Preparing For Surgery
We have simplified the process for preparing for weight loss surgery. Our knowledgeable Bariatric Patient Coordinators are trained to partner with you through the complexities of insurance authorization as well as coordinating the appointments required for surgical clearance. We have a Registered Dietician and a Clinical Psychologist on staff to allow you to complete your nutritional consultation and psychological evaluation at our office if you desire. We are committed to supporting and working with you through the life changing process of weight loss surgery.
Step 1 - Attend a Free Seminar
Attend our free seminars at Northwest Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital with Dr. Burpee or Dr. Chiasson to learn more about your options for weight loss surgery. You can register here or call 520-219-8690.
All patients must attend a seminar, ideally before they schedule their first office consultation.
Step 2 - Verifying Insurance Benefits
After providing an accurate and completed Insurance Verification Form our Bariatric Coordinators will contact your insurance company to verify your particular insurance benefits. Some insurance plans have exclusions for covering bariatric surgery and others may limit certain procedures. Most insurance plans have specific requirements such as a 4-6 month diet history or 2-5 years of weight loss history with a physician. We are contracted with MOST insurance plans. Within one week after the seminar, you will be contacted by the office to discuss your coverage benefits. If your policy has an exclusion, they will inform you of our self-pay options including financing programs.
Step 3 - Consultation & Clearances
We look forward to seeing you in our office for your new patient consultation. After meeting with our Nurse Practitioner or the surgeon, you will meet with your Bariatric Coordinator who will walk you through the process of getting clinical clearances and outline the insurance or self-pay requirements. Your Bariatric Coordinator or one of the front office staff will assist you in scheduling your nutritional consultation, your psychological evaluation (if done in our office), and an EGD or Upper GI with your surgeon. You will be given a checklist of things you need to complete in order to receive your bariatric benefits from your insurance company. The process of for surgery can move as quickly as 4 weeks or as long as a year, depending on the specific requirements of your insurance plan. The average amount of time for meeting the insurance requirements is 3-6 months. Self-pay, Medicare and patients who are employees at Raytheon can usually be scheduled within 4 to 6 weeks.
Step 4 - Scheduling Surgery
If you are a self-pay, Medicare or Raytheon insured patient, your Bariatric Coordinator will call you as soon as all of your medical clearances have been met. If you are an insurance patient, your Bariatric Coordinator will submit all of your requirements to the insurance company for approval once you have completed them and you will be contacted as soon as your insurance approval has been received. This can take up to 3 weeks. You will be scheduled for your educational pre-operative class and pre-op testing at the hospital where you are having your surgery about 2 weeks prior to surgery. The class is very important. One of our Nurse Practitioners will educate and prepare you for your post-op dietary requirements and what to expect in the hospital and for the first few weeks after surgery.
You will need to meet with your surgeon for a pre-op visit for a final surgical clearance and instructions. This is scheduled about 2 weeks before your surgery date. Your first post-op visit will be scheduled at this time. You will be placed on a low-calorie diet 2 weeks prior to surgery to ensure your success after surgery. Your Bariatric Coordinator will also give you information about your pre-admission testing which is normally scheduled before or after the pre-op education class on the same day.
Surgery co-pays, deductibles and self-pay payments, including financing will be processed at your pre-op visit. Self-pay payments to the hospital and Southern Arizona Anesthesia must be made 48 hours prior to surgery.
You have arrived at your day of surgery and have begun the transforming of your life!