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Doctors, Nurses, and The Weight Loss Opportunity – By John LaRosa, Marketdata

By now, it's no secret that doctors, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physicians assistants (PAs) are leaving a LOT of money on the table if they don't provide a medically supervised weight loss program for their overweight patients. But, I don't think many of them have gotten the message yet. Or, they think that they can't do it. They are wrong.

Medical weight loss programs of all kinds actually generate more than twice as much revenue as commercial program like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and NutriSystem--$7.6  billion in 2015 vs. $2.6  billion. Sure, the big diet companies are more noticeable via their TV ads with Oprah Winfrey and other celebrity spokespersons. But, MDs bariatricians, bariatric surgeons, hospitals and clinics have been quietly but steadily growing their patient caseloads, knowing that two-thirds of their existing patients are overweight or obese. Medical weight loss franchises are growing too.

So, why are MDs and nurses so scared? Maybe it's because weight loss is a sensitive topic to bring up with people. Maybe it's because they don't have the marketing and business skills to compete. Or, they think they don't have the time. Or, they don't have the right staff to provide counseling. If it's the latter reason, then there is NO excuse, because Marketdata has created a step-by-step 230-page Guide ("How To Launch and Run A Profitable Medical Weight Loss Program") that addresses this void. There is NO seminar, workshop, course or online training provided anywhere in the U.S. that teaches medical professionals how to add a medical weight loss program to their practice, and make a profit off of it. None, just our Guide.

How much money are MDs and Nurses and PAs leaving on the table? About $250,000 per year part-time and $1 million full-time. Real life operating results, not wishes. Here's the kicker--it's much easier to obtain clients because these overweight people are ALREADY "customers" of yours, in your practice and easily reached, and they don't have to be "sold" or marketed to. The "cost per acquisition" is nearly zero compared to commercial diet programs (think waiting room videos, brochures, emails, website notices, social media, handouts). And, dieters are tired of incompetent, low-pay, high turnover weight loss "consultants" or "coaches" that can't handle medical issues (hormone imbalance, high cholesterol, food sensitivities, post-menopausal weight gain, heart issues, etc.). Commercial diet centers simply don't have the staff to handle these conditions.

More advantages: many patients will pay out of pocket for weight loss even if their insurance doesn't cover it. Why? Because they know it's a higher level service with better outcomes than commercial diet centers. And, if they DO pay this way, you can offer them no-interest installment plans such as Care Credit. Or, they can deduct part of the cost of your program (exams, counseling, not food or supplements) as an IRS tax credit.

Weight loss is not rocket science. Contrary to what some MDs may think, they do NOT have to purchase a franchise (typical cost is $200,000-$400,000, plus ongoing royalties). They CAN set up a weight loss program using our Guide and some legwork.  They can hire a Nurse Practitioner for about $60,000 per year, to handle day to day counseling and operations. Or, a PA or NP can go into weight loss full-time, be an entrepreneur, and have no limit on their income, versus working for someone else's practice. The tools are available.

A variety of protocols can be used in a Medical weight loss program. You don't need diet food. You can base it on regular grocery store food, or the government's DASH diet. Use an LCD (low-calorie diet). Get an RD or NP to design a meal plan for you. Use meal replacement bars and shakes easily private labeled and packaged to your "brand". Use tried and true, safe prescription appetite suppressants such as Phentermine.

Doctors have been complaining about reduce reimbursements, Obamacare, and declining income for years now. Well, adding a weight loss program has generated substantial extra income for many family doctors, OB/gyns, internists and general practitioners. Why not you?

So, no more excuses, docs! If you want more income, be flexible and get in the game!

Note: To view ongoing business posts by Marketdata's President and Research Director, John LaRosa, and to learn about our various market & industry reports, and to obtain free Press Releases, visit marketdataenterprises.com, or email: john@marketdataenterprises.com.

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