How To Set Up A Profitable Medical Weight Loss Program

How To Set Up A Profitable Medical Weight Loss Program

The U.S. medical weight loss programs and services market is huge – worth $8.2 billion in 2021, when including bariatric surgery. Programs by hospitals, clinics, franchises, and independent physicians generate $1.6 billion. Many MDs would love to grab a piece of this market, but don’t have the marketing and business background to know how. This completely revised and updated Guide lays it out, step by step.

The Guide provides an outlook of medical vs. competing commercial programs, and how they were affected by the pandemic. It details existing medical weight loss programs by MDs, hospitals and clinics, their business models, fees, and features, and examines programs by drugstore chain healthcare mini-clinics. It examines programs by bariatricians as well.

The Guide provides operating metrics: average revenues per program, a typical income statement of expenses and profits, plus start-up costs. Findings of interviews with top managements at leading companies. Discussions and advice for: staffing, center design, IT requirements, counselors and Dietitians, marketing, websites, patient financing, creating meal plans, using Rx diet drugs, supplements and meal replacements, establishing your brand, why some diet companies fail, and case studies of successful medical weight loss programs. Includes reimbursement opportunities related to the Affordable Care Act.

In-depth profiles for: Lindora Clinics, Smart For Life, Medi-Weightloss, Centers for Medical Weight Loss, Nuviva Clinics, Let’s Lose, Dr. G’s Weight Loss, JumpStartMD, Medical Weight Loss of Michigan, CVS Health, Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart, and more.

This Guide includes necessary forms (Collaborative Practice Agreement), CPT billing codes for obesity counseling, and sample marketing brochures.

The Guide provides all the information a Physician, Physician Assistant, Dietitian or Nurse Practitioner needs to set up a successful weight loss practice. It’s ALL here in one place, at a fraction of the cost of hiring a consultant.

Part 1
Reality Check for MDs, Success Criteria, Diet Market Outlook, Competition, Program Components, Pricing, ACA’s Preventative Care Benefit Opportunities, What Dieters Want, Franchises & Other Models
Guide objectives
Do you have what it takes to compete in this business? What it takes to succeed
What dooms a weight loss company to failure?
Weight Loss Market: 2022 Status Report & Forecasts
Market segment 2022 forecasts, major developments since 2020
$ size of the weight loss market, by market segment: 2016 – 2022 Forecast
The top competitor companies, revenues in 2020 & 2021: Table
The Pandemic’s Effect on the Weight Loss Market and Dieters
Top 7 Diets for 2022
Status of Commercial Weight Loss Companies: market leaders, major developments,
2020-2021 performance,2022 forecasts
Status of Medical Weight Loss Programs: effects of the Pandemic, market size (surgery,
Rx drugs, hospital, MD and clinic programs, bariatricians, 2020-2021 performance
The bariatric surgery market, discussion, telehealth visits,
Table: no. of surgeries 1995-2022 F, No. of surgeries by type,
$ value of surgery market 1995-2022 F
The prescription diet drugs market: new drugs, growth
Hospital, Clinic-based and Other MD Programs: top competitors
Why Medical Weight Loss? Why Now?
Rationale for demand, position vs. commercial programs, barriers,
Competition: types of medical weight loss providers, fees
Retail Drugstore Chain Healthcare Mini-Clinics
Effects of the pandemic on retail healthcare clinics, the major chains and no. of sites they operate
Summaries/descriptions of weight loss programs provided by: CVS, Walgreens (Take Care), Rite-Aid (RediClinics), Wal-Mart
Hospital, Clinic, and Physician-Based Weight Loss Programs
Summary and description of types of medical weight loss programs
Description of typical physician-based program, estd. no. of MDs offering a weight loss
program, by company/vendor vs independents,
Average Cost To The Patient for a 12-16 week program
Physicians have the expertise
Bariatricians’ Weight Loss Programs
Status of the profession, why is hasn’t grown much, profile of the typical
Bariatrician (age, income, gender, years in practice, staff size, training, number,
medications used, cost of treatment, etc.)
VLCD & LCD (very low calorie diets & low calorie diets) Turnkey
Modified Fasting Programs
How VLCD programs work, description, insurance reimbursement
Size of the market, no. of patients served
Findings of interview with management of: HMR, Vivaliti, Karol Clark medical programs
Major market trends, growth factors, 2025 forecast, positive & negative factors affecting the market
Medical Weight Loss Program Advantages & Disadvantages
Medical clinic competitive advantages & disadvantages
Available medical weight loss models: franchises, licenses, turn-key models
Average revenues per outlet, top medical weight loss companies
Typical revenues & expenses, earnings per medical weight loss center
Avg. cost to the patient, top medical weight loss companies
Avg. income statement for a medical weight loss franchise
Start-up costs for the top medical weight loss franchises
Company Profiles (how their program works, no. of sites, company details)
Lindora Clinics( corporate chain, not a franchise)
Centers for Medical Weight Loss (licensee model)
Medi-WeightLoss Clinics
Medical Weight Loss Clinics of Michigan(corporate chain)
Smart For Life
Nuviva Clinics
Let’s Lose Advanced Weight Loss
Dr. G’s Weight Loss Clinics
Ideal Protein
Should you purchase a franchise? Is it worth it?
Obamacare: the major opportunity created, the Preventative Health Benefit explained,
features & limitations, the business opportunity for MDs, PAs, NPs, RDs114
Obamacare: CPT codes for weight loss counseling reimbursement
Part 2
Start-up Costs, Retail Clinic Set-up & Layout, Procedures Manual, Staff Recruitment & Salaries, Operations, Revenues & Profits,Bookkeeping, Marketing Methods, Counselor’s Role & Quality
Part-time vs. full-time venture? Your choice
Facility space and logistics – new standalone center vs. existing space
Start-up costs for a stand-alone retail weight loss center (non-franchise)
Operating costs/income statement for a stand-alone retail center
Investment costs to buy a medical weight loss franchise or license, by company
Finding the right retail site
Recommended lease terms
Center design: exterior and interior layouts
The Weight Loss Consumer Bill of Rights
Procedures manual: contents (forms, procedures/duties for personnel)
Equipment and supplies needed
Hours of operation
IT and Software recommendations
Bookkeeping – reports needed
Patient financing options: making it easy to pay you
Weight Loss Counselors: your key asset, weaknesses of commercial coaches,
recruiting your staff
What counselors should do/not do, limitations
Ideal backgrounds of counselors
How to use Registered Dieticians in your practice (typical diet plans, how to find them)
Collaborative Practice Agreements (see Appendix for sample)
Marketing: your advantages as a medical professional
Marketing: promotional methods to use
Marketing: budget: how much and how to spend it
Mining your existing patient database (via emails, waiting room fliers, videos)
Email: using it to stay in touch with weight loss patients
Your website: key features, how it can work for you, best practices for e-commerce
Customer loyalty
Waiting room brochures (also see samples in Appendix)
Local newspaper ads, costs, using social media, referrals from other healthcare pros
Marketing & Advertising Consultants experienced in the weight loss market
- Sample Collaborative Practice Agreement for Nurse Practitioners
- Table: State by state scope of practice rules for nurse practitioners
Design samples of fliers describing your program, for your waiting room
Part 3
Case Studies of Successful Medical Weight Loss Chains, Creating Meal Plans, Private Labeling of Meal Replacements, Using Prescription Obesity Drugs, Using Supplements, Strategy of Diversification.
Why diet companies fail or lose their way– case studies (LA Weight Loss, Weight Watchers)
Case studies of successful medical weight loss organizations (Lindora, HMR – Health
Management Resources, NutriSystem, Johns Hopkins)
Diversification: in-person and virtual/phone services, different plans for different budgets
Creating meal plans: using a Registered Dietitian, DASH Diet, other options
Using multiple plans, the importance of customization
In-depth description of how the DASH program works, calorie levels, foods not allowed,
menus, tips, lifestyle changes, typical daily menu(tables)172-
Using prescription diet drugs: safe drugs to use, problems with previous diet drugs, discussions
of: Phentermine, Xenical, Qsymia, Belviq, Alli, Saxenda, Wegovy, others
- Form: Patient Informed consent for Appetite Suppressants and Participation in a WeightManagement Program
Using dietary supplements: limitations, legal experts to consider, customer attitudes toward
them, why use is a dual-edged sword, pricing, restrictions on claims, attorney specialists
Using meal replacements (shakes & bars): why they are popular and safe, your private label
brand, vendors who can make them for you, calorie counts and sugar levels, the use of soy, the
convenience factor, ingredients, high protein/high fiber201
- Vendor profiles: Bariatric Advantage, Bariatric Choice, Bariatrix Nutrition, Nature’s Sunshine
- Other companies using meal replacements (multi-level marketers, VLCD vendors, retail brands)
Complementary, optional services to offer (hormone tests, etc.)
Viewing your program as a complement to bariatric surgery patients (pre- and post-surgery),
the growth of bariatric surgery, patient demographics, insurance coverage, demand, ACA
coverage, ASMBS/other obesity societies
Establishing your brand: why it’s important, actions and techniques, goals
Reference Directory of diet industry sources

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