On August 28, 2012 at 10:50 AM Pacific Time, lady_myst wrote:
Recently, the state I live in, Iowa, attempted to stop medicaid from paying for WLS. That decision was overturned. Why should it worry everyone that it was attempted? Well, because if medicaid sets this as the norm, so can YOUR insurance. Okay, so fast forward. One of the reasons that they tried to not cover it was because they said it had a high failure rate. Hmm. Okay. (not sure i agree but debates rage) So I wondered what could be done to improve the success rate...
Not everyone who has wls has an eating disorder. I just want to make that clear. It is my opinion that the majority do have issues with food. You can take it or leave it but thats my opinion. WLS treats the body. It is a tool. We have hashed it around on this site and most can at least agree to that.
I would also submit, again my own opinion, that the mind needs treated as well. I personally sought out treatment for a couple of years before surgery. I was one of the ones who DID have an eating disorder. I needed to learn about my disease and more importantly, coping skills other than food to deal with things in life. It was a personal choice and as I get further out from surgery and things get a little harder weight loss wise, it is a decision I am glad I made.
With a surgery this expensive, and it being a once in a lifetime shot for me, I wanted to have every opportunity to succeed. We HAVE to have psych evaluations in most cases. ANd many insurances also require 6 months of dieting under a doctor. So, what if, in those 6 months, you also meet with a counselor and gain some tools to deal with stressors or emotions? I mean, I was so desperate to lose the weight, so hopeless because of failed attempts, I was willing to jump through any hoop they gave me. Instead of dismissing it across the board and calling it a failure, what if we were willing to set people up to succeed? WOuld you be willing to do 6 visits with a therapist to get your surgery? Do you think it would have or will help you? How do you feel about this as a requirement if it meant that insurance companies would still cover the surgery?
I am working on a presentation and any of your thoughts and opinions would be appreciated. Agree, don't agree, hate it or love it. I want to hear it all. Please tell me why though! The more the merrier. THank you in advance for your time.
I was in therapy for several years prior to my WLS and continued in therapy after surgery. I was in treatment for depression, PTSD and dissociative identity disorder, but of course it helped me deal with food and weight-related issues, as well.
I don't think six visits with a counslor would be of much help, though, to be honest. I mean, maybe it would if someone didn't have any type of mental health disorder like depression and if they did not have an addiction to food or an eating disorder and they already had fairly good coping skills. But in that case, they probably wouldn't really need those six visits. I don't think six visits is enough time to provide much assistance in terms of dealing with stress or emotions, and it's definitely not enough time to treat an eating disorder or food addiction.
I also object to the idea of insurance companies requiring counseling for all WLS patients. I don't think we all need it. I think many of us do, but I think many people that don't have WLS could benefit from some counseling, as well. But I object to requiring it for everyone, as if all morbidly obese people have the same needs.
And I think that if people saw it as just a few more hoops they had to jump through, they wouldn't benefit that much from it. Mental health treatment is often not real effective if patients don't want the treatment.