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Frequently Asked Questions

Effects of Obesity

What conditions improve with weight loss?

Conditions improved with weight loss

Non-Surgical Weight Loss FAQ

Does insurance cover my dietitian visits?

In most cases, individuals with obesity have dietitian coverage under their insurance plan. We are in-network providers for HealthPartners, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, Mayo, Preferred One, MinnesotaCare, Medicaid, Medicare and others.

General information

  • Our goal is to provide you with a range of payment information, so you can select the best option for your budget.
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are usually eligible for coverage. Health reimbursement accounts (HRA) also may provide coverage under certain circumstances.
  • Insurance coverage varies. Ask your insurance company (find the customer service number on your insurance card) about covered services. Here are a few questions to ask:
    1. Will my plan cover (insert service)? It may be helpful to share these CPT codes for dietitian visits: 97802 and 97803.
    2. How many visits are allowed per calendar year?
    3. Do I need prior authorization?
    4. Do I need a referral?
    5. Do I have a co-pay?
    6. Do I have a deductible? If yes, has it been met?
  • Some policies require a referral from a primary care physician for the treatments to be covered and may have annual limits. Most policies do not require a referral.
  • Medicare has limited coverage for dietitian visits.
  • Our cash price is $150 for three visits with a dietitian. If billed through insurance, cost would be about $640 due to added paperwork for medical billing, diagnostic coding, communication with insurance companies, etc.
  • Your insurance may require you to pay your deductible before covering dietitian visits. A deductible is an amount of out-of-pocket expense that you must pay before your insurance benefits start. Deductibles are usually calculated on a calendar-year basis, and any covered medical expenses that you pay for out-of-pocket should be applied toward your deductible until it’s been met for the year.
  • If you are in a high deductible plan, our cash option may be the best value for you.
  • If you have questions, please call our office.

How are pre-packaged, proportioned food products used in your program?

CentraCare Weight Management offers both food-based and product-based programs. Pre-packaged foods or meal replacements have been shown in clinical trials to enhance weight loss. This is at least in part because they are portion-controlled, satiating and convenient to use. Many of our patients choose meal replacement programs for the initial weight loss phase, transitioning fully or partially to a regular food-based program later. The choice of program is up to you and will be discussed with one of our providers during the initial consultation.

Can I do a “natural” weight loss program at your Center?

CentraCare Weight Management emphasizes the importance of developing eating habits that will encourage weight loss while meeting the specific needs of each client. We are sensitive to preferences for organic foods, vegan or vegetarian, prepared or packaged foods, and individuals with allergies or sensitivities. We work with our patients to develop a meal plan that will mesh with personal preferences.

What are the benefits of coaching visits?

Personal coaching visits are an extremely effective strategy for patients during the weight loss AND weight maintenance phases. Personal coaches provide regular, on-going support, motivation and accountability. At CentraCare Weight Management our coaches represent the important specialties of nutrition, behavior and exercise so you have an option to work with a specialist week-to-week. Lastly, when you purchase a 12 visit coaching package you gain access to unlimited weight management classes and life-long monthly personal coaching visits. These benefits highlight our dedication to supporting your life-long efforts!

What are the benefits of meal replacement products?

Meal replacement products are an evidenced-based tool used to promote weight loss in a safe and effective manner. Our program has options that uses meal replacement products and other options that do not. How to use them and when to use them are decisions you make with your weight loss team.

Surgical Weight Loss FAQ

How do I qualify for weight loss surgery?

Individuals need a body mass index (BMI) or 40 or greater, or a BMI of 35 or greater with severe obesity-related co-morbidities (such as type 2 diabetes).

Does insurance cover bariatric surgery?

The staff at CentraCare Weight Management will help you assess weight loss surgery options and costs, as well as pre- and postoperative care.

Bariatric Surgery Insurance Coverage

  • Many insurance plans cover bariatric surgery.
  • Review your insurance policy or call your insurer to determine:
    1. If weight loss surgery is a covered service (the CPT code for sleeve gastrectomy is 43775 and gastric bypass is 43644).
    2. If there are additional requirements for coverage.
  • Insurance companies often require at least 6-12 months of documented diet history. Many also require nutrition and psychological consultations.
  • The CentraCare Weight Management program meets these insurance requirements.

Will I need to eat a specific diet after surgery?

You will be on a clear liquid diet for one day after surgery. For the next two weeks you will follow a full liquid diet. Your diet texture will gradually progress from pureed to soft over the next month and finally to regular foods at about six weeks after surgery. Once you progress to the regular diet, we recommend protein and fiber foods at every meal. Other nutrition recommendations will be discussed during your dietitian visits.

How soon after my first appointment will I have surgery?

The process usually takes four to eight months from your first visit. During this time, you will complete a psychological assessment, meet numerous times with a bariatric dietitian, and complete other insurance requirements.

After surgery, when do I follow-up with the Weight Management provider(s)?

You will have office visits at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and yearly.

Will I have pain after surgery?

Mild discomfort at the incision sites is common. Pain medications will be prescribed to help with discomfort.

Can I regain weight after surgery?

It is possible to regain weight after all weight loss surgeries. The chance of weight regain is greatly reduced if a complete lifestyle change is embraced, including a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Will I have to change my medications?

Many conditions improve or resolve after weight loss surgery. These conditions include hypertension, type 2 diabetes, etc. It is possible for your medications to be decreased or discontinued.

Can I get pregnant after weight loss surgery?

It is recommended to delay pregnancy for at least 18-24 months after surgery. Your weight and nutrition status will likely be stable at this point. Fertility may increase with weight loss. Please talk with your primary care provider about birth control.

Will I be able to drink alcohol after surgery?

After undergoing weight loss surgery, you will find that even small amounts of alcohol will affect you quickly. Alcohol is a high-calorie beverage that should be regarded as a dessert and consumed infrequently or not at all.

Not sure where to start? See how to tailor a plan for you.

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