Medically Supervised Weight Loss

Once you have decided to have weight loss surgery you may have come into a slight bump in the road. Your insurance company may require you to participate in a medically supervised weight loss program for 3 – 6 months duration prior to surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What is a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program?

A. Medically supervised weight loss programs provide weight loss treatment in a clinical setting. Most insurances require this treatment to be with a licensed healthcare professional, such as a medical doctor, nurse, registered dietician and/or a psychologist. These programs typically offer services such as nutrition education, physical activity, and behavioral therapy prior to bariatric surgery.

Q. Does your insurance company require a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program prior to Bariatric Surgery?

A. Please realize that NOT ALL insurance companies or policies require a medically supervised weight loss program prior to bariatric surgery, but there are some that may.

The following insurance companies may require the medically supervised weight loss program prior to bariatric surgery:

  • United/Oxford
  • Aetna; Cigna
  • Out of state BCBS

Please contact us for a complete list.

Q. Why do you need a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program?

A. Many insurance companies will not consider a request for weight loss surgery unless a patient has previously participated in a medically supervised weight loss program. This type of weight loss program includes diet, exercise, or medication for weight loss which is monitored by a doctor. The purpose of this requirement is to show a patient’s efforts at weight loss and that the patient is willing to make the necessary dietary and behavioral changes for bariatric surgery.

Q. Does my health insurance cover Medically Supervised Weight Loss Programs?

A. Many insurance companies will reimburse a participating provider for medically supervised weight loss programs. In most cases, the patient will be responsible for any co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible that may apply to their specific policy.

Q. Where can you go for a Medically Supervised Weight Loss program?

A. Patients who are required to undergo a medically supervised weight loss program prior to bariatric surgery are recommended to schedule the program with us. Our practice offers a comprehensive curriculum of diet, exercise, and behavior modification in a classroom setting.

General areas of discussion include:

  • Healthy food choices
  • How to maintain a food diary
  • How to accurately read a nutrition label
  • Counting calories
  • Food substitutions
  • Lifestyle changes
  • General exercise guidelines
  • Different weight loss surgery options and much more…

In addition to diet and exercise discussion, every patient who is enrolled in a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program will have their height, weight, BMI, and vital signs measured and recorded. The healthcare professional conducting the class will generate a progress note with the results after each visit. The progress notes will be submitted to your insurance company after completion of the program in order to achieve insurance approval for your surgery.