Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bariatric Furniture and Equipment for a Primary Care Practice

If a primary care physician decides to add bariatric or obesity medicine to his or her practice, the physician might need to furnish and equip the office appropriately. The physician's office needs furniture and equipment that can accommodate patients weighing 500+ pounds. And cost is an important part of the furniture and equipment decision. The physician should also recognize that office structure modifications to accommodate larger patients might be in order.

The waiting room is probably the first area of the office that should be reviewed, and retrofitted if necessary. The room ought to be capable of comfortably seating persons that weigh in excess of 500 pounds. So, the waiting room furniture should include couches and chairs that comfortably seat obese persons.

Modifications to the physician's office building may be required. The doors in the office should be wide enough to allow overweight and obese patients to easily pass though. And the bathroom equipment may need some changes. For example, commodes may need to be replaced by bariatric commodes with a 500+ pound capacity.

The physician's office medical equipment should be capable of accommodating persons weighing in excess of 500 pounds. Like the doors and furniture, the equipment should have wider dimensions than normal. Medical equipment that accommodates overweight and obese patients should include scales, tables, over sized blood pressure monitor cuffs and blood drawing chairs.

Of course, there will likely be additional costs associated with the bariatric furniture, equipment, and the possible office modifications. The impact of the costs will depend on what the physician decides he or she needs, and how the physician decides to satisfy those needs. 

And remember, the bariatric furniture, equipment and office modifications could come at a high price -- especially if the physician purchases new furniture and equipment. Indeed, one hospital estimated that a bariatric upgrade for a "standard patient room costs about $24,000." To lower costs, the physician should look for discounts. For example, the physician might consider purchasing used furniture and equipment. This could save a goodly amount of money.

At any rate, a physician who wants to add bariatric medicine to his or her practice has a number of things to consider, including the possible cost of bariatric furniture, equipment and office modifications. However, since the factors that affect the demand for bariatric medicine will likely be present for some time, the associated effort and cost of adding bariatric medicine to a primary care practice may be justifiable.


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