Is Dr. Cuccia a primary care physician?
No. Although Dr. Cuccia was trained as a primary care physician, he does not provide acute care services. He will work with you closely as a consultant and coach in preventive, nutritional and functional medicine to help you address the roots of chronic health problems.
Where do I do the recommended testing?
Most can be performed at Cuccia Health Institute. Several test kits can be performed at home to collect urine, saliva or stool. Cuccia Health Institute has a part time phlebotomist to draw other tests or you can use a local laboratory of your choice. In all cases, we will assist you in coordinating initial and follow-up testing. During your initial consultation, Dr. Cuccia will determine which tests are needed and then a team member will review each test recommendations, instructions (fasting or non-fasting, etc.) and costs.
Testing is done to assess gastrointestinal function, nutritional status (vitamin/mineral levels, amino acids), oxidative stress, mitochondrial function, food/chemical allergies and sensitivities, neurotransmitter levels, adrenal function and heavy metals. Also available are genetic/SNP testing, hormone levels, mycotoxins, MARCONS and many others. See our ‘Services” tab for details.
Do I need to see Dr. Cuccia for the initial consultation? What about follow-up visits?
Dr. Cuccia prefers that he meet face to face with a new patient in order to provide an initial medical consultation. Although we love to have in-person follow-up visits, these can be done over the phone as a phone consultations. The more time we spend together, the more communication, understanding and trust develops which are the pillars of establishing and empowering the patient-doctor relationship and a successful journey of healing.
Does Dr. Cuccia prescribe medications?
Yes. He does so when necessary and very strategically while supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms with nutritional supplements and lifestyle interventions.
Does Cuccia Health Institute accept insurance?
No. We do not accept insurance or Medicare, and we do not file insurance paperwork on your behalf. WE DO NOT ASSIST WITH ANY INSURANCE CLAIM RESOLUTION OR RESPOND TO INSURANCE CARRIER REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
However, we will provide a detailed receipt for services performed for you to submit to your insurance carriers.
Health Savings accounts (HSA) can be used to pay for your consultation and lab fees. We also provide information for Advance Care credit, an independent financial services company which may help cover your costs.
Payment in full is due at the time of services provided and can be done with cash, check or credit card (VISA, MC, Discover, AMEX)
Will my medical insurance reimburse me for my consultation or lab tests?
Although you can file with your insurance company, our experience has unfortunately shown: DO NOT EXPECT ANY REIMBURSEMENT.
We have found that some insurance companies request additional information that is very specific and specialized to that provider. Given the large number of discrepancies between what each company requires and the time needed to meet those requests, we do NOT assist with insurance reimbursement above and beyond the diagnosis and tests codes and receipt given at check-out.
We provide you with your diagnosis and test codes and a receipt so that you may file for reimbursement with your insurance provider if you choose to do so.
When filing with your insurance company, there are several documents you are required to send in. These documents include everything your insurance company should need:
Consultation note, invoice: The consultation note will have your ICD 10 codes. This form will be given to you at check-out . We will also give you CPT codes for the applicable lab kits you will perform. Blood work through Lab Corp, Quest, etc will be on your lab order form.
Insurance form: This form is specific to your insurance company of which you will need to obtain from them. We offer two types of lab testing, Conventional Lab Testing and Functional Medicine Lab Testing.
Conventional labs are those that you are likely already familiar with. These are the labs such as thyroid testing, vitamin D and cholesterol, to name a few. Dr. Cuccia differs from your conventional doctor in that he may order many more lab tests and then interpret them though the functional medicine lens as he correlates them with your symptoms while looking at optimal levels rather than normal ranges. There are two ways of paying for conventional lab testing:
Submit through your Insurance. We will not collect payment for these tests. We highly recommend calling your insurance provider prior to your initial appointment to understand your coverage for labs
“Cash pay” of which you pay Cuccia Heath Institute for labs which we have negotiated to discounted rates which we pass on to you. This is recommended if you have minimal or no insurance coverage or a high deductible. We will collect payment for these labs and because of the discounted rate you may not file for reimbursement with your insurance provider.
Functional Medicine Lab Testing:
We use superior quality, cutting-edge functional lab tests to assess critical details regarding your body’s biochemical landscape and “machinery” which helps to uncover the root cause of your illness. These tests may or may NOT be covered by your insurance company and therefore we have you pay our office for the labs and then we pay the lab company directly on your behalf. At checkout, we will provide you with the necessary paperwork (as stated above) and codes in order for you to file for reimbursement from your insurance provider. You may also use funds from a Health Savings Account (HSA) to cover the costs of these tests.
Do you think you can help me with my health problem?
“I don’t believe there is any health problem that would not benefit from the Functional Medicine approach which addresses and corrects underlying nutrient deficiencies, hidden infections, food/chemical sensitivities, neuroadrenal dysfunction, hormone balance and toxic exposures.” Dr. Cuccia
By doing so, we have had the privilege of assisting many patients, who had previously endured years of severe symptoms and “all your tests are negative; it’s all in your head,” reclaim their health and then help them with effective prevention of chronic diseases.
How much does it cost?
INITIAL CONSULTATION FEES
Initial consultation: (60-minutes) $300
Cost of laboratory tests can range from $300 to $5,000 and can be prioritized for you. Costs may increase based on the increasing complexity of your case.
FOLLOW-UP CONSULTATION FEES (office visit or phone consultation)
50 Minutes: $200
25 Minutes: $100
What is the average cost of a new patient visit including tests and supplements?
Every patient is different and the cost of your first visit will depend heavily on the complexity of your health issues which dictate the number of lab tests and functional testing kits required to uncover the roots of your problems.
Generally, we have found that initial appointments usually average between $2,000 and $5,000.
Dr. Cuccia rarely recommends supplements on the initial visit as he prefers the “test, not guess” approach and gather all the necessary information from which he will create your health restoration “blueprint” which contains your specific, individualized supplement, medication, dietary recommendations. Some supplements are temporary though others are often needed as foundational and health maintenance support.
How many follow up visits do I need?
This all depends on the severity and complexity of your health issues.
Dr. Cuccia believes that the educated patient is the compliant patient is the healthy patient. He spends a significant amount of time educating you on each of the functional medicine lab results and conventional lab results. Some tests can be grouped together (ie, breath test, stool analysis, intestinal permeability for GastroIntestinal function). He explains these in detail and how it causes your symptoms and health issues.
We have found this requires 4-5 50- minute follow up visits unless there are other severe issues which require more visits to uncover causes and create/adjust your plan.
Though the healing process for each person is different, we usually see positive changes at 3 months.
There are some functional tests, especially if the initial test reveals significant abnormalities, that may be need to be repeated several months later in order to show resolution and restoration. This is similar to having an abnormal blood level then having a follow up sample done a few months later (ie, elevated blood sugar, A1c for diabetics).
What credit cards do you accept?
It is important to maintain an active credit card on file with our office for billing of follow-up consultations, laboratory testing, and other services. Payment is expected at time of service.
What do I need to bring to the appointment?
Though not necessary, we recommend bringing your spouse, a friend or an advocate who may help you in your healing journey. This is especially important if you are having significant brain fog, fatigue or experiencing significant debility.
Medical records, especially conventional lab testing, imaging >6 months old, are rarely helpful. However, if you feel some of these are pertinent, then please send them in with your intake packet prior to your visit to give Dr. Cuccia time to review.
Please bring a signed copy of the Patient Policies and Procedures.
Where are you located?
Cuccia Health Institute is located in the Mandeville, Louisiana which is on the northshore of Lake Ponchartrain just above New Orleans. The Institute is only five blocks from this beautiful lake which formerly held the title for longest bridge in the world, “ The Causeway.”
A vibrant, family friendly community, Mandeville (and its neighboring Covington) boasts many happenings and hospitalities as well as numerous outdoor activities. Hotel accommodations are readily available for our out-of-town patients.
Whom do I contact to become a patient?
You can call the office at 985-231-6750 or email: email@example.com
Usually, we can take care of all your questions via phone or email.
Your location is inconvenient, what do I do?
Only the initial visit has to be in person. All other follow up appointments can be done by phone.