Frequently Asked Questions About Our Clinic and Practice

Can I Get Medical Care In Complete Confidentiality (Including Immediate Family) If I Wish?
What Forms of Payment Do You Accept?  
Can I Deduct My Costs of Treatment for Overweight or Obesity on My Taxes?
Is There a Typical or Standard Course of Treatment?
What is Involved With The First Appointment?
What Age Patients Do You Treat?
What Rate of Weight Loss Can I Expect?
If My Insurance Won't Reimburse me, Can I use use Health Care Savings Account contributions (pre-tax dollars) for this treatment?
Can you treat me if I live out of town?
 

Can I Get Medical Care In Complete Confidentiality (Including Immediate Family) If I Wish?

Yes!   We can make arrangements so that you are never contacted in a way which allows your family, friends, or co-workers to know that you are receiving care through our clinic.  If it is your desire to maintain complete confidentiality, please let us know this at the outset, and we will work with you to accommodate your wishes.  We will need to arrange a confidential way to contact you in the event of a cancellation or change of appointment, or to notify you of critical abnormal lab results.  Please let us know if you desire special arrangements to be made.  We want you to get the care you need, with whatever degree of confidentiality you desire.  That being said, it might be in your best interests, to involve your family, and/or closest friends, in your treatment plans, for optimal success.

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What Forms of Payment Do You Accept?

We accept VISA, Mastercard and Cash.  If you wish to try to receive payment from your insurance company, we will generate a superbill that you can submit to your insurance carrier.  Medical insurance payments are between you and your insurance carrier.  Many insurance carriers do not cover medical treatment for overweight and obesity, although some may cover some or all of the charges, if you have significant associated medical conditions.  Please check with your insurance carrier, if you have questions as to your coverage under your current medical coverage.  We also accept Care Credit.

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Can I Deduct My Costs of Treatment for Overweight or Obesity on My Taxes?

Medical treatment expenses for obesity treatment are deductible with certain restrictions.  For more information, click here :  IRS info.    Page 14 of this document discusses weight loss programs specifically.  If you have further questions, please contact your tax preparation professional.   The American Obesity Association website has helpful information regarding tax deductions.  Click here for more information:  American Obesity Association.

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Is There a Typical or Standard Course of Treatment?

The typical treatment will involve a medical evaluation, including laboratory analysis, EKG, health history, physical examination, dietary counseling, vitamin and herbal supplements, with or without appetite suppressants as indicated, metabolic evaluation, and close monitoring.  The treatment plan will depend on the individual needs of the patient, factoring in current health status, medications, hereditary history, previous diet experience and successes/lack of successes, relapses, motivating factors, underlying emotional issues, and metabolic status.  We will look to individualize treatment for the best outcome.  I do not anticipate that there is anyone that cannot  achieve improvement in their health.  Realistic goals will be pursued.

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What is Involved with the First Appointment?

Lab work is performed prior to your initial consultation with Dr. Patterson, so that a healthy treatment plan can be started.  We can use recent lab work (less than 3 months prior to your appointment), but will probably need additional testing not ordered by your primary care physician.

The doctor will review your medical history, and perform a bariatric physical exam, looking for signs of metabolic conditions that might affect your ability to lose weight.  (This exam does not replace your annual physical exam with your primary care physician.)  The medical history is extensive, so we ask your patience and vigilance in completing the form.  It is important to have a thorough understanding of you medical and nutritional history, to provide you with the best medical care possible. You will have an EKG done in the clinic.  You will get a body  composition analysis.  We will take your initial body measurements.  Based on these factors, a treatment plan will be formulated.  We will take a digital picture of you for your chart (which you can share at some time in the future, if you choose), and update this as you meet your weight loss goals.  Optionally, at additional cost, a Basal Metabolic rate measurement can be done, measuring your current daily caloric requirements.   You will get nutrition and metabolism education, and some preliminary behavior modification techniques will be discussed.  Plan on two hours for your first appointment.  You can print the history and patient information forms off the internet, to save time on paperwork in the office, if you'd like.

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What Age Patients Do You Treat?

Under special circumstances, I will work with patients less than 16 years of age, with motivated and involved parents.

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What rate of Weight Loss Can I Expect?

This is very individual.  Persons at higher starting weights may see very large monthly weight losses at the start of the program, 10 pounds per month or more.  In fact, our average 1st month weight loss for patients of all starting weights is 10.2 pounds.  After that, most patients can expect to see at least 1-2 pounds per week weight loss, and often more.  This may not sound like a lot, but as the weeks progress, this is a tremendous outcome.  Considering that the average person gains their excess weight at a rate of 7-10 pounds per year, cumulatively, the potential to lose 50-100 pounds in a year is astounding, and sustainable.

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If my Insurance Won't Reimburse me, can I use my Health Savings Account contributions (pre-tax dollars) for this treatment?

Items and services that qualify as medical care under section 213(d) are more extensive than those generally covered under health insurance policies, and include, in addition to medical, dental, and vision services, such things as smoking cessation and weight loss programs.   Funds withdrawn from an HSA are not taxed if they are used to pay qualifying medical expenses for any beneficiary of the account to the extent the expenses have not been reimbursed by insurance or otherwise compensated.  IRS guidance identifies preventive care as services that are not intended to treat an existing illness, injury, or condition and provides a list of preventive care benefits for which the deductible need not apply: periodic health evaluations, immunizations, tobacco cessation programs, obesity weight loss programs, and certain screening services.  Click here for a National Health Policy Forum Background Paper on Health Savings Accounts.  And please check with your tax preparation professional, before relying on this information.

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Can you treat me if I live Out of Town?

Yes.  You must be able to come to the office at least once a month.  We can send the lipovite injections with you, and show you how to give them to yourself.  We dispense the medications that you will need for the month.

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