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Bariatric Resource Services

Help your employees access cost-effective, clinically superior weight-loss surgery.

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Obesity is a serious health concern

Obesity is a growing concern and a serious health problem in the United States. And it may be affecting your employees. If you are a self-funded employer health plan, consider carving out benefits for complex medical conditions like bariatric surgery.

The Optum Bariatric Resource Services (BRS) program will allow you to support your employees, and their family members and caregivers, and increase their potential for success. Take advantage of our cost-effective and clinically superior BRS program for weight loss.

Over one-third of American adults are obese1

Obesity puts people at risk for a variety of chronic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, asthma and more.1 Those considered morbidly obese (with a BMI over 40) face even higher health risks.

These health risks are significant and costly. Annually, the U.S. spends $147 billion on medical costs for obesity1. The medical costs for people suffering from obesity are $1,429 higher per year than those for people of normal weight.1

Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for significant, sustained weight loss. However, not all bariatric programs are created equal.

Our BRS program is designed with the help of a panel of top clinical experts in the weight management field, and supports your employees before and after surgery to improve their potential for success.

Reducing weight, costs and complications

Our approach keeps a keen eye on reducing your costs by avoiding unnecessary surgeries and complications. The Optum Centers of Excellence (COEs) perform more successful procedures than many other facilities nearby, and also have fewer complications and readmissions. 

Pre-surgery support

We work hard to properly identify bariatric surgery candidates to help you avoid unnecessary surgical costs. Our bariatric nurse case managers have an average of over five years of bariatric experience and over 20 years of nursing experience.

Through our case management services, BRS nurses consult with your employees over the phone about their weight-loss goals, connect them with health and wellness resources, and determine if bariatric surgery is the right choice for their situation. 

Sometimes, employees can adopt simple lifestyle and behavioral changes to lose weight.

Bariatric Centers of Excellence

Our Centers of Excellence (COE) network provides your employees with the best care from medical providers with a proven track record. Our COE providers and facilities are clinically superior compared to most non-COEs performing bariatric surgeries. 

Employees typically don’t have the resources to research the best centers in their area, nor have access to clinical and outcome data to make quality and value-based determinations. We do — and we will steer your employees to only the highest quality bariatric centers. 

Bariatric Resource Services participants have been happy with the quality and care they have received at Bariatric COEs. In fact, 96% reported they were happy with their bariatric surgeon at the COE facility where they received their surgery.2

In order to maintain a network with only the highest quality and best value centers, Bariatric COE facilities are evaluated annually. We look for a number of criteria in order to qualify a facility as COE, including but not limited to: 

  • Annual volume of surgeries
  • Number and experience of surgeons
  • Complications and mortality rate
  • Certifications
  • Length of program existence 
  • Multidisciplinary team

Not only do we qualify COEs annually, we continually monitor the performance of our COE network to ensure the best quality and encourage adherence to standardized treatment practices based on quantitative evidence. 

We reduce the expense of high-cost bariatric procedures with economies of scale and clinical case management. In turn, our COE network facilities provide a discount to us based on the high volume of patients we refer.

This results in the best clinical, economic and health outcomes for you and your employees.  

Discover how to partner with Optum today

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. Adult Obesity Facts. Accessed January 2017.
  2. 2016 Optum BRS Longitudinal Study Topline Report. November 2016.