Memorial Hospital
September 18, 2019

Husain Abbas, MD

Jacksonville, FL – Memorial Hospital Jacksonville is pleased to share that United Health Care, effective October 1, removed all 6-month preoperative diets and change for bariatric patients to "have participated in a multi-disciplinary pre-operative program" without any time requirement. The new guidelines now allow Body Mass Index (BMI) candidates/Class 1 Obesity (BMI 30-35) the option of long awaited for bariatric surgery. ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) revised its guidelines in an effort to advance bariatric surgery care for low BMI candidates. The guidelines had not been refreshed for more than two decades.

“This is this fantastic news as it has a significant impact on the health status of many patients seeking weight loss treatment options,” said robotic surgeon Husain Abbas, MD, Medical Director for the Bariatric Surgery at Memorial Hospital. “The new changes to insurance coverage will affect those with a BMI 30-35 with diabetes or metabolic syndrome.”

Cigna, effective July 15, now only requires a statement from a healthcare provider regarding failed attempts of weight loss, versus a 12-month failed weight loss program.

Additionally, the following societies: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)/The Obesity Society (TOS)/American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) all updated their joint bariatric surgery guidelines to reflect the changes.

“This is great news not just for patients but the surgical community as well. It supports early intervention while expands access to care.”

For all bariatric inquiries, questions or concerns, visit Bariatrics Jax or contact our Bariatric Center at: (904) 702-6360.