MHW FAQs – Primary Care, Functional Medicine, Women’s Health, Medical Weight Management, And More…

Frequently Asked Questions about Merritt Health & Wellness, LLC

Q: What is Functional Medicine?

A: Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. – See more at:

Q: What Insurances are accepted? What is the cost of the program?

A: MHW accepts and is covered by most major insurances. We are a PCP for most other medical insurance plans but best to check with your insurance for coverage as it is the responsibility of the patient to know if we are accepted on your specific health insurance plan.

Currently MHW does not accept Care Oregon/HealthShare, Kaiser.

Patients generally ONLY need a referral if they have Family Care and Medicare if we are not your Primary Care Provider. We are considered in network primary care providers for almost all other plans.

MHW is “in network” with, and DOES accept the following carriers:

  • Aetna
  • BridgeSpan Health
  • Cigna
  • Family Care Medicaid & Family Care Medicare (we DO NOT ACCEPT any other plans under the Oregon Health Plan (OHP); if you have another OHP plan, please call OHP to change to Family Care and add us as your PCP or have your PCP submit a referral to see us)
  • First Choice Health
  • First Health Network
  • HealthNet
  • HMA/Multiplan
  • Lifewise
  • Moda (ONLY the Connexus & Synergy plans)
  • Pacific Source (NOT the Legacy Employee Plans)
  • PHCS Savility
  • Providence Health Plans (NOT the Providence Connect and Medicare Prime plans)
  • Regence/Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Shasta Administrators
  • Tricare (ONLY if there is a supplemental insurance in addition to Tricare)
  • UMR
  • United Healthcare

Effective November 14, 2016 Merritt Health & Wellness will no longer be accepting new patients with traditional Medicare coverage, but will still accept new patients who have Medicare Advantage Plans

An office visit at MHW is the same as seeing your primary care provider. Services are not billed as weight loss or for obesity but under the underlying causes and symptoms associated with obesity, which insurances allow payment. MHW works in conjunction with all health providers involved in your health. Coverage depends on your insurance; it is up to you to know your deductibles and co-pays. If you don’t have a family medical provider or PCP, MHW can help you find one or provide many similar services.

Q: How do I make an appointment?

A: The easiest way for our staff is if you are able to schedule yourself online at  An alternative would be to call 971-258-1120 to leave a message for a return call to help assist you in scheduling an appointment, Ryan will call you back.

Q: How do I cancel an appointment?

A: There are only two ways to do it, you cannot do it online. There is a $50 fee for late cancelling (within 24 hrs of appt) no showing.

1)  Call the clinic number and leave a message.

2)  E-mail and/or your medical provider to let them know.

Q: What kind of food products are you selling?

A: None, MHW strives to educate about what foods found at the grocery store can facilitate weight loss, lower blood sugars, lower inflammation and lower cholesterol. Prepackaged food products provide temporary help but MHW tries to setup long term success and lifestyle change, which means more education and less processed foods. If you wish to use a product vendor for quick and easy food products that is fine, MHW can give you the assistance necessary while you are losing weight and we can work together to solve your weight loss plateau.

Q: Do I need a referral from my primary care provider?

A: Yes if you have Tricare or Family Care and you do not want MHW to be your PCP. You can get a referral from your primary care but it is not always needed, MHW is also recognized as a primary care facility but we hope to work with your existing health care providers to augment the care they already provide.

Q: What about weight management for children and teens?

A: MHW is well equipped to work with children and teens, although the strategy is much different. We focus on nutrition, activity and healthy eating and not just weight as the primary indicator of success.

Q: How is MHW any different than Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, etc?

A: If you have tried to lose weight before but couldn’t keep the weight off maybe its because you haven’t had an obesity medicine specialist’s help. Most programs do not have the support and medical knowledge about how to help maintenance weight loss. Also these programs are unsuccessful and expensive because you are buying food through the program, but there is no education about what foods cause the weight gain and what foods help our body lose weight. MHW specializes in a whole foods approach to a healthy food routine individualized for your healthcare needs.

Q: What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A: Nurse Practitioners are medical providers who completed graduate-level education (either a Master of nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree). Nurse Practitioners treat both physical and mental conditions similar to doctors and physician assistants through comprehensive history taking, physical exams, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests. NPs can then diagnose the disease and then provide appropriate treatment for the patients, including prescribing medications.NPs can serve as a patient’s primary health care provider, and see patients of all ages depending on their specialty (family, pediatrics, geriatrics, etc.). The core philosophy of the field is individualized care that focuses on patients’ conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families. NPs make prevention, wellness, and patient education priorities. In addition to health care services, NPs conduct research and are often active in patient advocacy activities. To become licensed/certified to practice, Nurse Practitioners hold national board certification in an area of specialty (such as family, women’s health, pediatrics, adult, acute care, etc.), and are licensed through the state nursing boards.

Q: What is an Obesity Specialist?

A: An obesity medicine specialist is a medical provider who receives specialized training in the treatment of overweight and obese patients. Medical supervision is beneficial to detect and treat weight-related medical conditions. A weight loss treatment program supervised by a medical provider who is a member of ASBP (American Society of Bariatric Physicians) and who completes specialized training in obesity medicine offers a comprehensive and effective approach to maximizing overall health and reversing co-morbidities. Seth Merritt is 1 of 4 medical providers in the state who has a board recognized obesity specialty.

Q: What is a Clinical Lipid Specialist?

A: A Clinical Lipid Specialist is a medical provider who has specialized with advanced knowledge in treatment of dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) and other related cardiometabolic conditions (diabetes, dysmetabolic syndrome, obesity, hypothyroidism, coronary artery disease, etc.). With advanced testing and knowledge we can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, other cardiometabolic issues and premature death. Seth Merritt is 1 of 5 medical providers in Portland with a board recognized lipid specialty.