FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


  • What can I expect from my first visit?
  • Your first visit will consist of a thorough medical history and pertinent physical exam. We will take time to understand the current cancer diagnosis, all past and present treatments and any current symptoms related to cancer, cancer treatment or other causes. You should anticipate an in-depth discussion regarding nutrition, an analysis of your current medications and supplements and a review of recent laboratory and imaging studies if available. At the conclusion of this initial visit, you will leave with a printed summary that provides nutritional recommendations, detailed instructions for starting or stopping any dietary supplements and suggested resources to provide you with additional information regarding your treatment. Additionally, diagnostic laboratory work may be ordered so as to provide a better understanding of underlying physiological dysfunction.
  • Will my medical insurance plan cover visits with Dr. Aschtgen and/or Dr. Joseph?
  • Most major medical plans in Washington State provide coverage for naturopathic medical care and our physicians are contracted as preferred providers with most insurers. Unfortunately Medicare, Medicaid and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program do not provide benefits for naturopathic medicine at this time. Those patients with a health plan secondary to Medicare will often have coverage for our services. Please contact your insurance plan directly to determine whether your visit with Dr. Aschtgen or Dr. Joseph will qualify.
  • What if I don’t have benefits for naturopathic medicine?
  • We offer a 20% time-of-service discount for those patients paying out-of-pocket for our services.
  • What laboratory facilities does does SIO use and will these be covered by insurance?
  • Most laboratory services are ordered through LabCorp (in Seattle, Olympia or Everett) or PacLab facilities (in Olympia and Everett). If you prefer an alternate laboratory facility, these orders can typically be performed there. These services are covered per your insurance plan’s customary procedures.  Those patients with Group Health insurance can have their laboratory studies drawn directly at a GHC lab facility.
  • Will my medical insurance cover the cost of nutritional and/or dietary supplement?
  • Although most medical insurance plans provide prescription medicine benefits for pharmaceutical drugs, dietary supplements are not covered by most major insurers. If you have a flexible or health savings account, these funds may qualify for such purchases. Please contact your plan’s administrator for specific details.
  • Can I buy dietary supplements directly from Seattle Integrative Oncology?
  • Dr. Aschtgen and Dr. Joseph do not sell supplements directly to patients, nor are we affiliated with any dietary supplement manufacturer. Patients are provided with a variety of possible locations for acquiring recommended supplements. These include the ICM Dispensary in Seattle, Northwest Remedies (formerly Randy’s Compounding Pharmacy) in Olympia, and Emerson Ecologics online.  Alternatives to these options may also be provided upon request.
  • How does Dr. Aschtgen and/or Dr. Joseph communicate with the rest of my medical team?
  • In the interest of coordinated care, we provide a copy of the patient’s chart note to the managing oncologist and the primary care physician unless otherwise directed by the patient or their designee. Further, we communicate directly with other practitioners as may be needed in complex, acute or other potentially beneficial situations.
  • Does Dr. Aschtgen perform telephone consultations?
  • Due to the complexity of cancer care, our preference is to see patients in person for all medical consultations. If you cannot be present for an in-person appointment, we may offer a limited telephone consultation to review your current natural therapies and provide guidance regarding safe and effective complementary strategies. Please be advised that medical evaluation and management will not be performed remotely.
  • Is Dr. Aschtgen currently involved in clinical research?
  • We have previously participating in an observational study (funded by the National Institutes of Health; NIH) to assess the benefits of integrative oncology for women with breast cancer.  This study evaluates both quality of life and disease survival measures over the course of many years.  It has been coordinated by investigators affiliated with Bastyr University and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  Please see the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Cancer Research Center website for more information.
  • Is it possible to arrange a presentation by Dr. Aschtgen or Dr. Joseph for your support group or other educational event?
  • Yes! Both Dr. Aschtgen and Dr. Joseph have presented for numerous groups in the Puget Sound area, including the American Cancer Society, Gilda’s Club, Cancer Lifeline, the Puget Sound oncology nursing society and numerous cancer support groups at Providence St. Peter Hospital, Group Health Cooperative, Swedish Medical Center, Valley Medical Center and Virginia Mason Hospital & Medical Center. We also provide presentations regarding integrative cancer care for physicians, nursing staff and other healthcare professionals. Please contact us at 206.726.0034 or info@seattlend.com for more information.