PeaceHealth Medical Group is offering free one-on-one weight loss counseling sessions to their Medicare patients to help battle obesity. The program, titled “Intensive Behavioral Therapy” (IBT), was developed by Medicare to help those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher keep their weight down. PeaceHealth is offering the service to all its patients with Medicare Part A or Part B coverage who are referred by their primary care provider.
The first month of the program starts with weekly one-on-one counseling sessions, followed by bi-weekly sessions for the next five months. Any patient who has lost 6.6 pounds after six months can continue the program with monthly counseling sessions, with up to 22 sessions.
“The patient-centered collaboration between the dietitian and provider has shown great results for patients who are medically complex,” PeaceHealth dietitian Chris Collins said. “We do more than teach people about nutrition. We help them Identify their unique underlying causes of weight gain and make simple changes they can live with. When a patient graduates from our IBT program, they’re equipped with a skill set that balances healthy nutrition, physical activity, and self-confidence that empowers them to sustain healthy behaviors for a lifetime.”
There are more than 13 million obese Americans over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and this program represents another way our state’s hospitals and health care providers are making life healthier in Washington State.