While you are considering surgical options to treat obesity, you may be faced with numerous questions, including: “Do I need a referral to see a bariatric surgeon?” Remember that your first line of defense is almost always your primary care physician (PCP) who knows your medical history and whom you can trust for professional advice. You can discuss with your PCP about how to get a referral for gastric sleeve or another weight loss surgery.
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Do I need referral for weight loss surgery?
Do you need a referral for gastric sleeve surgery or another type of bariatric surgery? The answer depends on whether you have insurance coverage for this procedure and what type of hospital or bariatric center you want to visit for your first appointment. Here are a few things to consider if you are wondering how to get a referral for gastric sleeve surgery.
- Meet your GP: If you plan to use your health plan to pay for your procedure, it is best to schedule an appointment with a general practitioner (GP), who is preferably your primary care physician. Meeting them would give you more confidence about your decision, and they may provide you a referral for weight loss surgery.
- Call your insurer: If you are unsure about the insurance pre-requisites, call your insurance company and ask: “Do I need a referral for weight loss surgery?” Depending on their mandatory requirements, your insurance provider may ask you to obtain a letter of referral for weight loss surgery from your primary care physician.
- Call your hospital: If you have short-listed one or more hospitals or bariatric centers where you want to have your procedure, give them a call to ask do you need a referral for weight loss surgery. Some hospitals want a referral letter from your PCP before they will let you have an appointment with their bariatric surgeon.
- Medical tourism: Things get much easier if you plan to choose the option of medical travel for an affordable weight loss surgery. Just call a reliable and trusted medical tourism company and ask how to get a referral for gastric sleeve surgery. They will be able to assist you right away and will arrange your appointment with a qualified bariatric surgeon.
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Do you need a referral to see a bariatric surgeon?
Self-pay patients typically do not need a referral to see a bariatric surgeon. However, insured patients may have to go through a primary care provider within their network, depending on the type of insurance policy they have. Insurance companies consider a bariatric surgeon as a specialist, and may require a GP’s referral for weight loss surgery.
- If you are a covered patient, ask your insurer: “Do I need a referral to see a bariatric surgeon within the PPO or HMO network?”
- If you have identified a hospital within the insurance network, verify with the insurer whether your plan covers weight loss surgery.
- Even if you don’t need a referral to see a bariatric surgeon, your PCP can help you complete preventive medical screenings beforehand.
- When you ask the insurer do you need a referral to see a bariatric surgeon, also ask if they want proof of a medical weight loss program?
- Depending on the insurer’s requirements, obtain a referral to see a bariatric surgeon as well as a bariatric nutritionist and psychiatrist.
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Do you need a referral for gastric sleeve surgery?
Yes, you may need a referral for gastric sleeve surgery if you plan to utilize your insurance coverage to pay for the procedure. However, if you are going to pay for the surgery on your own or you plan to choose the option of medical tourism, a referral for weight loss surgery is not mandatory. If you are unsure, you can ask your insurer about how to get a referral for gastric sleeve.
Here are a few reasons why covered patients should obtain a referral for gastric sleeve:
- Your family physician is more likely to be aware of your health history, lifestyle habits, and surgical goals.
- Your family physician can educate you about the pros and cons of bariatric surgery and provide objective advice.
- Your family physician can assist you with routine medical tests so that you can save time when you visit the hospital.
- If you have Medicare, you may be eligible for discounts for bariatric surgery services if your GP has referred you.
- If you are choosing medical travel, ask your service provider to assist with how to get a referral for gastric sleeve.
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How to get a referral for gastric sleeve surgery
Medicare regulations require covered patients to obtain a referral for gastric sleeve surgery. Most private insurance companies may also say, “Yes,” if you ask them: “Do I need a referral to see a bariatric surgeon for gastric sleeve?” If you are wondering how to get a referral for gastric sleeve, here are two things to keep in mind.
Request your PCP to provide a referral
A survey of primary care physicians showed that they are generally supportive of weight loss surgery as a treatment for obesity. Most of them have the right knowledge as well as a positive attitude regarding the choice of gastric sleeve and other bariatric surgery procedures for their patients. Therefore, you may not find it difficult to obtain a referral for gastric sleeve from your family doctor.
Make sure the referral letter is proper
Patients who want to know how to get a referral for gastric sleeve from their GP should also be aware of the information the letter of referral should contain. Make sure your letter of referral for gastric sleeve includes your full name, date of birth, a confirmation that you have history of obesity, and your recently recorded BMI, weight, and height. The letter should end with the GP’s signature and date.
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Referral for gastric sleeve surgery at Jet Medical Tourism®
Jet Medical Tourism® is happy to assist you with your concerns regarding how to get a referral for gastric sleeve. We have on-board some of the leading bariatric surgeons abroad with a proven track record of success with gastric sleeve surgery. When you choose us, we will support you from day one regarding documentation and other requirements so that you can focus exclusively on your surgery and recovery.