Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) clients at Winona Health see results

For many people, weight loss feels like a life-long struggle. Winona Health offers a program called Intensive Behavioral Therapy, covered by Medicare, to help people who want ongoing support in their effort to lose weight and improve their health.

Sharon Martin, 76, of Winona, said “I decided to try it, and I just knew immediately—from my first meeting with Theresa [Theresa Hoyles, RD, CDE], that it was going to be great. Theresa is so kind, encouraging and positive. I’ve learned things about food labels, and she also has lots of tips for substitutions and avoiding some of the things that aren’t good for me.”

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

“So far I’ve lost about 25 pounds,” said Sharon. “I feel much better since I’ve lost weight. We looked at my labs, and my cholesterol has improved and some of my other numbers have too. I know I wouldn’t have had these kinds of results if I wasn’t working with Theresa—it’s like having a partner. Once you get started, and with her as a partner, it’s really helpful.”

This Medicare benefit allows up to 22 visits per year with no co-pay or deductible (some Medicare Advantage plans may require a co-pay). The program includes:

  • 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 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.

Winona Health Dietitians Theresa Hoyles and Kayla Holicky provide Intensive Behavioral Therapy to help people lose weight and improve their health. IBT is covered by Medicare and there is no co-pay with original Medicare. Those who have a Medicare Advantage plan may have a co-pay. The program also may be covered by some commercial insurance providers. Individuals are encouraged to 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 with a healthcare provider, call 507.454.3650.

Theresa Hoyles, Diabetes Education Services, Winona Health

Theresa Hoyles, RD, CDE

Kayla Holicky, RDN, LD

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