Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Weight Management Program

Last night I met up with the people from the Weight Management Program (WMP) at my local hospital. When I went for my yearly gynecological appointment this year, my doctor suggested I try out the WMP. I signed up for a free orientation which took place last night at the hospital... I thought I was just meeting up with a nutritionist, but that's not the case... Here's what I learned about the WMP.

The WMP is actually connected to Health Management Resources (HMR). This is an extremely low-calorie doctor supervised diet. By extremely low-calorie, I mean that you would only consume about 600-800 calories per day. You see the doctor once per week though while on this program. There are two options through the hospital and then two options for at-home. The one that I think would benefit me the most is the Decision-Free Diet. Here is some information on that:
  • Rapid weight loss
    • Average weight loss: 57 pounds in 14 weeks
    • Men: average 3-5 pounds per week
    • Women: average 2-4 pounds per week.
  • All HMR Meals
    • Minimum of 5 HMR meals per day (non-negotiable)
      • Minimum: 5 shakes OR
      • Minimum: 3 shakes + 2 entrees
    • No other grocery store food
  • Two quarts (eight glasses) of non-caloric fluid daily (no alcohol)
  • Two HMR vitamins per day
  • Ongoing medical supervision
If I could afford this program, I would jump on it immediately. I mean, it sounds super beneficial to people like me (prone to eating disorders, compulsive overeating) because it's physician supervised the entire time. But here's the money breakdown and why I'm probably not going to be able to do the program:

Phase 1 - Initial Medical Visit
  • Billed to Insurance*
    • Complete physical exam with NP
    • Lab testing
    • EKG
    • $686-883 dependent on needs
  • Patient Responsibility
    • Nutritional assessment
    • Health Risk Appraisal
    • Educational materials
    • $75 out of pocket one time expense
Weekly Classes
  • Billed to Insurance*
    • Medical visit with MD or NP
    • Periodic lab testing
    • $150-540 dependent on needs
  • Patient Responsibility
    • Monthly service fee ($25/week)
    • Billed $100 monthly
* any co-insurance, copays, denials, deductibles and balance due from insurance are patient responsibility

Meal Replacement Weekly Prescription
  • Patient Responsibility
    • 2 HMR boxes weekly
      • Choose from HMR500, 800, 70+, cereal, soup
    • $78 due weekly
Phase 2 - Weight Loss Maintenance classes
  • Patient Responsibility
    • Weekly health education class
    • Midweek phone call coaching with health educator
    • 15% discount for payment in full for one year ($135 value)
    • Payment every 3 months = $225
    • $900/year
Okay, so minimum payments for Phase 1 is almost $1500 for three months (12 weeks). If you haven't reached your goal weight, you do another round of Phase 1... If you have, you go on to Phase 2 which is a minimum of 18 months and an approximate amount of $1350. So the total MINIMUM amount for this is about $3000... And if your insurance doesn't cover all of those doctor visits or you have a copay that goes up a lot more... So, definitely out of my budget. *sigh* It'd be nice to almost meet my goal weight in three months though.

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