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Frequently Asked Questions

Naturopathic medicine emphasizes the use of prevention and natural therapeutics. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are trained to serve as primary care general practitioners who are experts in the prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment of both acute and chronic health conditions. Naturopathic medical philosophy follows a therapeutic order and set of principle that starts with the least-force intervention and moves towards more invasive treatments only as necessary. NDs work in private practices, hospitals, clinics, and community health centers.

Naturopathic Doctors can diagnose and treat any condition, perform physical exams including gynecological exams, order lab tests and imaging studies; perform in-office lab tests such as pregnancy tests and urinalysis, and collect gynecological and venipuncture specimens. Treatment modalities may include herbs; nutrients; counseling; hydrotherapy; natural and synthetic hormones; and all schedule III-V drugs under a general physician protocol. NDs in California cannot do minor or major surgeries or high velocity manipulation therapies. NDs do not have hospital admittance rights, which means that they cannot be your supervising doctor if you are receiving inpatient care in the hospital.

Naturopathic Doctors are trained at accredited, four-year, post-graduate, residential naturopathic medical programs. The training consists of comprehensive study of the medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, endocrinology, etc., as well as detailed study of a wide variety of natural therapies. In the United States, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional state licensing, national standards of practice, peer review, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) is the national professional society representing licensed naturopathic physicians. The AANP aims to increase awareness of and expand access to naturopathic physicians. Partially due to the efforts of the AANP, Naturopathic Doctors have been included in the list of primary care providers in the Affordable Care Act and are included in the list of primary care providers by Washington State Medicare. Our state association is the California Naturopathic Doctors Association.

We can either serve as your primary care doctor or as a specialist working in conjunction with your primary health care provider. However, since naturopathic doctors do not have hospital admittance rights in the state of California, we encourage you to have established care with someone who does.

Yes, we may refer you to a medical specialist like a cardiologist, endocrinologist, hematologist, urologist, oncologist, and so forth. You may also be referred to a physical therapist, massage therapist, nutritionist, chiropractor or acupuncturist if we feel that your medical condition can benefit from those services.

Not necessarily. While we would always rather see you free of medications, we will not take you off any medications we feel are necessary for you. If you have been placed on a medication by another provider, we will work with that provider to see if there is an appropriate alternative for you. Some medications can be difficult to stop and require a slow reduction in dosage to wean your body off of them. Never abruptly stop taking a medication unless told to do so by a doctor!

We accept funds from HSA or Medical Flexible Spending Accounts.

Medi-Cal does not reimburse for our visits but will cover labs, imaging and referrals we order.

Most insurance companies, except Medicare, will reimburse you for visits, labs, imaging, and prescriptions we order, depending on your coverage for out-of-network providers. All visits are initially paid for out of pocket at the time of service. Insurance may reimburse you for some of your costs but we do not bill them for you.

We encourage you to contact your insurance provider, prior to your visit, to see if naturopathic care is covered by your policy or what they will reimburse for out-of-network providers.

 See our Insurance page for more information.

North Star offers, at our discretion, an Economic Hardship Discount on office visits only for individuals who are below the Federal US Poverty Guidelines for 2013. If you feel in need of this additional assistance, please contact us. For this discount you must fill out the appropriate paperwork on our Forms page.