How long does it take to get approved for surgery?

on 8/27/12 5:35 pm - NE
I'm just beginning this process, but have been knocking around some kind of WLS for about 12 years, all the while trying to do it myself, and tolerating more and more pain the more time goes by.  Now, I've made up my mind, and I'm going for it!  Hope the surgeon agrees.  My GP certainly does.  She would be my best friend if she wasn't my doctor!

Could you all share with me how long it took to get your approval for surgery?

I've recently had a few tests that I think are required; cardiac stress test, pulmonary test, diabetes test.  I haven't met with the surgeon yet to find out what other tests are required, but that's coming up.  I know the psych test is one of them.  Others?

I talked to my insurance company and their guidelines are that I have to (1) meet the criteria, (2) have a psych evaluation, and (3) have been a member of Weigh****chers or Jenny Craig or similar in the last year.  I couldn't believe that last one!  Like I'm going to go out and waste one more penny or minute of my time on that sort of disappointment-again!

Would appreciate it if you could share your pre-surgery process.
on 8/27/12 5:43 pm - NY
VSG on 09/04/12
 I had to do 6 months of weight management with my nut, psych eval, ultrasound, amd varous bloodwork, ekg, and an xray. After i had everything i got approval from my insurance 3days after submitting the documents. My surgery is next tuesday. Good luck with your journey!
on 8/27/12 5:48 pm - TX
Bariatric consultation
Psychiatric evaluation
6 months doctor supervised weight loss program
Nutrition consultation
2 medical documents from two previous years showing BMI over 40( no comorbidities)
Once submitted it took 5 days to hear back. Approved!!
on 8/27/12 5:57 pm - NE
My surgeon's office mentioned they go by what the insurance company requires, and said there would probably be a 6 month doctor supervised weight loss program, but my insurance company assured me they do not require that.  We'll see in about 2 weeks.  I really would like to get this done by the end of the year.
Alexis K.
on 8/27/12 6:50 pm
VSG on 07/30/12
After reading so many stories of frustration on the OH boards, I almost feel guilty for how easy mine was. I went to my second seminar on 5/29 (was not impressed with the first program I went to a seminar for, second one was further away but without a doubt the one for me!), followed that up with a psych eval and a nutritionist visit within about 3 weeks, meet with my surgeon a week later, and scheduled a date. Paperwork was submitted to insurance and was approved in 3 days. I was sleeved 2 months after my seminar, on 7/30. Honestly, it would have been even sooner than that had my surgeon not been gone for 2 weeks!
on 8/27/12 8:36 pm - NE
So, obviously no 6 month doctor supervised weight loss program.  Would you mind sharing who your insurance company is?
Alexis K.
on 8/28/12 6:08 am
VSG on 07/30/12
I have BCBS of North Carolina. My employer has no restrictions on WLS so I only had to deal with the BCBS requirements. Those included a 2 year history of BMI 40+ or 35+ with comorbidities, one psych visit, one nutrition visit, and some lab work. That's it. I was approved on my first try.
on 8/28/12 11:22 am
VSG on 03/11/13
I have Anthem BCBS, same requirements.  I'm hoping it's as easy as that!
on 8/28/12 9:55 am - Johnston, RI
VSG on 10/02/12
Started in January, and I went through all the steps, finishing the last step on July 24th, I had approval a week later.  Set up my appt with surgeon, and got my surgery date yesterday.  The date is October 2nd (at my request), they would've done it sooner.

Good luck... when your'e going through it, it seems like it is taking forever, jumping through hoops.  I needed to get it all done in the same year, because of my high deductible.. and now I'm on my way!

on 8/28/12 5:06 pm - NE
Thanks, everyone, for the info.  I have BCBS of NJ.  Most of the requirements sound the same, except for the Weigh****chers or Jenny Craig requirement.  I hope I can get past that, because it just sounds so rediculous to me.