New service covered by Medicare for those who qualify

For many people, weight loss feels like a life-long struggle. Winona Health now offers additional help for those who want ongoing support in their effort to lose weight and improve their health.

Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) for Obesity is a Medicare benefit for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Those interested who know they are overweight but don’t know whether their BMI is over 30 should contact their healthcare provider.

This Medicare benefit allows up to 22 visits per year with no co-pay or deductible, including:

  • A weekly visit with a dietitian for the first month.
  • A visit with a dietitian every other week for months two through six.
  • If successful in losing at least 6.6 pounds in six months, continued monthly follow-up with the dietitian for months seven through 12.

IBT for Obesity is based on collaboration, education and coaching. Here’s what to expect:

  • Brief/basic nutrition education.
  • Self-monitoring of food intake.
  • Participation in goal-setting.
  • Work with a dietitian on a personalized weight-loss plan.
  • Brief visits with a dietitian for a weigh-in, coaching and goal-setting.
  • Success in losing weight!

IBT for Obesity is covered by Medicare and is not subject to co-pay or deductible. The program may be covered by commercial insurance. Those interested should check with their insurance provider.

Those who are interested in losing weight and improving their health, should talk with their healthcare provider about this Medicare benefit. To schedule an appointment, call 507.454.3650.

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