Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does insurance cover this treatment?
A: Parts of the treatment may be covered by the majority of carriers. Office visits & blood labs can be submitted to insurance and should be paid in accordance to your insurance policy. You may have some patient responsibility due to your deductible, co-insurance and/or copayments. Most supplements and compounded medications are not billable to insurance, but you may want to check with your medical saving/spending account to determine eligible reimbursement.
Q: What will this cost me?
A: The cost will vary based on your treatment plan. Blueprint passes-through the costs of products and services (like lab tests) with no markup. We also charge a Medical Oversight Fee which covers our and your physician’s care for you. Some of these items may be billable to insurance and some items are out of pocket expenses. After your labs are resulted we may be able to give you a better estimate regarding cost as each patient and situation is different.
Q: Can you send me my test results?
A: The final results are sent directly to Blueprint Health from the lab. Your Patient Care Coordinator will contact to review all your test results, to answer any questions you may have and to guide you through the next steps in the process. We will also review your lab results with your physician and will work with he/she to come up with the optimal medication program for you.
Q: Do I have to pay in advance?
A: When services are not covered by insurance, we require that all tests and medications be paid prior to time of service or ordering of medications.
Q: What are bio-identical hormones?
A: Bio-identical hormones are plant-based hormones with a chemical structure identical to human hormones produced by the body. Bio-identical hormones and synthetic hormones are both produced in the lab but synthetic hormones are not identical to the hormones naturally created in your body.
Q: Why should I use Bio-identical hormones?
A: Bio-identical hormones have the exact chemical structure as those made by the body. This allows them to fit into the body’s receptors and give the complete message creating a chemical reaction. When the body no longer needs the hormone it is broken down naturally in the body. When synthetic hormones are used they are not broken down the same way which makes them more potent because of uncontrolled reactions.
Life expectancy is increasing and the glands that create hormones need to produce them longer than ever. Replacing hormones can help control and or prevent adverse effects of aging.
Q: How will Bio-identical hormones help me?
A: Symptoms of an imbalance may include a decrease or loss of immune system responses, slow or incomplete healing after a sprain, strain or related musculoskeletal injury, muscle aches, loss of bone density, blood pressure changes, increased blood sugar levels, constipation, inability to lose weight and an overall feeling that something is not right can all be symptoms of hormone imbalance. An individualized program that includes Bio-identical hormone therapy can be used to successfully treat your symptoms.
A woman suffering from menopause, peri-menopause and severe PMS may have some or many of the following symptoms of hormone imbalance: hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, irritability, memory loss, anxiety, depression, fatigue, low energy, decreased libido, mood swings, dry skin, vaginal dryness and weight gain.
Women with balanced hormones combined with healthy eating and regular physical activity have a better quality of life as they age and can be at a lower risk for certain chronic diseases.
As men age, production of the hormone testosterone begins to decline and they experience symptoms of low testosterone. This is often referred to as andropause. Men experiencing andropause may have the following symptoms of hormone imbalance: decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, changes in mood, memory loss, low energy, decreased muscle mass and increased body fat. Testosterone is needed to maintain mental focus, energy, metabolism, muscle mass, fat levels, and sex drive. When needed, testosterone therapy can restore vitality and health.
Q: When should I consider Bio-identical hormone therapy?
A: In general, your body's natural hormones begin to decline in your late 20’s and hormone imbalance symptoms can present by your mid-30s. Men and women often start replacing hormones between the age of 35 and 40 when symptoms become bothersome. Hormone replacement therapy can occur at any stage.
Most people should have their hormones assessed when they start experiencing symptoms of severe PMS, perimenopause, menopause or andropause. There is also an advantage to getting hormones tested when you still feel good, around age 40, to get a baseline for later comparison when your hormones start declining. Maintaining a balanced level of hormones while we age contributes to health and wellness.
Q: Will hormone therapy help with stress?
A: Stressors in life – physical, mental, emotional and environmental make demands on our hormonal system. More energy, better quality sleep and overall feeling of wellness can be achieved by addressing the issues of hormone imbalance.
Under times of stress the body produces more of the stress hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. High levels of Cortisol cause the body to wear down. Chronic stress is linked to high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, blood clots and atherosclerosis. Stress has also been found to worsen pre-existing symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erectile dysfunction, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While stress reduction techniques may be helpful in on the short term, the long term effects of chronic stress usually require medical intervention.
Q: My sex-drive is low, could it be my hormones?
A: Yes. A deficiency of testosterone, estrogen, or other types of hormonal imbalance can cause a low libido. Chronic stress causing fatigue can also contribute to a low libido.
Q: Do I need to take these hormones forever?
A: Not necessarily, it depends on how well your body responds to hormone therapy. For optimal hormone function it is important for you to manage your diet, sleep patterns, exercise, and stress levels. We will address these issues as part of your treatment plan.
Some patients can wean off various hormones once they become balanced and have fewer symptoms of menopause or andropause. There are also patients who can wean off adrenal and thyroid support once their adrenals or thyroid glands have healed. There is no single answer for everyone, it depends on your individual hormone stability and how well your diet and lifestyle will support everything else. In the worst case scenario, if you decided to stop Bio-identical hormone therapy, your body would return to the state it was in before initiating your program.
Q: How long until I see results using hormone therapy?
A: While it varies with each person, and depends on which hormone therapy you are using, you can expect to see results within two to six months. This amount of time is needed to allow for the proper balancing of your hormones.
Q: Will my weight change?
A: Hormones are chemical messengers that cause many changes in the body. These changes can affect body metabolism causing weight gain or weight loss. Changes in hormone levels are also dependant on the lifestyle we lead and can affect our mood and energy levels.
For example, when males become less active there is often a gradual decline in testosterone. This hormone is known to boost metabolism and has the benefit of helping lower fat levels. Thus, when testosterone is balanced a man's ideal weight is easier to achieve.
Q: Will you prescribe me vitamins or supplements?
A: If we find that your overall health and hormonal balance could be improved through vitamins and supplements, these will be recommended. Blueprint Health recommends only pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements because the pharmacies we use have high quality raw materials that are better absorbed by the body. These supplements are scientifically tested for dosages that are guaranteed to be 100% effective at expiration date without the use of preservatives.
Q: What can I expect once I become a patient?
A: We will schedule an initial hormone consultation appointment for assessment of your health and to determine what labs are needed. You will need to complete the medical history form before your first appointment. This can be found on our website.
Once you complete the labs and we receive the results, we will contact you to review them and then work with the physician to develop the corresponding medication plan and guidelines for diet, exercise and stress management.
Follow up interviews are conducted weekly with your assigned Patient Care Coordinator, and are scheduled on an individual basis to monitor your response to the program. With hormone therapy, patients are regularly monitored with new labs scheduled every 12 weeks until optimal hormone levels are attained. Following that point, labs can be scheduled every 3-6 months.
Q: Why don’t traditional doctors prescribe hormone therapy?
A: Bio-identical hormone therapy requires specialty training. Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in Bio-identical hormones. Blueprint doctors are provided with a complete treatment protocol and are also provided with on-going training via Blueprint University.
Q: Do I need a prescription for hormone therapy?
A:Yes. Bio-identical hormones are compounded prescription drugs that are produced by our specialized pharmacy partners. Each prescription is individualized according to your unique needs and hand-made from the highest quality ingredients by pharmacists that specialize in formulating hormone therapy medications.
Q: What are the side-effects of hormone therapy?
A: Because Bio-identical hormones have the same chemical structure of the hormones your body makes, there are relatively few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormone is too high for the individual. Since you will be closely monitored for proper dosage, we don’t expect any adverse side effects.
Q: Are Bio-identical hormones approved and regulated by the FDA?
A: The ingredients in Bio-identical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are approved by the FDA. However, state and local pharmacy boards have jurisdiction over them, not the FDA. It is important for you to know that Blueprint only uses the highest quality compounding pharmacy partners and that they follow the most stringent guidelines and have excellent quality assurance.
Q: Will this treatment interfere with my currently prescribed medications?
A: The only time when medications will interfere with Bio-identical hormones is when the medications you're taking contain hormones, like birth control and certain acne medications. In many cases, certain medications are no longer needed, once hormone levels are restored to a healthy balance. This generally happens because balancing hormones improves your overall health.
Q: Can I use lab-work I have already done?
A: You may provide us with any lab work, bone density, mammograms, PAP smears, Prostate exams, or other diagnostic tests you have had done in the past 2 months. Once we review your past labs we may find it necessary to have you complete additional labs including hormone testing to determine your current hormone replacement needs.
Q: If I decide to start hormone therapy, how much will it cost?
A: The cost of therapy depends on your individual needs. Therefore the following is not an individual quote and each patient is different. There are three parts to the cost of bio-identical hormone therapy.
First, the cost of office visits with the doctor can range in average from $100.00 to $375.00 for the first visit and $85.00 to $400.00 for follow up visits. Office visits can usually be submitted to insurance, but each individual insurance company will determine whether or not they will cover the cost of office visits.
Second, the labs costs range from $250 - $400, but may be covered by your insurance carrier. Labs are ordered according to the Blueprint protocol for male and female patients. Follow-up labs will vary depending on the hormone therapy prescribed and the frequency of re-resting needed.
Finally, the hormone medications cost as little as $150 a month (including your core hormone) and can range up to $300 a month, depending on the other medications recommended to address your needs, and your budget. You Patient Care Coordinator will discuss these costs and your budget with you prior to service.
Q: If I inject at home, what do I do with my used needles/syringes?
A: Your used needles/syringes are considered to be bio-hazardous waste and should be treated with care when disposing. Your local community will likely have a free Sharps Disposal Program and will provide you with a Sharps Container. “Sharps” are defined as items having the potential to puncture or lacerate. These include syringes with attached needles and disposable lancets. Please contact your local government or visit NASEN for more information.