- Check with your health insurance company to make sure that you have benefits for bariatric surgery. Review item 11 below concerning insurance company requirements.
- Mail the following to our office if you did not hand in at the educational seminar:
- Completed patient history questionnaire.
- Copy of front and back of your insurance card if we don't have it already.
- HMO patients: copy of your written authorization for consultation.
- We will call you to set up an appointment for individual consultation soon after the educational seminar, or when we receive your information. At your consultation, you will also meet with Lisa Haas, our office manager, to discuss the business aspects of your medical care.
- Obtain copies of all reports and documentation of prior weight loss attempts. Fill out the Weight Loss History Questionnaire in detail. Include all documented programs and all non-dcumented efforts.
- Fill this form out carefully because it is one of the key elements required for insurance authorization.
- Hand carry these reports to your consultation if you can get them by that time. If you cannot get them right away, you can hand carry or mail them to us later.
- Ask your physicians' offices to make copies of test results that you have already taken.
- Blood tests (CBC, Chemistry panel, Lipid Profile, Iron levels, etc.) within one year.
- EKG, CXR, and Urinalysis within one year.
- Cardiac echo, sleep study within two years.
- All operative reports for surgery of the stomach, small intestine, liver, colon, abdominal wall hernia if mesh was used. We don't need reports of gallbladder, appendix, gynecologic, and groin hernia surgeries.
- Any summary chart information that is available from your PCP or specialists (problem list, history and physical exams, consultation reports, Gynecologic check-up results, or psych evaluation.
- Pick up the results and hand carry or mail them to our office. Please don't ask your physicians' offices to mail or fax them to us. Historically, this hasn't worked on a consistent basis and generally delays the process.
- Please do not ask your physician to order new tests or labs at this time.
- Female patients: We require that your health maintenance be up to date before we request authorization for surgery. You will need a full check, including pelvic, Pap Smear, and mammograms (over age 40) within the last year. Please make an appointment ASAP if needed. Ask your clinician to copy these results for you so you can bring or mail them to us.
- At your individual consultation, we will decide which additional tests you need and give you appropriate instructions. Where possible, we will give you a lab slip that will automatically have results sent to us.
We will give you instructions on how to have other test results sent to us. In most cases the testing facility will send results to us. In other cases, you will have to pickup the results from your PCP or the testing facility and mail them to us.
- When we receive the authorization for your surgery, we will call you to schedule your pre-op visit and your surgery date. If you get a copy of the authorization for surgery and you haven't heard from us, you may call to schedule. It may take up to a month from the time we request authorization until we hear back.
- Before you can schedule your surgery, you must attend a dietary education session and a pre-op educational support group. The dietary education sessions are held in our office on the second Thursdays of the month at 6:00 PM, and the pre-op education support group is held at our office on the first Thursday at 6:00 PM.
- Learn about your insurance company's requirements that you ahve to fulfill to have obesity surgery. Most insurance companies now require 3 to 6 months of documented physician supervised weight loss attempts within the past 2 years. You can learn about your company's policy by calling the number on your insurance card. We have placed links to many of the larger company's policies on our web site at www.thinnertimes.com.
- Learn more about the gastric bypass, Lap Band, and other weight loss surgeries at our web site http://www.thinnertimes.com. Also be sure to join and ask questions on our global gastric bypass and Lap Band surgery forums.
If you are married or have a partner, that person must attend an introductory education session and your pre-op appointment. He or she must also be at the hospital when you have surgery or must be immediately available by phone. If you are not married or do not have a significant other or if you are estranged, you should ask another family member or close friend to go through the process with you.
We also strongly encourage your spouse or buddy to attend your individual consultation, the dietary education lecture, and the pre-op education support group, too. Obesity surgery is a major undertaking; it is really important that your family be well educated about your surgery, the expected consequences, and potential problems. Your weight loss surgery and the changes you make in your life will affect your entire family. You will need their support to be as successful as possible.
(Some tips that bear repeating)
You can help by:
- Fill in forms completely and mail them back quickly. Be thorough and accurate. Be sure to include all information about your primary care doctor and other physicians including address, phone, and fax number.
- Include a copy of your insurance card and authorization for consultation with Dr. Callery when you mail in your forms if you didn’t hand them in at the seminar.
- Get your problem list, labs, and test results for the last year from MD’s and bring them with you to your consultation.
- Get lab tests and consultations done quickly and be sure to mail or hand carry results to our office promptly.
- Be sure your spouse or significant other attends your introductory education session, dietary education lecture, and your pre-op visit.
- Mail or hand carry your information. Please do not ask your PCP to fax materials to us. The fax system especially with PCP offices is just too unreliable and leads to confusion and extra work for everyone.
Things that can slow or hinder the process:
- Asking your PCP to order new labs before your individual consultation.
- Frequent calls about authorization (we can’t speed things up with the insurance companies).
- Asking your PCP to help get authorization for surgery. This can result in a denial and put you in a very time-consuming appeals process.