Choosing a pediatrician and a practice is an important decision for families, and is a relationship that should be well-matched.
I have briefly answered frequently asked questions that may assist families.
Thank you, Dr. Stanton
What are the benefits to your practice?
Mindful Pediatrics is solely me (Dr. Stanton) communicating and doing virtual care and home visits with my limited number of families. No waiting rooms, no rushed visits, no talking to staff instead of the doctor, no medical providers who do not know your child, no competing with thousands of other patients, no having to conform to "cookie cutter" medicine. Instead, families will have an exclusive phone number and application to text, call and video the doctor. For well child appointments, families will get 1 hour of exclusive time with their pediatrician who truly knows their child and can provide individualized care. It is truly going back to the original doctor-patient relationship. This model of care, called Direct Primary Care, has many benefits. More time and direct access to your doctor has shown to improve health outcomes, decrease referrals, decrease urgent care visits, and provide better quality of care to keep patients more well. You will be amazed at the convenience and higher quality of care by having direct access to your child's physician and in-home visits.
I also provide wellness guidance and natural approaches to care because I have more time to address the whole child during appointments and I have training in nutrition and wellness. At Mindful Pediatrics, I can truly care for your child's mind, body, spirit and environment!
Why are you out of network with insurance companies?
Long story short: To remove all barriers between me and my patients to take care of kids better! For long story see my blog post My Return to the Doctor-Patient Relationship. My practice is going back to the simpler and better ways of direct doctor and patient relationship without the barriers in between!
Of note: Mindful Pediatrics is not able to provide services for patients who are Medicare beneficiaries.
Why do you charge a monthly fee per child?
This fee pays for the direct access and virtual care families receive. It allows me to limit the membership so I can use my time directly providing care. It includes tele-video visits which can help manage most acute issues. Families receive numerous benefits with direct access to their doctor: convenience, better care by a physician who knows your child, ability to monitor closely to allow the body to heal itself before jumping to medications, and can decrease urgent care visits. It is a higher level of care than other clinics are able to provide. Plus, many area nurse lines and clinics are starting to charge for calls, therefore some are having to pay for this service regardless.
In order to focus on the families that do commit to my practice, I will not provide services to families who do not become members of the practice.
Why are there fees for visits?
This is another way to improve quality of care. Paying the doctor directly saves resources the doctor can then use to care for patients. You get what you pay for applies here: insurance "covers" 10 minutes of a doctor's time, whereas my check-ups are 1 hour in length.
It also is more transparent than going through a 3rd party payer. What I do for your child will be discussed and decided upon with the family before the service is rendered. Families will always know the exact fee before it is done, not after you get a bill or explanation of benefits in the mail. Visits are able to be associated with insurance billing codes, and can be eligible to use HSA funds and/or out-of-network reimbursements from insurance. Of course consult with your individual policy for details.
What is included with visits?
You can get 3 services in 1 provider: primary care, wellness management, and integrative medicine management. Every visit will have the typical elements of a primary care clinical visit. I will also have the additional time needed for wellness evaluation and management: diet, supplements, mindfulness, and environmental modifications. As with other specialties, if your child needs more extensive functional medicine or alternative treatments that are beyond my skills or expertise, I have a referral base that can assist with that.
What is not included with visit fees?
There are certain equipment and supplies that are not included in the visit fee for in-home labs, procedures and vaccines. These services will be provided to members at cost, and are far lower than other clinics charge. The fees are direct and discussed ahead of time before the procedure. Vaccines themselves are an additional cost to the practice, and I will work with families to find the best option through my business or through in-network options.
Why home visits?
When I started my practice, I did not want the rushed atmosphere of a mainstream clinic that made it difficult to provide holistic care. Home visits is another way to center my care around the family's needs. Studies have shown improvement in health outcomes with home visits. This is because everyone is more comfortable, focused, has more time, and the provider a better picture of the “whole” patient.
Home visits also decrease the exposure of patients and families to potential illnesses that can spread in busy waiting rooms and rushed clinics. It also allows me to be more flexible with families who are choosing alternative medical and vaccine choices.
What is your service area?
Home visit service area is 30 minutes from my home in Olathe, KS: which is most of the Kansas City metro area.
I do have Kansas and Missouri medical licenses to serve families in both states.
What is your vaccine and medical decision making policy?
I empathize with families navigating the healthcare system and America's challenges to protect and make decisions for their child. I am an open-minded healthcare provider who is supportive of each family's unique benefit/risk ratio and medical choices. I support families and the full range of medical decisions and choices. Again, my practice's goal is to center around the needs of the family.
Hours of operation:
Since I provide direct access 24/7, there are no traditionally set hours. I will be available for all reasons from 8 am-6 pm Monday-Friday. Outside of those “regular business hours”, I will answer urgent and emergent concerns, and do acute/sick visits for an additional fee.
Does the child still need health insurance?
Insurance can still play a role in the child's healthcare. Although Mindful Pediatrics operates out of network, families will be provided with the necessary documentation to file for reimbursement with their insurance provider. Families may also be able to use health savings or flex savings accounts towards fees, again check with the account policy. Mindful Pediatrics also works for families who have health sharing plans, Medicaid, and self-pay.
If your child needs outside labs or radiology, I have options of ordering these to minimize out of pocket costs. Quest and Children's Mercy Hospital are in-network with most 3rd party payers, and I have negotiated lower cash-pay prices for labs through Quest. Referrals to specialists can also be managed to minimize costs.
What does a family need to prepare for home visit?
Nothing! I will bring the equipment needed for primary care in a doctor's bag just like doctors did 50 years ago: scale, vitals monitoring, and medical supplies. We can do the exam and any procedures in a common living area: on a blanket on the floor, table, couch...even outside on a porch or patio!
Do you care for patients in hospitals?
Since I am not in-network with insurance companies, I do not provide services in hospitals. But I will always help coordinate care and see my patients after they leave the hospital or birth center.
What is mindfulness?
The definition of mindfulness is the state of being conscious or aware of something. To me it is a way of living: taking the extra effort to think about the impact of your decisions. My husband came up with the name Mindful Pediatrics. We chose it because my goal is to apply this way of living to my practice and the care I provide. The Mindful Pediatrics motto is to be mindful of the whole child: to take care of a child’s mind, body, spirit and environment. The Mindful Pediatrics logo was designed by my daughter to symbolize these aspects. The 4 leaves to depict these 4 holistic parts of a child’s wellness. The child is a tree symbolizing the roots a child needs and the growth the child goes through. The home symbolizes all that care is given within a child’s home.
What do you do to decrease cross-contamination?
I will do all the measures necessary to prevent cross-contamination. The best way I will do this is limiting the number of patients: Mindful Pediatrics has 1/10th the number of patients as a regular practice which exposes everyone to less germs. Plus the patient is not coming to a clinic exposing themselves to other patients, families, and staff. The only staff at Mindful Pediatrics is Dr. Stanton: no front desk, medical assistants, nurses, advanced level practitioners, or other physicians.
I disinfect equipment using a non-toxic disinfectant that is an EPA approved medical grade disinfectant: hypochlorous acid spray made out of salt and water, see Force of Nature for more information.
What is your practice doing to care for children during COVID19 pandemic?
First, healthy children still need preventative care. Well-child checks are important to make sure children are growing, developing, and their wellness is optimized. This is a difficult time for children, and more important to make sure your child’s mind, body and spirit are well. Having a home visit has less potential exposure than going to a fully staffed and busy clinic. Besides the measures Dr. Stanton normally takes during visits, she will still take extra precautions while COVID19 has community spread. She will wear a medical grade mask. She will screen families for symptoms and risk factors before the appointment. She is the only employee so there is less worry and risk of exposure for patients.
For children who are ill, direct access to Dr. Stanton through messaging, phone and tele-health will help families manage their child. Families can notify Dr. Stanton directly for advise and guidance. If your child is ill and requires a home visit, Dr. Stanton has extra equipment and protective gear. If testing is needed, Dr. Stanton has access to COVID19 PCR testing she has been using for patients with timely and accurate results.