Frequently Asked Questions

You will find answers to our most frequently asked questions here.

Please see the Appointment Information page to find out more about appointments.

Our office is quite different from other doctor offices!  We have returned to the old-fashioned way of providing superlative health care in a home-based office setting with limited staffing and reduced administrative costs so that we can keep our fees as low as possible. 

This FAQ page will help you to understand our stream-lined office policies and procedures, which allow us to keep your costs as low as possible while still providing exceptional care!


What are your policies regarding COVID-19?

The Healthy Path, LLC is open!

At this time, we are only offering telemedicine appointments for patients living in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia (where Dr. Richey has medical licenses) in order to avoid the web of contact tracing with its repercussions.


What is your treatment approach?

Dr. Richey uses an integrative medicine approach which combines the best of functional medicine, naturopathic medicine, and traditional medicine. She believes in treating the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms.  

Also, she follows the ILADS Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Management of Lyme Disease, the Bredesen Protocol, and the Shoemaker Protocol.


What conditions do you treat?

Dr. Richey specializes in the treatment of Lyme disease and related conditions that often arise as a result of chronic Lyme disease:

  • associated tick borne infections (such as Bartonella, Babesia, etc)
  • reactivated infections (such as Epstein Barr, etc)
  • zoonoses
  • other chronic infections
  • biotoxin illness
  • mold illness
  • autoimmune diseases
  • autoimmune encephalitis (PANS, PANDAS)
  • cognitive impairment and dementia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • fibromyalgia
  • and more

Do you accept insurance?

Dr. Richey does not accept any third party payments from any sources including but not limited to private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Workers' Compensation, injury lawsuits, etc. You are responsible for all interactions with your third party payors.

However, she will provide you with a receipt at your appointment that you can turn into your insurance company for reimbursement. Most insurance companies (except Medicaid and Medicare) do reimburse your appointment fee on an out-of-network basis.  

Also, most insurance companies (except Medicaid) accept laboratory testing and prescriptions written by Dr. Richey.   However, Medicare may not pay for all ordered labs.

 

What laboratory tests do you order?

Dr. Richey uses the Igenex Lyme Western Blot or the Immunoblot test, many “regular” tests, many co-infection tests, and biotoxin labs if needed.  Insurance companies (except Medicaid) usually cover everything except the Igenex test (but Medicare does cover the Igenex test). You would be responsible for any co-pays and deductibles. She can order other specialty tests if requested and if needed, but these tests are rarely covered by insurance companies.

Blood work is not drawn at this office. Instead, we highly recommend that you visit LabCorp for your laboratory testing because they perform testing well and because they fax final results to us quickly without excess pages.  

You can get your labs drawn at another facility rather than LabCorp.  However, these other facilities often fax hundreds of copies to us with much duplication and extraneous information that takes significant time to sort out.  So, if you use another facility,  you will need to arrange for them to mail (not fax) results to us or you will need to pick them up yourself and bring them to your appointment.  If the other facility faxes your labs to us, there will be an associated administrative fee  based on $0.20/page and $225/hour.


How do I get my laboratory results?

Lab results will be interpreted for you and discussed with you at your next appointment.  You can obtain your own copies of the results at the LabCorp patient portal or patient portal from the laboratory that you used. 

Copies of lab results from Igenex will be mailed to you with the paperwork from your next telemedicine appointment.

You will be contacted immediately for emergency lab values.

Monthly labs are needed for chronic medication usage. You will receive an email letting you know if your monthly labs are normal or if further action is needed.


I have heard that Lyme tests are often negative even when a person has history and symptoms of Lyme disease. What do you do in this case?

Laboratory testing is important and is used, but most of these chronic infections are difficult to detect. Thus, clinical diagnosis is usually based on history and symptoms and response to treatment. Antibody testing only confirms exposure to the Borrelia bacteria when the testing is positive.  So, you can still be treated for Lyme disease even if your Lyme tests are negative per CDC standards.


Do you prescribe oral antibiotics or IV antibiotics or natural antimicrobials?

Dr. Richey only prescribes oral antibiotics rather than IV antibiotics because her patients improve with this treatment approach.  So far, she has not needed to use IV antibiotics for Lyme patients.  Also, she uses herbal products for treating a multitude of infections naturally if you prefer. Both approaches are highly effective.


Do you recommend natural products, such as herbs, supplements, probiotics, and antioxidants?

Most ILADS doctors and Bredesen physicians are discovering that chronic infections cannot be successfully treated with antibiotics alone.  Instead, patients need natural products to help with healing your body, detoxing toxins, and modulating the immune system. In addition, natural products help to minimize herx reactions. Dr. Richey will recommend natural products for you and help you manage these products, and she can help you get wholesale pricing, but it is your decision whether to use them or not. She does not assist you with products that you use on your own or that you obtained from other health practitioners. 


Do you address other problems connected with chronic infections?

Yes, other problems need to be addressed with the infection for maximal improvement. For example, nutrient deficiencies must be corrected, hormonal levels may need to be optimized, and diet must be improved. Furthermore, biotoxin illness often complicates chronic medical conditions and must be addressed for maximal improvement. Cavitations can also block treatment.


How do you treat biotoxin illness?

Dr. Richey has studied the treatment protocol of biotoxin illness (including mold and Lyme neurotoxins) from Dr. Shoemaker who has pioneered this area since about 1997. His methods are backed by extensive research. You can read more about his research at Surviving Mold.


How do you treat Alzheimer's Disease and other conditions of cognitive decline?

Dr. Richey is a certified practitioner for the Bredesen Protocol for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's Disease.  The treatment for Alzheimer's Disease involves a multi-factorial approach addressing inflammation, chronic infections, insulin resistance, lack of nutrition and hormones, and biotoxin illness (mold). 

Do you offer primary care appointments?

No. Dr. Richey prefers to treat patients with chronic infections (such as Lyme disease) accompanied biotoxin illness (including mold) and neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's Disease) and related conditions.

You should maintain your relationship with your primary care physician for primary care needs including any controlled medications (such as narcotics and anxiety medications), hospitalizations, medical emergencies, preventive care, and general medical care.


Do you work with other doctors, and, if so, how?

Absolutely!  And the best way for practitioners to respect each other and to work with each other is for each doctor to manage certain aspects of patient care rather than for everyone to manage everything with overlap and confusion.  The expression "Too many cooks spoil the soup" is quite appropriate in medicine as it is in the kitchen. 

For example, if you choose Dr. Richey to manage your chronic infections, then it is best if your primary care physician, chiropractor, or nutritionalist do not try to do so as well; however, it is great if they would manage other conditions related to their specialty, such as thyroid management, mechanical adjustments, and dietary advice, respectively. And if you choose Dr. Richey to manage your Alzheimer's Disease with the Bredesen protocol, then it also works well for your neurologist to manage your dementia with traditional methods.  In these cases, each practitioner works within their expertise without overlap and confusion for the patient. 

You are welcome to share your lab results with your other practitioners.


What happens if I am late to my appointment?

We strive to run on time; therefore, your appointment will start promptly at your scheduled time. If you are late, we will not be able to cover as much in your allotted time. If you are consistently really late, we may not schedule future appointments.


What is your cancellation policy?

This topic is so important the we have created a separate page for our cancellation policy.  Please let us know if you have any questions.


What do I do for medical emergencies?

If you have a medical emergency, please go straight to the emergency room. Your primary care physician should respond to all emergencies. If your situation is not resolved, you may call for further advice. Emergency phone calls are billed at $225 up to 30 minutes and then prorated at $225 per hour thereafter.


How do I get my prescriptions refilled?

Prescriptions are only refilled at appointments.  Automated refill requests sent from your pharmacy will be ignored. Please make sure to ask for any needed refills during your appointment in order to avoid an administrative fee. Treatment plans are not changed between visits, but only at appointments.


How do you handle communication between office appointments?

Routine communication is done via email for efficiency and documentation.  All patients must have a personal email address that they check frequently.  Reminder emails are sent prior to appointments; please confirm your appointment by replying to those emails.   Keep in mind that the internet is not secure regarding confidential information.

You are welcome to ask a few urgent questions about current treatment via occasional emails for no charge. However, if you have many questions, complex questions, confusing questions, or complicated medical issues, you will be asked to make a telemedicine appointment or a phone appointment as appropriate in order for us to provide better advice.

Non-urgent questions are best answered at your next regular appointments and not with emails.  Non-urgent matters include a new treatment that you just read about or a new supplement that you just found out about or a recent book that you just heard about or a link to the newest research study or daily updates, etc.  We greatly appreciate your cooperation so that we can be available for urgent concerns for you and other patients.

You will be charged a retroactive administrative fee at a rate of $225 per hour if more than 30 minutes is spent answering your emails per 30 day period.



What do I do if I need administrative paperwork and services?

Our philosophy is to keep appointment fees as low as possible. We believe that it is much more fair to keep rates low for everyone, and only charge extra for those who need extra services.

Most patients do not need any additional services, but some patients want various forms or other work.  Dr. Richey may perform administrative tasks for an additional charge on a case-by-case basis. She does not do insurance pre-certifications or complete disability forms or letters because they are quite costly for you and are rarely approved.   

  • Usually, simple tasks can be performed for free during appointments.
  • Between appointments, fees are usually $50 or $225 per hour for longer documents and tasks.
  • If you use a laboratory or hospital other than LabCorp for your labwork and if that laboratory or hospital faxes an exuberance of redundant and pending results, the administrative fee is based on $0.20/page and $225/hour.  (Please see above lab section for more information.)
  • The administrative fee for data entry for patients signed up for the RECODE Report is $100 per report.
  • The requested administrative work will be performed after receipt of payment.
  • Please contact Dr. Richey for her fee schedule regarding legal work.


Can I get copies of my medical records?

You can obtain your lab results at the LabCorp patient portal.   Any Igenex results will be mailed to you during your telemedicine appointment. You will be charged for all other medical records or additional copies of labs according to current allowable Ohio rates.


Do you treat adults, teens and children?

Dr. Richey has been trained in Family Practice and in the medical care of the entire family. Therefore, she can treat all ages. However, at this time, she only treats adults and young adults who are at least 12 years old, who are over 100 pounds, and who are able to swallow capsules/tablets.


Do you provide family discounts?

No, we do not provide family discounts because our rates are already incredibly low.


Do you treat pregnant women with Lyme disease?

Dr. Richey believes that it is best if a woman does not become pregnant until her Lyme disease is in full remission. She will treat pregnant women who are already existing patients according to ILADS recommendations, which involve antibiotics for which there is a successful track record. Natural products are not used for killing infection since no manufacture will declare their products safe in pregnancy. However, some supplements that are deemed safe for pregnancy are recommended.

The father of the baby will need to be present for at least the first appointment in order to understand risks and benefits of treatment and to sign the consent form to treat the baby with the pregnant woman. Dr. Richey will not treat the baby after delivery.


I want to make an appointment. What do I do next?

Congratulations on wanting to improve your health!

In order to schedule an appointment, please fill out the Appointment Request Form after you have read this page and the Appointment Information page. The adult patient must make his/her own appointment using his/her own email address unless physically, emotionally, or mentally impaired.  Then, Dr. Richey will email you back with appointment options.


We look forward to helping you travel the healthy path to wellness!



Let food

be thy medicine, 

and medicine 

be thy food.  

~Hippocrates

DANDELION

Herb

Your word

is a lamp

to my feet

and a light

to my path.

~Psalm 119:105

ECHINACEA

Herb

The secret of health

for both mind and body

is not to mourn for the past,

worry about the future,

or anticipate troubles,

but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

~Buddha (paraphrased)

LAVENDER

Herb