Counseling and Referring
The HCP’s role
For obese patients, the journey from understanding that they are obese to evaluating treatment options and finally considering bariatric surgery begins in a healthcare professional’s office. It is a challenging disease to fight that requires a team of professionals to provide advice, referrals and support. Following your initial evaluation, and identification of the patient as obese, the patient should be informed of all the health implications of being obese, and what the treatment options are.
Where your patient can find more information
When the surgical option is considered, it is important that the patient attend an in-person seminar or watch an online seminar, visit a weight management center or speak to a surgeon or bariatrician to become fully informed on the benefits and risks of surgery.
As part of your patient's decision to consider surgery more seriously, a surgeon will evaluate if they are a good candidate for surgery. They will consider if they are prepared physically, mentally and emotionally to follow through on the changes necessary for sustained success.
Post Op HCP Role
Post-surgery, HCPs play an important role in ensuring that the patient stays on track and continues to follow up with the surgeon, adjusts medications as needed and identifies potential complications that require referral back to the surgeon.
Note: the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a memo stating that obesity counseling is appropriate for patients entitled to benefits.308Here is an informative fact sheet about the decision. You can also read about the decision on the CMS website.