Providers considering offering weight loss medications to their existing or new patients may be reluctant if they’re not obesity medicine specialists. However, those providers may be more comfortable moving in that direction if they heard a recent routable discussion on Medscape. In this webinar, an obesity medicine specialist, a family practitioner, an endocrinologist and one gastroenterologist made a startling statement.
Why we’re all obesity medicine doctors now
If there are 330 million Americans, 42% of which are considered obese, and if they only had access to obesity medication from obesity medicine specialists, then they would be waiting a while to see their provider. Obesity medicine specialists make up <1% of all providers. And if they were solely responsible for seeing all obese patients, they would each need to see approximately 30,000 patients on a regular basis.
For this reason, the providers on the webinar explicitly asked for other providers to join in the treatment of obesity in the US. They referenced amazing new medications with a high rate of success but also with an excellent safety profile. With such effective and safe medications, more providers can safely offer these medications to a majority of the “healthy obese” population.
Of course, if patients have a great deal of comorbid conditions or are not improving with GLP-1s, then a referral to an obesity medicine specialist or endocrinologist be appropriate.
Why you as a provider should help
For these reasons and because so many existing patients are already asking their providers for these medications, rather than referring out the patients, providers should offer to help. A referral to an endocrinologist or obesity specialist will likely take months and thus delay the patients obesity treatment. This combined with the fact that the medications are on backorder and insurance coverage unlikely, these patients are looking for a provider that can help them now.
Through the assistance of the BuildMyHealth WMP (weight management program) platform, you as the provider can connect with a compounding pharmacy that offers semaglutide and tirzepatide (active ingredients in Ozempic/Wegovy and Mounjaro/Zepbound respectively). Additionally, you will receive supporting consents, study data, marketing ideas and software to automate the patients monthly subscription payments for these medications.
This is the reason you went into medicine – to help patients. This field of obesity medicine can be one of the most gratifying due to the newly successful treatment of a large number of appreciative, happy patients. To learn more about the platform for your practice, please signup here or request a demo here.