In 2018, the U.S. weight loss industry was worth about $70 billion. That figure is trending upward as Americans struggle to find a way to deal with expanding waistlines and obesity-related health issues.
Weight loss services are seen by many as a viable cash-based offering for physicians. That may explain the multiple approaches available to practices looking at the field. In this article, we look at three of them. Here is how gaining weight may expand your cash practice.
A Self-Established Weight Loss Program
Over the years, the basic tenements of weight loss haven’t changed. Consuming fewer processed foods, engaging in portion control, using a food diary, and the like make ready components of a program that originates from your practice.
With consultative support from a nutritionist and personal trainer, a one-of-a-kind weight loss program addressing diet and nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes can debut in a reasonable amount of time.
Research published in The American Journal of Medicine supports the viability of this idea. “Primary care physicians can successfully manage and treat obese patients using behavioral modification techniques coupled with meal replacement diets,” researchers concluded.
A Turnkey Weight Loss Program
If time doesn’t allow for developing your own weight loss program, there are turnkey solutions available. For example, you could receive:
- Staff training
- Processes and procedures
- An online membership website for signups
- Expert-approved educational material
- Marketing material (including ads, in some cases)
All public-facing material is customizable to feature your address(es), office logo, and other brand marks. There are often recurring fees with turnkey services, but they save you the time and effort of investing in such assets yourself.
A Franchise Weight Loss Program
It seems that for every one turnkey solution available to physicians in this field, there are a dozen more franchise offerings. The difference is in the branding: while a turnkey solution allows your practice to customize the program’s public-facing elements, franchises come with strict branding requirements and, often, higher fees (often referred to as royalty fees).
Franchising offers a turnkey solution of sorts — after all, much of the work is done for you. But it represents more of a partnership than a genuine, off-the-shelf product you can promote as your own. You’ll have stronger guidelines and requirements to meet than in a turnkey situation; after all, this is more of a partnership arrangement.
A Real World Weight Loss Program
Though not specifically cash-based, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) offers a “Weight Management Program” that provides a helpful example for a similar program you establish yourself.
UCSF describes it as a one-year “step-by-step program” that focuses on healthy food, physical activity, and cognitive behavioral therapy to help participants achieve long-term weight loss.
- Regular meetings with doctors
- Support from a dietitian that includes a food diary review, education, and meal advice
- A support group
- A lecture series
UCSF developed the plan for individuals who are mildly to moderately obese, committed to change, and willing to attend sessions for a full year.
Your own weight loss program might not bear too great a similarity to UCSF’s program. But this is one that offers a starting point for your own, the beginnings of a template you can modify over time to meet the specific needs of your clientele.
DEXA for Weight Loss
You may already have — or may already be considering — one crucial element to a specialized, market-leading weight loss program: DEXA.
Physician facetime, support groups, printed guides, and online resources can all play key roles in a cash-based weight loss program. But it’s the DEXA machine’s array of capabilities that can serve as the foundation for it all.
Imagine a DEXA-powered weight loss program that enables you to:
- Set a baseline for fat deposits and muscle mass
- Chart progress with unmatched precision
- Identify specific risks — such as fractures and metabolic syndrome — and craft a personalized plan around them
Learn More from iRad
For all of the value that DEXA technology can deliver to a weight loss program within your medical practice, that’s just one of the ways such a machine can make gaining weight expand your cash practice and boost cash flow. Want to learn about others? Contact us today; iRad has experience serving the medical community. We have proven solutions to opportunities you may have never considered and are excited to share them with you.