The Bariatric Surgery Process: From Diagnosis to Operating Day
When a patient calls Kim Bariatric Institute and schedules an appointment, an insurance specialist verifies the insurance information to determine if bariatric surgery is covered under their plan. If weight loss surgery is a covered benefit, we will then check to see which of our surgeons Dr. David Kim and Dr. Bridget Holden, they need to see. Some patients have coverage only if they use an in-network provider and in this case, their surgeon would be Dr. Bridget Holden. If they have both in and out-of-network benefits, they can choose between Dr. Kim, who is out-of-network with all insurances, or Dr. Holden, who is in-network with most insurances. If they do not have coverage due to an exclusion they convert to a self pay patient and Dr. Kim would be their surgeon.
Again, we have some insurance companies that we do not accept, and some policies only cover surgery if performed in specific hospitals, so there are exceptions to every rule.
When insurance is confirmed, the specialist will then tell the patient whom their surgeon will be, due to the fact that individual doctors accept different insurance plans. This will be communicated weeks to months in advance of the scheduled surgery. No patient is told who their surgeon will be on the day of the operation. When insurance is approved, the insurance company will typically send a letter to both the doctor and the patient with details about the approved operation, including the doctor’s name.
Once approved, patients will attend our exclusive Bariatric University. Our certified Bariatric Nurse Coordinator, who has been working with Dr. Kim for the past 10 years, will hold the approximately two-hour educational course. She will provide a detailed description of the typical post-operative care regimen, explain the potential risks and complications, and offer an in-depth explanation of what happens after surgery. Following this class, which also clarifies the meaning and importance of informed consent, the patient will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that will be carefully examined for comprehension. One of the questions expressly asks if the individual knows which physician will perform the operation, stating, “I understand my surgeon will be _____.”
The matter of informed consent is very important to Kim Bariatric Institute. We understand that surgery is a serious matter, and your safety is our primary concern. Our surgeons strive every day to provide the best surgical experience possible. Our complication rates are well below the national average, and Kim Bariatric Institute has been a recognized “Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®” since 2005. This designation is only given to a rare group of distinguished practices that have been evaluated for excellence in surgery by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
No consent form can cover every possible complication; however, education about the potential dangers of weight loss surgery will be provided. Some specific complications particular to the selected method will be explained (we offer four different weight loss procedures). No operation will be undertaken if our surgeons determine the risks outweigh the benefits, which will be discussed weeks to months before the surgery.
Some insurance plans require a three-month approval process, which typically involves diet education and emphasize exercise. These informative classes are held at our Institute, and they provide ample opportunity to ask questions and meet with our staff.
Before the operation, our surgeon will meet with the patient the morning of the procedure. They will answer any additional questions and help the individual prepare for surgery that day.
We understand that surgery can be a stressful event for patients. We take every operation seriously and dedicate ourselves to safety and success. Though no method can promise a 100% success rate, our safety record is much higher than the national average and speaks for itself. People have relied on Kim Bariatric Institute’s exceptional reputation for 12 years and counting.
We look forward to meeting with you and providing a personal, one-on-one conversation about your goals and options. For more information about the insurance approval process and candidacy requirements for weight loss surgery, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.