Questions & Answers
Restoring Hope, One Patient at a Time
“I have hypothyroidism. I had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, was overweight and a borderline Type 2 diabetic. Approximately seven years ago, I found the most wonderful, caring, kind, knowledgeable doctor ever. To sum it up, Dr. Steven Roach saved my life.” —Darelene M., Fort Mills, SC
How does Carolinas Thyroid Institute differ from a traditional medical office?
We are a Functional Medicine practice, with an emphasis on hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease. (See Hashimoto’s Disease, under Low-Thyroid Problems.) The goal of Dr. Steven Roach is to restore genuine wellness to patients suffering with hypothyroid symptoms, rather than to mask symptoms with more pharmaceuticals. This approach is explained on the Functional Medicine page in the Menu.
What if I live at a distance and can’t get to Carolinas Thyroid Institute?
Dr. Steven Roach wants every patient to get needed help, regardless of location. He does nationwide, long-distance appointments via phone or Skype; therefore, new patients are accepted from anywhere in the United States.
Following consultation, patients receive a list of necessary blood tests and are directed to the closest Lab Patient Service Center for blood draw. If other specialty stool or urine lab tests are required, collection kits will be shipped directly to patients for home collection and for shipment of specimens to the lab. Frequent follow-up phone visits will be scheduled throughout the patient’s treatment program to monitor progress and to make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan, as needed.
What’s the first step in treatment?
The first step is to schedule a free, informative, 15-minute phone consultation with Dr. Steven Roach, for a brief discussion of your health concerns and to determine if our approach is a good fit for your situation. You can CLICK HERE or call (704) 853-8000.
Does your treatment involve pharmaceuticals?
No, we do not prescribe pharmaceuticals for treatment. Most of our patients are already getting thyroid replacement hormone from their primary-care physicians; and in most cases, these patients need to continue to take this medication.
Our treatment involves finding and targeting the reason why this thyroid hormone is not producing the desired results. When a patient is already on thyroid medication and still suffering with symptoms, a physician might suggest yet another pharmaceutical (an anti-depressant, a drug for constipation, etc.) with side effects. These drugs target symptoms only, without ever finding the underlying cause. This is both potentially harmful and very frustrating for patients.
If no pharmaceuticals, what do you use for treatment?
First, finding the real reason(s) the patient doesn’t feel well is crucial. An immune system problem involving too much inflammation, for instance, might be one culprit. Once the underlying causes are clear, treatment will involve diet; lifestyle changes; and natural, pharmaceutical-grade, nutritional and herbal supplement recommendations.
Pharmaceutical-grade means these supplements are from laboratories that work closely with researchers. These labs guarantee a much higher purity and quality than anything found in a health-food store, for instance. Also, they are in unique combinations, based on years of medical research. These supplements are supplied through Functional Medicine doctors, in their treatment protocols. The goal is to work with your body to bring healing naturally, not to subject the body to even more pharmaceuticals.
What else does the diagnostic and treatment process involve?
Step 1 was the free, 15-minute phone consultation with Dr. Steven Roach—(704) 853-8000—to discuss your particular health concerns.
Step 2: If our practice is a good fit for your needs, we will mail you a Comprehensive Case History and Questionnaire to complete and to return to our office, in preparation for your next office/phone visit.
Step 3: During the second office/phone visit, we will review your Case History and Questionnaire; we’ll order the necessary blood tests; and we’ll give you information to find the nearest lab patient service center for a blood draw.
Step 4: After receiving your lab results, we will schedule an office/phone visit for a Report of Findings (approx. 60 minutes) to review your blood tests results, to determine if any further testing is indicated, and to discuss our treatment recommendations.
Step 5: Some tests may need to be repeated to see what changed and to make alterations to treatment protocols. Testing again will provide medical data to match the fact that you are feeling better. If you follow doctor recommendations, you will find success in the process. To feel better, be ready to change those things within your power.
If treating the immune system is so important for Hashimoto’s patients, why don’t physicians in our traditional healthcare system do it?
First, these doctors are using an outdated model from decades ago. They don’t acknowledge this immune process to patients, because they have no answer for it. There isn’t the office time; there isn’t the interest; and there isn’t the insurance coverage to explore immune-system problems in Hashimoto’s patients.
Also, the majority of these physicians have had no or little training in either nutrition or the use of natural supplements, so treatment involves pharmaceuticals only. Insurance will cover drug treatment and operations, but it will not cover lab tests for a more comprehensive approach to autoimmune health. A patient’s insurance often dictates that doctors run the bare minimum of tests.
How much does the whole treatment process cost?
The Complete Case Review Consultation and Report of Findings cost $95. Any further appointments and costs depend upon the health needs of each patient. These needs will be discussed in detail during the Report of Findings visit, and patients can choose how they would like to proceed with recommendations. We want to make the process work for you and will do whatever we can to help you feel happy, strong, and whole again.
Can I use my health insurance to pay for services?
Patients may use a personal HSA (Health Savings Account) or HRA (Healthcare Reimbursement Account) to pay for services, but insurance carriers are not billed for appointments, nutritional supplements, or tests. It is possible, however, that your intial blood test may be covered by your insurance carrier. During the initial, free 15-minute phone consultation, Dr. Steven Roach will discuss the possibility of insurance coverage for this test.
Unfortunately, health-insurance providers have no good answers for people with chronic conditions and do not understand a natural approach to healthcare, which involves illness prevention, a better diagnostic process, and natural treatment without prescription drugs. Exposing and treating the root cause of a chronic condition, instead of masking it with drugs, is the core philosophy of Functional Medicine, and it is our philosophy at Carolinas Thyroid Institute.
Genuine patient wellness is our goal here. As a result, this practice operates on a self-pay basis and doesn’t participate in health-insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. (See more below about keeping our costs affordable and financing options.)
How can I afford lab tests that aren’t paid for by my insurance company?
Carolinas Thyroid Institute is part of a lab CO-OP for lab tests, so we get an excellent rate on these tests. Some tests might require blood, stool or urine collections, but we will work with you to get the tests needed at the lowest possible cost. We have no financial interest in any lab, and your cost is exactly what our office is charged.
Are there options for financing my treatment?
There are financing options available through our office, as well as payment options to minimize immediate out-of-pocket expenses. We will work with your particular needs.