Thursday, October 18, 2007

Two Items Surgical Weight Loss or Bariatric Centers Should Consider in Their Marketing Strategy

Because of the estimates that approximately two thirds of Americans are overweight, studies associated with weight loss abound. And as experts look at bariatric surgery, they are learning more about how to improve the outcomes of the surgery, and about how having the surgery can improve the quality of the patient’s life.

We think that centers performing bariatric surgery can use bariatric study results to better market their bariatric surgical procedures. Bariatric centers should be encouraged to establish pre-op programs that help bariatric surgical patients lose weight prior to the operation. These weight loss pre-op programs can enable a surgical patient to shorten his or her hospital stay. This was shown to be the case in a study recently reported on by Reuters. The study was done at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania between 2002 and 2006.

Another item that could be useful in a bariatric center’s marketing program concerns the benefits of the surgery to Medicaid patients. An article in Medical News Today revealed that when an obese Medicaid recipient was given gastric bypass surgery, that recipient was more likely to return to work, compared to an obese Medicaid recipient who did not have the surgery.

If the surgery can enable Medicaid patients to return to work, of course the surgery can enable those obese persons not on Medicaid to return to work. Bariatric centers should emphasize this benefit in their marketing materials. This emphasis might encourage employers and insurance companies to be more inclined to help obese workers get bariatric surgery. And this could broaden the market for bariatric surgery.



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