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How Functional and Integrative Medicine Can Actually Save You Money?


Reviewed by Dr. Leigh Ann Scott of Forum Health Las Colinas

If you’re dealing with a health issue and trying to decide whether to go down the conventional or holistic medicine path, the options can be overwhelming. With more people becoming dissatisfied with their healthcare options and seeking alternatives, can starting treatment with a functional and integrative medicine provider save you money up front?  

What’s the Difference? Conventional Medicine vs Functional and Integrative Medicine

While both systems are complex and offer value. There is a core difference in the approach to healthcare.  


At a very basic level, the difference is:  


  • Conventional or traditional medicine often takes a more reactive rather than proactive approach to health by focusing on treating the symptoms of illness and each bodily system in isolation.  
  • Functional and integrative medicine works to understand and address the underlying causes of your health condition to promote optimal wellness. It uses a whole-body approach to healing with providers considering how different systems in the body work together.

Logic might lead you to think that just focusing on the single symptom causing the disturbance might save you money. Maybe in the short term. But really, this approach is simply putting a band-aid on a wound that could be signaling a much deeper problem, which left unaddressed over time can lead to chronic disease and more costly interventions.  

The Breakdown of Benefits and Savings with Functional and Integrative Medicine

Functional and integrative medicine approaches offer clear benefits that can save you money, time, and contribute to your overall health and well-being in several ways: 


Don’t Wait for a Big Emergency, Take a Preventative Approach with Functional and Integrative Medicine 


Functional and integrative medicine emphasize preventive care and address underlying imbalances before they manifest as chronic diseases or more serious health conditions. By identifying and addressing health issues early, you can potentially avoid costly medical interventions and reduce long-term healthcare expenses. 


Functional and integrative medicine practitioners emphasize lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes, stress management techniques, exercise programs, and sleep optimization.  


These interventions can promote overall health and well-being, potentially reducing dependency on medications and the risk of chronic diseases and their associated healthcare costs over time. 


With Personalized Treatment, You Pay for What You Actually Need  


Conventional medicine commonly uses one-size-fits-all solutions designed with the average patient in mind. While this approach may seem efficient, it can have disastrous consequences potentially costing you even more time and money when treatment inevitably fails to solve the issue.   


Functional and integrative medicine instead focuses on personalized care tailored to your unique needs, genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. This may look like advanced testing, longer appointments and a more in-depth health history intake.  


The initial upfront costs may be more than your 15-minute conventional medicine provider visit, however, addressing the root causes of your health problems can lead to more effective and efficient treatment outcomes and reduce the need for unnecessary medications and procedures. 


Heal at the Root and Reduce Medication Dependency and Cost 


Conventional treatments often rely on medications that mask symptoms, leading to potential long-term dependency. Despite health insurance coverage, costs can accumulate over time. Moreover, these medications frequently cause side effects, prompting the need for additional prescriptions, perpetuating a cycle of treatment. 


Functional and integrative medicine aims to minimize reliance on pharmaceutical medications whenever possible, instead focusing on natural remedies, nutritional supplements, and other holistic interventions to improve overall health.  


By reducing medication dependency and its associated side effects, you may experience improved health outcomes and lower healthcare expenses.  


A Comprehensive Approach to Healthcare Saves You Time and Money Upfront 


These approaches take a holistic view of health, considering the interconnectedness of the body’s systems and addressing the root causes of health issues rather than just managing symptoms. By addressing multiple aspects of health simultaneously, functional and integrative medicine can lead to more comprehensive and lasting improvements in health outcomes. 


While functional and integrative medicine approaches may involve higher initial costs due to the comprehensive evaluations and specialized testing involved, addressing the root causes of health conditions can lead to significant long-term cost savings by reducing reliance on medications and preventing complications. 

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