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The UniqueU clinic now has a full spectrum of bariatric medical weight management programs and plans, including VLCD, LCD, transition, and maintenance diets, along with our BMI 12 week patient educational platforms and monitoring systems. We also integrated our comprehensive bariatric surgical patient care program that includes Preop, Postop and Back on Track programs which follow ASBP, ASMBS, NIH and American Bariatric University’s surgical patient care guidelines. Our BMI referral program which is only offered to BMI certified weight loss physicians opens the doors for referral to and from bariatric surgeons, primary care physicians, sleep centers and hospitals. Our BMI referral program and referral network helps chiropractic physicians grow their chiropractic practice as then begin to network with their local physicians as the local bariatric authority. If you are a chiropractic physician, sleep center or primary care physician and would like to learn more about how American Bariatric Consultants can help you integrate turnkey comprehensive bariatric medical programs into your clinic without disrupting your current clinical operations through a system that has a ROI of just 4-5 new patients, call us at 866-270-5115 or register here to get more information of the BMI office based weight loss programs from American Bariatric Consultants.
Founder of the American Bariatric University and the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, Dr. Contact us to learn more about our turnkey practiced based physician supervised weight management programs for physicians, surgeons and hospitals.
Today July 2nd, 2013, I had the pleasure of speaking at the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians annual Mid-Summer Family Medicine Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC. Over 250 primary care physicians registered for this medical conference and will earn up to 35 CME hours.
It seems that more and more Primary Care Physicians are becoming interested in how they can participate in bariatric surgical preoperative and postoperative care.
I want to thank Cine-Med and Covidien for their support and accreditation of this CME event and for the support of our upcoming events.
We’ll see you August 11th in Fairview Hts, IL at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) 8th annual Primary Care Update at the Four Points Sheridan. June 26, 2013 Leave a CommentAmerican Bariatric Consultants is please to invite our referring primary care physicians to the 2013 North Carolina Academy of Family Physician Mid-Summer Family Medicine Digest, June 30th-July 6th at the Kingston Plantation in beautiful Myrtle Beach, SC. Founder of the American Bariatric University and the Bariatric &Metabolic Institute, Dr. Its not surprising that the CAMC bariatric program continues to experience strong growth when you consider the effort they make to educate and engage their community and healthcare providers.
I want to thank the Co-chairs and their organizing committees for inviting me to speak again this year to their referring physicians and colleagues.
It’s through programs like this that we have an opportunity to reach those in our own communities to help us open access to care. February 20, 2013 Leave a CommentLexington Medical Center and the Riverside Surgical Group has taken another step in leading the bariatric field by integrating a comprehensive bariatric and metabolic medical program into their first in class bariatric surgical center. In the early years of bariatric surgery, health insurers claimed that bariatric surgical procedures were ‘experimental surgical procedures’ and refused to cover the cost of bariatric surgery so patients who wanted bariatric surgery were forced to pay for those procedures out of their own pockets which led many to price shop. Limitation of qualified bariatric surgeons early in the evolution of bariatric surgery meant that if you wanted bariatric surgery, 15-20 years ago, in many cases you had to travel either domestically or internationally for that access. As more surgeons became trained and proficient in bariatric surgery and more health insurers began to cover these life saving procedures, the need for patients to travel for bariatric surgery based upon availability of qualified surgeons and health insurance coverage decreased over time. Although health insurers increasingly began to cover bariatric surgery over the past decade many patients still had no insurance coverage for bariatric surgery and fell into the cash-paying category where cost to self-payers drove the bariatric surgical travel market. Today more and more people are traveling for bariatric surgery both domestically and internationally and we expect that number to increase as the US economy continues to improve and Americans regain the discretionary income they need to purchase these services and as the US obesity epidemic continues its growth particularly among the more affluent ‘baby boomers’.
Globalization of healthcare and travel for healthcare products and services is in its infancy.
The early adaptors in the medical tourism industry were travel agents, entrepreneurs, and business minded people with more experience in marketing and sales than medicine and surgery. Clearly international travel for bariatric surgery or any type of procedure has its own unique set of challenges including language barriers, uncertainty of surgeon and hospital credentialing and accreditation, concerns over political stability of the destination nation as well as other health and safety issues associated with traveling abroad. When a patient travels for any surgical procedure often the continuity of care, which is so critical to reducing perioperative complications and to achieving best outcomes is broken. Over the past decade as I traveled about the US lecturing to primary care physicians about bariatric surgery and their role in perioperative patient care I recognized the learning gaps that existed in our referring physician based and developed in conjunction with the ASBP CME approved bariatric perioperative patient care educational programs for primary care physicians.
Even in those cases where patients choose to have bariatric surgery in their own community educating and engaging referring physicians can help reduce risk, streamline the preoperative process, and improve long-term outcome. We’ve not going to be able to reach every primary care physician in every community so we’ll need to build a national network of specialty trained, mentored and monitored bariatric physicians who can provide to our traveling patients those essential preop and postop services that helps reduce risk and improve outcomes. The challenge to bariatric surgical travel is to convince patients, their primary care physicians and payors (health insurers, governments, employers) that patients will have access to not only high quality, low cost surgical care but to care that will offer low risk and best outcomes as well. May 7, 2012 Leave a CommentUp to 42% of Americans may end up obese by 2030 according to a report in today’s American Journal of Preventive Medicine. These alarming numbers are not just statistics but actual lives that are at risk for developing metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. This projected increase in obesity could add billions of dollars to the US health care system.
April 9, 2012 Leave a CommentAmerican Bariatric Consultants has issued its annual bariatric year in preview report for 2012, predicting a banner year for the physician supervised bariatric medical program with a subsequent upturn in bariatric surgery.
Market Demand: We continue to see out of control growth of obesity in American, with nearly 200 million Americans now considered overweight or obese. Market Sentiment: A rebounding economy and a return of discretionary spending on health and beauty is beginning to drive up numbers in commercial weight loss centers, over-the-counter supplements, web-based and multi-level-marketing weight loss product sales. Market Innovations: Qnexa is just weeks away from becoming the first weight loss drug approved by the FDA in over 13 years and once fully rolled out to the medical community will drive a tsunami of new patient-consumers into the market.
Market long-term view: Regardless of the outcome of the Affordable Care Act it is clear America will continue to reform the delivery of our healthcare system, shifting from an acute episodic care to preventative care system that focuses on obesity and metabolic diseases. Market needs: If the bariatric market is to fully capitalize on these market trends then physicians and their staff must be trained and mentored in the art, science and business of bariatric medicine. Now with our new BMI web-based physician-patient bariatric e-learning and communication tool, we are poised to engage and support thousands of physicians and millions of their overweight and obese patients utilizing the latest in physician-patient connectivity tools support by the most experienced team of bariatric healthcare providers in the nation. In order for Bariatric Surgical practices to survive and grow in this evolving market they must integrate comprehensive bariatric medical programs into their surgical practices and build strong networks of referring physicians from within and outside of their local communities.

February 23, 2012 Leave a CommentBy a 20-2 vote the FDA advisory panel recommended approval of Qnexa a fixed dose weight loss medication combining phentermine and topiramate. Patients will be seen once a month by their physician to monitor vital signs and to ensure appropriate birth control.
Get ready for a fully Customized Weight Loss Program based on the results of your lab tests, how quickly you want to lose the weight and your everyday time demands.
This Modified Profast program includes regular foods from an approved list, some meal supplements and delicious protein shakes.
This program incorporates a well balanced, controlled calorie diet that allows you to lose weight utilizing all food groups. Metabolics maintenance plans will help you keep the weight off once you've reached your weight loss goal. Complete medical weight loss evaluation through a series of office and lab tests analyzed by our physicians. Healthy food alternatives, including profast supplements and injections to ensure you are getting proper vitamins and minerals. It can be extremely frustrating when you are trying to lose weight and it is just not working.
You need to seek a custom program dictated by personal lab test results and administered by a caring medical staff. Medically supervised programs are the reason you can choose Metabolic and watch your life change.
Dan Buchanan a highly innovative Chiropractic physician has integrate our BMI physician supervised weight management program into his current clinical operations. Buchanan and his partner James Lutz MD own and operate UniqueU, a BMI partnered bariatric medical center. Huffman continues to expand his outreach to the medical community by promoting viable solutions to obesity care through physician supervised medical and surgical weight management treatment options. Kevin Huffman, medical director of American Bariatric Consultants, and board certified bariatric physician is well recognized as the leading medical authority in bariatric medicine and medical weight loss. Huffman continues to expand his out reach to the medical community by promoting viable solutions to the medical weight loss and the obesity epidemic in the United States through CME accredited continued physician educational programs.
Huffman continues to expand his outreach to the medical community by promoting viable solutions to the medical weight loss and the obesity epidemic in the United States through CME accredited continued physician educational programs. Jamie Jeffrey, Medical Director, Children’s Medicine Center HealthyKids Pediatric Weight Management Program and Dr.
Pioneers in the bariatric surgical field and South Carolina’s leading bariatric surgeons the Riverside Surgical Group and their forward thinking leaders continue to expand their metabolic and bariatric services. James Givens one of America’s most experienced bariatric surgeons is now able to offer comprehensive bariatric medical and surgical weight loss to patients throughout South Carolina.
Huffman, medical director of American Bariatric Consultants, and board certified bariatric physician is well recognized as a leading medical authority in bariatric medicine and medical weight loss.
Like most emerging fields of medicine or surgery, bariatric surgery faced limitations of access in terms of health insurance coverage and qualified healthcare providers early in its evolution and it was these limitations of access that planted the seeds of the bariatric surgery travel industry.
Often the best cash prices were found outside of the patient’s home community opening the door to bariatric surgical travel. Having practiced bariatric medicine in Ohio in the 1990s I was fortunate to have a bariatric surgical pioneer, Dr. Delays in access and Cost to self-payers then became the driving forces for bariatric surgical patient travel. Where some US institutions were charging as much as $20,000 for LAP-BAND® surgery domestically, patients were finding international surgeons offering the same procedure at less than $10,000.
Finally health insurers, employers and even state government are beginning to fuel this growth by negotiating contracts with distant providers in an effort to drive down their annual healthcare cost.
Entrepreneurs are often at the forefront of new medical advancements, even bariatric surgery, but to sustain growth eventually the healthcare community must take ownership of new emerging healthcare fields if those fields are to expand and flourish. To learn more about these issues of international travel go to our MTA PowerPoint presentation on PRE OPERATIVE PRE TRAVEL and POST OPERATIVE POST TRAVEL. I had the privilege of delivering these two presentations to physicians attending the Medical Tourism Association International Conference in Miami, FL this past fall.
Complete transparency of total door-to-door cost for the procedure, travel, housing, ancillary fees, perioperative care, long-term medical care cost and cost of medical care from potential perioperative complications. Sharing of perioperative and operative medical records including referring physician ‘fit for flight’ H&P, preoperative diagnostic studies, operative reports, discharge summaries, postop orders and home physician follow up medical records. If patients choose bariatric surgery in their own community the bariatric surgical team typically provides preoperative, operative and postoperative patient care, reducing risk and improving outcomes.
By educating and engaging primary care physicians we decrease perioperative risk and improve long-term outcomes for both traveling and non-traveling patients while at the same time nurturing a network of referring physicians.
Patients find it more convenient to follow up with a primary care physician 5 and 10 years postoperatively than traveling to the surgical center, so getting the primary care community engaged in driving optimal long-term outcomes, and collecting and reporting of outcome data is in the best interest of the bariatric surgical community. Developing standards in bariatric surgical perioperative care through clear perioperative clinical pathways, monitoring outcomes and establishing clear lines of community will be the foundation upon which we can build a bariatric medical support system for traveling bariatric surgery.
11% of the US population could be severely obese by 2030, which is classified as morbid obesity, a medical condition that increases both morbidity and mortality. American Bariatric Consultants has been training and mentoring physicians in the art, science and business of bariatric (obesity medicine) for over 20 years. An obese person costs an average of $1,400 more in medical expenses a year than someone who is at a healthy weight. Thousands of physicians and millions of their overweight and obese patients are likely to test the bariatric waters this year, driven in by a variety of influences surrounding the bariatric and weight loss market.
Bariatric medical and fee-for-service bariatric surgical programs have seen moderate increases first quarter of 2012 over first quarter 2011. Functional foods and bariatric nutritional supplements that are part of a comprehensive physician supervised weight management programhave the potential for rapid and sustainable growth particularly if these products are integral to the nutritional plans that are recommended by patient’s personal physicians.

This is good news for physician supervised weight management program, since with this shift comes a shift in payment to incentivize physicians to screen, treat and refer their overweight and obese patients.
Physicians are ill prepared to tackle the tsunami of patients that will be entering the healthcare systems. American Bariatric University, a division of American Bariatric Consultants is please to announce that our Bariatric Primer for the PCP referring physician educational program is now CME approved for 5 hours. Although there was testimony voicing concern over elevated pulse rates and cleft palate birth defects in child born to women taking the medication, the 20-2 vote was a sign that the FDA is taking the obesity epidemic seriously and recognize the impact untreated obesity has Americans’ health.
In the clinical trials patients taking the medication and participating in lifestyle modification lost more than 10% of their starting weight. We have taken care to arrange the distribution of calories, particularly carbohydrates, to facilitate the loss of fat weight, retention of muscle mass, and appetite control. Wallen and all the medical staff at the Metabolic Medical Centers are here to help you lose weight and keep it off permanently. Lutz have undergone our American Bariatric University training courses and are BMI certified weight loss physicians. Robert Shin MD, Director, CAMC Weight Loss Center & Minimally Invasive Surgery did an outstanding job of balancing the conference between policy, prevention and treatment. In terms of delay in access, two factors came into play; first some health insurers enforced preoperative requirements that would delay access to bariatric surgery for up to 18-months, which was unacceptable to many of those with the means to pay for the surgery out of pocket. These low cost surgical options helped stimulate growth in international travel for bariatric surgery and at the same time placed downward pressure on domestic cash prices ultimately leading to more competitive domestic fees, which in turn spurred growth of the domestic bariatric surgical travel market. Medical tourism is a relatively new industry that grew from the concept of combining lower cost healthcare procedures in distant locations, often abroad, with a travel vacation.
We’ve seen this happen with bariatric surgery, but international medical tourism has not yet completed that turn from entrepreneur dominated to healthcare dominated. Those who travel may receive no preoperative care and spotty if any postoperative care leaving the door open for perioperative complications to go undiagnosed and untreated. Through web-based communication portals where surgeons, primary care physicians and other healthcare providers can share data, documents and reports we can better meet the 10-year outcome reporting goals. Bariatric medical education including both CME and non-CME offerings can bring the knowledge based and credibility necessary to establish this network of physicians as medical experts. Two-thirds of the US healthcare budget of nearly 2.5 trillion dollars is spent on chronic disease most of which are brought on by obesity or aggravated by obesity.
A recent CMS ruling is the first of many steps towards reimbursing physician supervised weight management programs.
American Bariatric Consultants has been helping physicians integrate comprehensive bariatric medical programs into their busy practices for over 20 years. This intensive bariatric educational program, which covers the primary care physician’s role in screening, treating and referring patients, focuses on preoperative, acute and postoperative bariatric surgical patient care.
Your program will be custom tailored from one of the metabolic programs below, then it will be adjusted accordingly by the doctor to insure the safest and greatest chance for steady weight loss.
For many of us it feels like we are starving ourselves and still the weight will not come off.
It makes sense to become educated by medical professionals to understand how your body processes food.
Roma Wallen gives a few tips, when she further explains in the video above, that will help you get on the right track to this healthy lifestyle of losing weight. Huffman has traveled extensively throughout the United States over the past 25+ years, teaching and mentoring physicians, nurses, and clinical staff the art, science and business of bariatric medicine and bariatric preop and postop patient care.
Huffman has traveled extensively throughout the United States over the past 25+ years, treaching and mentoring physicians, nurses, and clinical staff in the art science and business of bariatric medicine.
Huffman has travelled extensively throughout the United States over the past 25 years, teaching and mentoring physicians, nurses, and clinical staff in the art science and business of bariatric medicine.
Givens is currently undergoing board certification by the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
However in the early days of the LAP-BAND® system nobody in Ohio offered that option, so I made referrals as far away as Seattle, to another bariatric surgical pioneer and personal friend Ross Fox MD.
Second early in the field of bariatric surgery many qualified surgeons had very long waiting list because of their stellar reputations and the fact that there were such a small number of bariatric surgeons in the US at that time. Although we often don’t associate domestic bariatric surgery with medical tourism, because domestic travel has less of the tourism component to it than international medical tourism, I believe as domestic healthcare travel expands and becomes more competitive, concierge like services with hints of tourism may find there way into domestic healthcare travel. Mentoring these physicians through the board certification process of the American Board of Obesity Medicine should be the ultimate goal of these key bariatric medical physicians.
Huffman has travelled extensively throughout the United States over the past 20+ years, teaching and mentoring physicians, nurses, and clinical staff in the art science and business of bariatric medicine. You will lose weight quickly and safely with our low-fat, reduced carbohydrate and moderate protein programs. In response to these long waiting periods some patients again with adequate financial resources chose to travel both domestically and internationally to access bariatric surgery on their time schedule. Consider seeking professional advice where medical doctors can run a series of tests to determine what is best for your health circumstances. With the right information, and a medical weight loss program,  losing weight fast and keeping it off permanently can be a reality.
Givens and his new comprehensive bariatric weight management center the very best and look forward to our continued BMI partnership.

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