by David Chapman
The first question is generally the same for patients who go to see Julee Miller and Tamara Luffy.
“’Does it hurt?’,” said Miller, an acupuncture physician, who along with Luffy owns health and wellness clinic Health Pointe Jacksonville. “I tell them it (acupuncture) doesn’t, though ... it’s just a warm sensation.”
Miller and Luffy opened up the practice near Gate Parkway on “medical mile” in November, and offer everything from acupuncture and neuromuscular therapy to infrared sauna sessions and therapeutic bodywork.
The two met in Pittsburgh while working for the same clinic and many of the local athletes — of Jacksonville’s football, baseball and hockey teams — were patients looking for pain relief after taxing their bodies.
Miller later went to school in Houston and Luffy moved to Jacksonville with her fiancé, before the owners decided to go into business together.
Both are members of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce among other local organizations, and though it’s been a process to get their name out, business has been steady since they opened.
“So far, so good,” said Miller.
Most of the patients are based on referrals, said Miller, which helps build a level of trust between doctor and patient before the patient even walks through the door.
And though the first question they generally receive involves physical pain, the second refers to economics, especially what’s covered by insurance companies.
“More and more insurance companies are covering many of the services,” said Miller. “It’s all just a matter of asking and finding out what’s covered.”
Educating patients on their services and building a client relationship can be a challenge, said Luffy, but like their patients, the biggest opponent of the owners is the economy itself.
Many people don’t have as much income to alleviate their pain through therapy, which can lead to a worse situation for patients in the long term.
“Sometimes it’s about paying a little bit today to end up saving a lot in the long run,” said Miller.
Health Pointe Jacksonville is open weekdays from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment. For more information, go to www.hpjax.com.