BlueCross BlueShield Policy Change for Bariatric Surgery Patients

BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina has eliminated their requirement that weight loss surgery patients complete six months of documented weight loss before being approved for surgery.

Both future patients and patients who are currently undergoing medical weight loss visits will now become immediately eligible for surgery, provided they have completed the other requirements in the bariatric surgery process, including psychological and nutritional evaluations, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram test, endoscopy, lab work, and sleep study.

Duke Medicine’s Ranjan Sudan, MD, serves as president of the Carolinas Bariatric Society. He and colleagues led the effort to unite bariatric surgeons in the Carolinas in support of this change. “What we have accomplished will positively influence all our patients,” he says. With this change, patients will be able to move to the surgery stage quicker than before.

Current patients at the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery are encouraged to call the clinic (Durham 919-470-7000; Raleigh 919-862-2715) to check their status and to ensure they have completed the requirements as set by the new policy.

To learn more about weight loss surgery at Duke, please visit www.dukewls.org.

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