under your current plan. For instance, if you have to meet a large deductible before labs are covered, you may decide that paying cash is a more affordable option and may apply to your deductible for the year. She offers all labs to you at a discounted cash price, but some lab companies will take a co-pay and bill your insurance depending on your coverage.
Her practice is highly specialized and uses advanced and sometimes controversial diagnostic studies and interventions, many of which are not covered by the average health insurance plan, nor should they be. Insurance coverage is really meant for emergencies, non-elective surgeries, expensive medications, routine labs and radiology, and injuries – not health improvement and maintenance.
A growing number of doctors have moved away from accepting insurance because they are tired of insurance companies dictating the amount of time and type of care they can provide their patients.
In the insurance system, every encounter must be submitted as a billing claim to the insurance carrier in order for the doctor to get paid. The doctor only gets a small portion of the billing as payment. Therefore, doctors in the insurance system must see 3,000 patients or more per year (that’s about 30-40 visits per day) just to generate enough billing claims to pay for an office and make a living. This is why you wait so long for an appointment, only to get a few rushed minutes with your doctor.
The insurance system also limits the type of care you get. Your doctor is only able to discuss issues pertaining to the specific visit type so the encounter can fit into an insurance billing claim. Many labs aren’t covered if you don’t have a particular condition that justifies checking them. If you have another issue, you have to schedule another appointment. Most doctors are as frustrated as you are about it.
Dr. Katherine won’t sacrifice her patients’ care. She chooses her patients’ well-being over insurance payments. Because of this choice, she has complete freedom to provide highly personalized, cutting-edge, and unrushed care. Her patients know they can reach her with questions almost any time of the day, any day of the week. She doesn’t need extra staff just to handle insurance claims. Any issue can be discussed that needs to be addressed at any appointment. The focus is on building optimal health, not doing the “bare minimum” or just treating the symptoms of illness after it happens. In this kind of high-value health care practice, you truly get what you pay for.
Can you be my primary care doctor?
Dr. Katherine’s services are as a rule limited to that of consultation only. She requires that you maintain a working relationship with a primary care doctor for routine screening exams such as physical exams, pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, prostate exams, vaccinations and acute illness care or emergency situations requiring immediate attention or hospitalization. If you have a team of specialists, Dr. Katherine respectfully asks you continue to see them as needed. Her services are an enhancement to – not instead of – your standard medical care.
Do you only see patients in South Carolina?
Though many of her patients are located in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, Dr. Katherine has the ability to work with patients wherever they may be by way of virtual office visits. She prefers the first visit to be in person, and that can be in her home office or a house call. That kind of one-on-one personalized initial visit can be of tremendous benefit. If we’re going to be working closely together, she needs to know about your life, family, and environment. If you have a fast internet connection, a telemedicine platform or Skype can be used. Dr. Katherine can ship test kits anywhere in the U.S. for you to collect and send to the specialty labs she uses.