Frequently Asked Questions

What is Obesity Medicine?

Obesity Medicine is a specialty of medicine to understand and treat the metabolic condition of excess body fat.  At Rainier Medical Weight Loss, & Wellness, our programs are based on guidelines written by the Obesity Medicine Association, the Endocrine Society, and the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.  You can have confidence that your program is not only effective, but researched and evidence based.  Even if you do not choose our program, be sure that any program you consider can say the same.

Is a Very Low Calorie Diet program safe?

Not all of our clients are on a very low calorie diet and not all of them use meal replacements. We offer all variety of programs. But, if you are wondering, here is a guidelines statement from the American Heart Association, America College of Cardiology, and The Obesity Society:

2013 AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults Efficacy/Effectiveness of Very–Low-Calorie Diets as Used as Part of a Comprehensive Lifestyle Intervention:
"A Comprehensive, high-intensity, on-site lifestyle interventions that include a medically supervised very–low-calorie diet (often defined as <800 kcal/d), as provided by complete meal replacement products, produce total weight loss of approximately 14.2 kg to 21.0 kg over 11 to 14 weeks, which is larger than that produced by no intervention or usual care (i.e., advice and education only)."

•Strength of Evidence: High

How much does it cost?

Physician services, laboratory testing, metabolic testing, and other diagnostic tests ordered by the physician may be covered by your health insurance according to your policy terms.  We accept most health insurance but not Medicare or Medicaid.  We do accept: Regence, Premera, First Choice, Cigna, Group Health, Aetna, and Tricare.  We will accept Medicare in July 2017.  We offer itemized receipts and letters to use for health savings account or a flex spending account. We accept Visa and MasterCard and offer Care Credit.     We will contact your insurance and provide you specific details upon your request.  There is a one time enrollment fee of $195 that covers your program materials for all phases of treatment, your initial body composition, and some initial supplies.   If you choose to utilize the meal replacement program during the active weight loss phase, the meals are $4 per meal.  Women typically use 4 per day and men typically use 5 per day.  With an estimate of 3-5 pounds of weight loss per week for women and 3-7 per week for men, you can estimate the total cost of food for your treatment.  

When considering the cost of our programs, remember to consider: 

  - savings on groceries, snacks, drinks, and restaurant food

  - use of Flex Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts

  - savings on prescription medications, physician visits, or testing that are no longer needed 

  - future health care cost savings due to avoidance of health complications  

  - savings on health insurance premiums that may be incentivized by employers

  - most importantly, the value of improved quantity and quality of life

Here is a summary: 

  • Enrollment fee for all programs: $195.  This covers your initial body compostion test and all program materials.  Itemized receipt provided for FLEX / HSA accounts. 
  • Medical Foods: approximately $84 - $112 a week for women and $112 - $141 a week for men.
  • Physician Services may be billed through health insurance.  Extent and frequency varies based on medical necessity.

Does insurance cover it?

Your insurance may cover the physician services if you have a medical condition associated with excess weight such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol.   This is not an exhaustive list.  There are many conditions that provide a medically necessity for your treatment. 

Insurance does not cover the program enrollment fee.

What Insurances do you accept?

We currently accept Aetna, Cigna, First Choice, Group Health, Regence and Premera but contact us if you have different insurance as the list is expanding and we can provide you with the documentation to obtain reimbursement directly as well.  We do not accept Medicare currently.  We are a part of Multicare Connected Care as well. 

Do I have to do the same program as my friend who has participated?

No, you do not have to do the same program as everyone else.  There are many different ways to reach a healthier weight, and since we have a physician and registered dietician, we can tailor a program that works for you. So, if you know someone who has lost weight at our clinic but do not think their program is best for you, a program can be tailored during your physician consultation.

Can I purchase meal replacements online?

Yes, if you are part of our program.