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In this model, instead of the weight management being primarily provided by a billing clinician (physician or advanced practice provider), it is provided by another person who has been trained, or will be trained in this project to provide weight management. Often this is another type of clinician such as a RDN (certified nutrition professional), behavioral health provider (like a clinical social worker or psychologist), or a nurse. However, others with an inclination and aptitude for motivating patients and can provide correct information such as a health educator, food scientist, or certified health coach can provide the sessions with patients as well.
The clinician’s piece of [weight management] could be fairly brief once things get rolling, so the therapist or the counselor or the life coach is going to conduct the bulk of the visit, but patients like to know that we’re involved. They like to be able to ask us a question, and if we are working to decrease medications, they want to be able to follow up on that. It’s variable, but the clinician's involvement decreases over time because the bulk of the work is being handled by the counselor.
The first thing I think of is our dietitian... I think [she’s] a great resource, and I’m so excited to be working with her. In residency, at the hospital, we had dietitians, but it was like a hassle to refer people. It just wasn’t used. So, having the dietitian right here, having her talk to people at their Medicare Wellness or their annual physical, is beneficial as a starting point to get everybody thinking about their diet. But then people that are overweight or obese, I can send them right over to her, which is super helpful.