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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Answers


Why don’t you accept my insurance?

I became a naturopathic doctor because I believe that my sole mission in life is to help other people heal. When I say heal, I am talking about something that betters you physically, emotionally, or spiritually in such a profound way that it brings an expansive, fresh wholeness to your life.

Dealing with insurance companies pulls me away from my mission to help other people heal. The amount of time that’s required to deal with insurance companies could fill the Grand Canyon. The overwhelming amount of paperwork it generates, the perpetual phone tag, the long hold times that crick your neck, the denied claims, the not getting paid by them for 3-6 months after the appointment, and then the fighting for your money.

The health insurance industry does not share my mission to help other people heal. In fact, the health insurance company doesn’t really care about you. The way the health insurance companies work is at odds with helping people heal. Being contracted with insurance is like trying to steer a boat with one rower paddling north and the other rower paddling south. Opposing forces can’t move in the same direction. Taking insurance holds me back from practicing the way I really want to practice.
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What do you mean by “cash-based”, and can I still submit claims to my insurance?

Not accepting health insurance makes me an out of network provider. In the health business world, this is known as a “cash-based” practice. That phrase is a little deceiving because it sounds like my practice only accepts payment in dollar bills. What a cash-based practice means is that it doesn’t accept insurance — patients are responsible for paying for their own care, whether they pay with cash, check, or credit card. Some people have out of network benefits on their insurance plan, and if this is the case, these people will be provided a service invoice (known as a “superbill”) which they can later submit to their insurance company for financial reimbursement.
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What about using my insurance for labs or imaging?

Most labs and imaging centers can still process their services through your insurance at your request.
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How can I schedule an appointment?

Appointments can be scheduled at least 1 day in advance (not same-day) using our online scheduling system. Since new patients must have all forms submitted at least 3 business days in advance, make sure to schedule your appointment far enough out for Dr. Archer to receive and review your forms.
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Why do you require payment before the appointment?

We ask you to pay ahead of time in order to streamline your visit as much as possible. Since there is no front desk staff, Dr. Archer would have to stop your appointment early to handle payment processing. Those extra minutes go right back into your personal care. Having already paid for your appointment makes everything flow more smoothly. You just have to show up on time and have your appointment. No more awkward “time to pony up” chats at the end, without any idea what you will owe. Our fees are transparent for your benefit!
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What if I need a same-day appointment for acute illness, and therefore can’t schedule in advance?

Dr. Archer tries to hold open a few appointments at the end of her day for established patient acute visits. To schedule these, you’ll need to call or text* the office phone and leave a message before 11am of the day you wish to be seen. Dr. Archer will check for acute appointment requests at that time, and will respond to confirm an appointment. Payment will be received at the time of service.
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What if I need to cancel my appointment?

Cancellations can be done online and must be made at least 24 hours prior to the appointment in order to be fully refunded. A $50 fee will be withheld from any cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the appointment.
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Are supplements and labs included in the appointment cost?

No. Appointment costs do not cover any supplements, labs, or other tests. They will become separate charges. Things like supplements must be purchased in person, while labs may be billed later.
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How do you offer “free” vaccines for children?

Vaccines are provided by the state of Washington. Archerfriendly Wellness simply absorbs the cost of administering them to children that have already established care with the practice. While the state and our business incurs costs for this service, the patient will not be charged.
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How can I reach you after-hours for urgent concerns?

Dr. Atkins is available for brief, after-hours consults for urgent concerns for established patients.

Please note that she is not available to take or return urgent phone calls during her regular office hours, due to actively seeing other patients. These times include:

  • Monday, 11am – 6pm
  • Tuesday, 9am – 11am
  • Wednesday, 9am – 7pm
  • Friday, 9am – 4pm
  • Saturdays, intermittently (voicemail will be updated accordingly)

Dr. Archer will get back to you within 1 hour, provided you are calling outside the hours listed above. If your medical concern cannot wait for a 1 hour response, then you need to go to the emergency room.

You will be billed at the rate of $200/hr. You are only billed for the time Dr. Archer is on the phone with you.
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Is there another way to reach you if I have a health related question that is not urgent?

For non-urgent health concerns, established patients can email* Dr. Archer directly (email listed in your new patient binder). Dr. Archer will respond within 36 hours. You will be billed at the rate of $175/hr (this includes time to read your message, investigate your concerns, respond to you, and to add notes to your medical record).

While some questions can be answered easily over email, Dr. Archer may defer your question by recommending that you make an appointment instead.
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Why do you charge for health related emails?

Dr. Archer carefully reads all of the health related emails you send. For every email you send, Dr. Archer reads it, looks up your health information in your chart, considers what to say to respond, responds, and then has to stick a copy of the correspondence in your chart. This process takes time and there is no such thing as a “quick” email when the email is transmitted in a doctor-patient relationship.

Dr. Archer also gets multiple emails a day. She could easily spend an 8 hour work day responding to health related emails. If this day was unpaid, our practice would be losing money and we would need to raise our office visit rates to accommodate for “free” emailing. There are costs involved for Dr. Archer to both read and respond to your email. If she responds outside of office hours, it’s at the expense of personal/family time.
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What if I need to contact you about something not health related, like billing, online scheduling issues, or other business related questions?

You can leave a message on the office phone. Dr. Archer will try to respond within 3 business days. There is no charge for these types of issues or questions.
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Do you offer discounts or a sliding scale?

Because we already discount our services for children, we do not offer any other discounts. All prices are final.
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My friend told me that Dr. Archer is a Christian naturopathic doctor, is that correct?

Yes. Dr. Archer is a Christian, although she’s not a big fan of labels. She believes that God is in the restoration business, and she loves being a part of that by working to restore your health in all ways. She currently attends New Life Foursquare Church in Everett.
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Can you pray for me during my appointment?

Yes! Dr. Archer would love to pray for you during your appointment. If you would like healing prayer, please ask for it at the beginning of your appointment. Dr. Archer only prays with patients when it’s requested by the patient.
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* Emails, though secure and encrypted while being sent and received, as well as phone text messages over SMS, are not considered HIPAA compliant methods of communication.