Insurance companies often wrestle with the decision of whether to cover a patient’s weight loss surgery or not. After all, this type of procedure is sometimes considered “elective,” and may provide some patients greater benefits than others. If the overarching goal is to improve a patient’s health, effectively lowering their overall healthcare costs, diabetes should be a marker for making the decision to go ahead, a new study reveals.
To arrive at these findings, researchers in Sweden tracked a large group of obese patients over the course of 15 years. The researchers found that in patients who had type 2 diabetes, especially relatively new cases, the overall costs of care following surgery went down dramatically. The savings, researchers say were realized in the draw on future health care and also in the need for medications to control the disease.
Other research has supported these findings. Some studies have found a high percentage of type 2 diabetes who witnesses a reversal of their symptoms after undergoing surgery. In some cases, a full reversal wasn’t obtained, but a partial one was.
The bottom line, researchers say, is that BMI might not be the only measure insurance companies want to use to determine if surgery is a good call or not. The presence of type 2 diabetes may also serve as a wise signal for authorizing bariatric procedures.
People who are overweight or are considered morbidly obese will find the status puts them at a much higher risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Losing weight in a safe and effective manner can greatly reduce those risks. To learn more about bariatric surgery options, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider. Keep in mind, that surgery is often the preferred weight loss method after all other options have been exercised and exhausted.