Steps To Begin Process
- Having a Team Behind You
- How do I start the process?
- Out of State Patients
- Medically-Supervised Weight Loss/Nutitional Evaluation
- Psych Evaluation
- Financial and Insurance Information for Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Patients
- Self-Pay Patient
Having a Team Behind You
Weight loss surgery isn’t a “magical treatment” which works alone or allows people to continue to eat as they would before the surgery. It requires a commitment by each patient to change his or her lifestyle to focus on health and a new approach to food. Life after weight loss surgery entails adherence to dietary guidelines, a regular exercise program, and periodic checkups for life. It also includes counseling in support groups to assist patients in identifying and changing old behaviors which led to their poor health and weight problem.
All these lifestyle modifications require a team of advisors in a surgeon’s office to help individuals change and modify their health. It is extremely important for candidates for weight loss surgery to choose their surgeon carefully to insure they have access to a comprehensive wellness program with experience. The Videoscopic Institute of Atlanta and Dr Champion employ a comprehensive team of professionals and have experience with over 2000 weight loss surgeries performed laparoscopically during the past 10 years.
The practice treats patients from across the country and provides exercise groups, support groups, educational materials and programs, dietary counseling, lab monitoring for vitamin and nutritional deficiencies, and routine in-office bone scans to minimize the risk of osteoporosis.
Post-operative office visits, dietary counseling and education, exercise therapy and support groups are covered under the initial surgery fee and provided as a courtesy for our patients. Our patients return for periodic visits at three weeks, three months, six months, then annually for life so we can monitor their diet and nutritional status. If problems do occur or questions arise, they can contact us by phone or email. Our team provides access to exercise specialists, metabolic and bone density testing, dieticians, and other support resources to benefit our patients.
How do I start the process?
First you will need to fill out the patient request form. This form will be made available to you after you fill out the Request Information form. Once requested online you will be given a link to download it or we will mail it to you by calling our office.
Once the you have filled out the packet and we have received it, we will call you. Patients can make an appointment with Dr. Champion to discuss surgery for weight loss.
For patients who have been researching the options on weight loss surgery or for those who live out of state, we will send in all of their information to the insurance company and have the approval first. Then we will schedule a pre-op with Dr. Champion and the surgery within the same week.
For patients who live out of state, we have developed a program, where we can see you, your pre-op visit and surgery within the same week. Dr. Champion requires all patients who live more that 4 hours away, to stay in the area 72 hours after they are discharged from the hospital. Patients living a greater distance maybe required to stay longer. This is determined on a case by case basis and your individual health issues. We have a list of hotels, near our hospital, that offer a medical discount.
We offer 5 Support Groups to our Patients who live outside of our area.
Once a month we conduct an online chat group. You may join this group anytime and chat with patients who are experiencing the same things as you are.
Follow-up care for the rest of your life! Free…But you must stay compliant with our program. Many patients elect to follow up with their primary care doctor after surgery, if they do not live in the immediate area. We provide a copy of information to each patient’s primary care doctor after surgery. This information tells the doctor what the patiens needs to be monitored for on a yearly basis. Our office will continue to send reminder cards to patients when it is time for their yearly exams. Even if you elect to not come to us, we require each patient to fax their lab work and weight to us. This allows us to follow-up with you.
By keeping in touch with us, we can help you through this journey.
The following give special rates (most range $69.00-$99.00) To Families of hospitalized patients. If verification is needed to secure the rate, families may call social services at 770-454-2145.
MARRIOTT RESIDENCE INN
1901 Savoy Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341
Complimentary hot breakfast buffet
7 days a week.
Complimentary shuttle service
7 days a week within a mile radius.
4386 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
Atlanta, GA 30341
Exit off I-285
HILTON GARDEN INN
1501 Lake Hearn Drive
Atlanta, GA 30319
Exit 25 off I-285
CROWN PLAZA RAVINIA
4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30346
Exit 29 off I-285
6330 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30328
5750 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
Exit 25 of I-285
Medically-Supervised Weight Loss/Nutitional Evaluation
Many insurance companies are requiring patients to see a registered dietician before they will approve surgery. They may require a one time Nutritional visit or a Documented 3-6 month supervised weight loss plan. Once we check your benefits, we will know what your insurance requires.
Some insurance companies are requiring patients to undergo a psych evaluation.
We have a licensed Psychiatrist who visits our office twice a month on Fridays. If you need to see the Psychiatrist and the Dietician, we can schedule both of these appointments on the same day to save time.
Financial and Insurance Information for Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Patients
Obtaining authorization from your insurance company for obesity weight loss surgery can be a challenging process. We will assist you in this process but your cooperation in providing the following documentation will improve your chances of obtaining approval:
- First, you will need the 5 page medical history paperwork from our office, You can either request this from the website or call our office.
- Once you recieve the packet, please fill it out completely, if you have any specific documentation regarding your attempts at dieting, and, in particular any medically supervised diet plans, please send this in.
- Documentation of any associated medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, or orthopedic problems. Letters from specialists or personal physicians in support of the surgery are particularly beneficial.
- Some insurance companies require office notes and a physical from the surgeon first.
When you have completed our paperwork, you may return it to us by mail or fax.
Please mail to the following address:
Videoscopic Institue of Atlanta, PC
140 Vann Street, Suite 350
Marietta, Georgia 30060
Phone: 770-425-5525, press #4
If you are want your insurance to approve your surgery, you will need a letter of medical necessity. This letter will be written by the surgeon. Make sure you send in the $100.00 fee (non-refundable) for the letter of approval. If you are a patient who does not have benefits for surgery and will be a self-pay patient, you will not need a letter.
Once we receive your information,we will check to make sure all your information is complete and that you qualify for weight loss surgery.
We will then check your benefits with your insurance company and what they require for an approval. Some insurance companies only require the letter from the doctor, while others may ask for detailed documentation. We do not know until we call them.
We will then consult with our financial person, who will be able to give you an estimate on cost and help you with financing questions, if needed.
Then, we will call you with all information we have gathered.
Obtaining approval can take up to to 4 weeks to complete. Once you are approved, you will receive a call from our office. Picking a date for your surgery would happen next. We can usually accommodate any schedule, as long as we the approval for your surgery. Surgery is not scheduled until a patient is approved for surgery.
Many companies deny an initial request despite our policy of utilizing NIH national criteria in patient selection. In the event you receive a denial, you need to go through the proper channels and appeal. The appeal must come from the policyholder and many companies will approve coverage when faced with a determined patient. We can recommend legal assistance if you receive an unreasonable denial.
More information on Financing your Bariatric Procedure
We accept most private insurance plans and will arrange out-of-network benefits if available. You are responsible for deductibles and co-pay amounts as outlined in your policy.
Learn more about Insurance Coverage for Bariatric Patients
If you do not have insurance benefits that cover bariatric surgery and wish to proceed on a self-pay basis, your process won’t be delayed due to insurance approval. We have a discounted package rate for those patients who are self-pay.