About Compass Center Functional Medicine, PLC
The mission of Compass Center Functional Medicine is to help patients navigate the terrain of complex and often conflicting diagnostic and treatment options, and to facilitate the fullest extent of healing possible by addressing lifestyle imbalances and other root causes of illness.
Upon scheduling, patients are emailed a link to complete a detailed intake form via LivingMatrix. This helps identify subtle clues to the underlying causes of symptoms that are easily missed in the conventional medical setting. The focus of the initial visit will be to gain an understanding the patient's story, priorities and goals, and to mutually decide which laboratory testing options and treatment options are most appropriate and feasible. A one-size-fits all approach doesn't fit anyone well, so the goal is to individualize care to the fullest extent possible. While not required, working with a certified functional medicine health coach is highly encouraged since this approach greatly improves patient outcomes and ultimately reduces the total cost of care.
Obtaining a detailed medical history and teaching lifestyle modification yields much greater benefit than simply prescribing medications to treat symptoms, but is also much more time intensive. Since the additional time required to identify and manage the root causes of illnesses is not well reimbursed by most insurance plans, Compass Center Functional Medicine does not contract with or bill insurance. Patients with private insurance are provided an invoice with the necessary codes to self-submit for possible reimbursement at the out-of-network rate. However, patients with Medicare, Medicaid and HMO plans are not eligible for reimbursement. The broad array of lab and diagnostic tests used by both conventional and functional medicine practitioners are typically processed though insurance, unless high deductibles make the lower priced direct cash pay option a better option for a given individual. Some of the specialty labs used by functional medicine practitioners are outside the scope of standard, conventional care and therefore are not covered by any insurance plans. Office visit and lab fees can usually be submitted to flexible spending accounts.
New patient visits are typically 90 minutes in duration. Patients pay a deposit at the time of scheduling and the balance the day of the visit. Payments in the form of cash, check (private or from health savings account), and all major credit cards all accepted. The deposit is non-refundable and will be forfeited if the appointment is missed or rescheduled with less than 1 week notice. Follow-up visits may range anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the conditions being addressed and patient preference.
Connie Arispe, MD, IFMCP
Connie Arispe, MD, IFMCP obtained her medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, is board certified in family medicine, and received her functional medicine certification from The Institute for Functional Medicine. She has been employed by Mercy Medical Center North Iowa since 1992, and started her private functional medicine practice in 2017. At Compass Center Functional Medicine, PLC, she uses a systems approach to identify and manage the root causes of illness, such as genetic vulnerability, nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, toxicity, chronic infection, and chronic stress. She uses a variety of treatment modalities to support the body's natural mechanisms for healing, but still utilizes conventional prescription medications when needed. She also practices conventional family medicine part-time at Garner Medical Clinic. Maintaining active practices in both functional medicine and conventional medicine makes her a better physician in both settings and allows her to more effectively bridge the gap between the two models of care.