Frequently Asked Questions

Before contacting Laura Lagano Nutrition LLC, please review the following frequently asked questions:

What Is Functional Medicine?
How is the functional medicine approach to nutrition different?
What is the functional medicine partnership?
Who can benefit from the functional medicine approach to nutrition counseling?
Do you do laboratory testing?
What about my prescriptions from my doctor?
How do you select supplements?
How many appointments can I expect?
Do you accept insurance?
Are lab tests covered by insurance?
What are your fees?
What form of payment do you accept?
What is your cancellation policy?

What Is Functional Medicine?

The terms functional and integrative are often used interchangeably to describe a type of health care that addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Whether it’s a physician practicing medicine or a dietitian counseling a client about food and nutrition, this approach attempts to get at the root cause of the disease or problem instead of just treating symptoms.

It is this holistic, whole person approach that makes functional care different from conventional care. The terms conventional and traditional medicine are sometimes incorrectly used. Today’s mainstream medicine is conventional while traditional medicine reflects the thousands year old traditions of China, India, and other ancient cultures.

How Is Functional Medicine Different?

  • Functional medicine healthcare professionals consider the complex interaction of a patient’s history, lifestyle, physiology, social, environmental, and genetic makeup that contribute to health status.
  • Functional medicine dietitians use whole foods to start their patients on their health journey often in conjunction with nutrition supplements, botanicals, exercise, movement, body work, aromatherapy, detoxification, breathing and de-stress techniques, and more.
  • Functional medicine practitioners often refer patients for other healing modalities – acupuncture, craniosacral, feeding therapy, homeopathy, meditation, neurofeedback, occupational therapy, Pilates, speech-language therapy, therapeutic drumming, vision therapy, yoga, and more.
  • Functional medicine providers frequently use both standard diagnostic lab testing with forward-thinking, specialty lab testing.
  • Functional medicine nutritionists consider a multitude of factors — the food you eat, the water you drink, the personal and cleaning products you use, the air you breathe, your sleeping habits, your relationships, and much more to create your lifestyle plan.
  • Functional medicine professionals explore your genetic history, sometimes using genetic testing. Though individual genes may make us more susceptible to certain health issues, our gene expression can be influenced through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits. The emerging fields of epigenetics and nutritional genomics can guide your functional medicine dietitian to help you repair your genes, at the cellular level.

What is the functional medicine partnership?

Working with a dietitian who is trained in functional medicine requires the patient to be more involved with the healthcare process, establishing a life-long partnership with Laura. While Laura provides the recommendations and tools to make lifestyle changes for optimal health, you take the responsibility to modify your habits.

Who can benefit from the functional medicine approach to nutrition counseling?

Everyone!

Do you do laboratory testing?

Based on the information that you provide at your appointment, your health status, and your budget, Laura may recommend functional medicine testing to help guide your nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. She provides you with a kit to either bring to a lab nearby to have blood drawn or to bring home to collect saliva, urine, stool, or hair. Genetic tests sometimes use a mouth cheek swab, which you can do in Laura’s office. Some labs are able to send a phlebotomist to your home to draw your blood. Each kit comes with its own pre-paid mailer, which you drop off at the appropriate carrier or call for pick-up at your home.

What about my prescriptions from my doctor?

Laura Lagano is not a medical doctor, so she cannot recommend that you eliminate any of your prescription medications. Instead, she can counsel you about food, nutrition, and a myriad of other lifestyle components that contribute to your health status. Under the supervision of a physician, you may be able to lower or discontinue your medication dosage after making lifestyle modifications recommended by Laura.

How do you select supplements?

When discerning the quality of supplements, Laura considers the following:

  • Is the manufacturing GMP-certified (Good Manufacturing Practices)?
  • Are products certified according to industry standards, according to one or more of the following?
    • NNFA (National Nutritional Foods Association)
    • NPA (National Products Association)
    • NSF (National Sanitary Foundation)
    • TGA (Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration)
    • FDA Dietary Supplement GMP
  • Does the company manufacturer over 75% of their products or are they contract manufactured?
  • Does the company perform safety reviews and safety studies?
  • Do double-blind, placebo-controlled trials on humans exist?
  • Is there human efficacy data?
  • Does the company they have a scientific staff and advisory board? What are the credentials and backgrounds of these individuals?
  • Are the protein powders FDA-approved medical foods or functional foods?
  • Is the manufacturer USP-certified for tablet/capsule disintegration time?
  • Does the company perform third party independent assays on each raw material pre-production and post-production?
  • Do Registered Dietitians, credentialed nutritionists, or functional medicine practitioners sell the product?

As a Registered Dietitian/Certified Nutritionist practicing functional medicine, I have carefully selected scientifically-formulated professional brands. These supplements and functional foods undergo intense examination procedures to monitor and corroborate the quality of both raw materials and finished products. Practitioner nutraceuticals are highly effective and based on scientific evidence and meticulous research.

How many appointments can I expect?

The number of appointments an individual requires for nutrition counseling is different for everyone. It depends on factors such as your current health status; at what pace you make changes to your eating habits and lifestyle habits; and your health and wellness goals. Because of the dynamic aspect of functional medicine, the number of visits cannot always be predicted accurately until after at least an initial visit. As a patient-centered healthcare model, you and Laura, together, will determine your future appointment.

Do you accept insurance?

To be recognized by health insurance companies as a healthcare provider, an individual must have a National Provider Identification (NPI) number. As a Registered Dietitian (RD) Laura has an NPI number; however, she does accept insurance or file claims. She can, however, provide you with a coded, paid invoice to send to your insurance company for possible reimbursement. Reimbursement for nutrition counseling by an RD, referred to as Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and by insurance companies varies among insurance providers and is dependent on diagnoses. You, as the patient, are responsible for contacting your insurance company to determine coverage. Food and lifestyle recommendations have the power to change your health outcomes. You need to ask yourself, “Am I worth the investment?”

Are lab tests covered by insurance?

Laura uses labs that perform specialty tests — many of which are not available at standard labs. Some of these specialty labs accept insurance, some do not. Some tests can be reimbursed by insurance, others such as gene SnP testing cannot.

What are your fees?

The fee for nutrition counseling as part of my Nutrition in My Kitchen program in Hoboken, as well as Skype video appointments, is $100 per ½ hour for all visits. The minimum fee for an initial visit is $300. Nutrition counseling in Manhattan is $125 per ½ hour. Please contact Laura for Nutrition in Your Kitchen (house calls) fees.

What form of payment do you accept?

At this time we accept cash, check, and PayPal. Payment in full is expected at time of visit.

What is your cancellation policy?

Nutrition counseling with a functional medicine approach is time intensive. An initial consultation for an uncomplicated patient takes 1½ to 2 hours. Appointments for patients with more involved health issues may take up to 3 hours. In a consideration of Laura’s time and of other patients wishing to book appointment slots, we require a 5-day (not including weekends) cancellation policy to protect these large blocks of time. So if you have an appointment scheduled a Monday, you need to cancel 1 week prior on the proceeding Monday.