News Flash


This week news flash 11/17/2013….

Obesity week, Atlanta

Dr. Kwon, Dr. Ostrowitz, Dr. Fuller, Becky Aschoff, RN, of Tri State Bariatrics attended.


Nearly 5,000 professionals attended this years Obesity Week.Obesity Week is a combined meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The Obesity Society (TOS). This year was the 30th year anniversary of ASMBS. By the combination of the two societies at one meeting, there were many opportunities for those of us that treat severe obesity with surgery to learn from members of TOS comprised of professionals dedicated to researching, preventing, and treating obesity.

Perhaps an even more exciting feature of this combined meeting was the opportunity for ASMBS to share the safety and effectiveness of our bariatric surgeries with our non-surgical colleagues, all working for the same common cause of helping the obese population.

tri_state_bariatrics_obesity-week_3For our patients they were three important annoncements:

  • One the key announcements at the meeting was the publication of the long overdue update of the NIH clinical guidelines for the treatment of obesity. Guideline 13 specifically states that adults with a BMI greater than or equal to 40 or a BMI greater than or equal to 35 with obesity-related comorbid conditions should be offered referral to an experienced bariatric surgeon for consultation and evaluation.

  • The Keynote speaker was Dr. Thomas Farley, NYC Health Commissioner, reporting on the citys strategies to fight obesity and create a healthier food environment in stores, restaurants, and most importantly, schools.

  • Dr. John Morton, president-elect of the ASMBS, reported on activities at the federal government level in regards to how Obama’s Affordable Care Act will affect Obesity Care. He is optimistic that most health exchanges and insurance plans will include bariatric surgery coverage for new enrollees under the ACA.


There were numerous additional research papers and posters presented that addressed a wide variety of topics in both basic science and research, as well as in clinical science and management that we will cover in future articles/blog posts.


The TSB attendees will return with fresh new ideas to implement to further improve the quality of our program for our patients.

We included The New Guidelines for Treating Overweight and Obesity by the America College of Cardiology, please click here to view them in pdf format.


This week news flash 11/11/2013….

BMI of 30 or more, with diabetes

TRI STATE BARATRICS is pleased to announce that we were recently able to get approval for the Lap-Band procedure for a patient with a BMI of 32 with diabetes through an external appeal process.

There are over 20 million people in America with type 2 diabetes, many of whom are obese and have BMI over 30. The FDA has approved the Lap-Band for patients with BMI of 30 or more that suffer from serious medical conditions such as diabetes.Unfortunately, many insurance companies currently do not approve bariatric surgeries for those with BMI of less than 35, even if they have diabetes.

We strongly believe that early intervention with bariatric surgery can avoid or mitigate many of the serious life-threatening medical conditions associated with severe obesity, such as diabetes. Recently, we have had several patients with BMI less than 35 that were initially denied the procedure by their insurance companies. We then assisted the patients in appealing the denial through a process mandated by the NY State Insurance Commissioner to go outside the insurance companies, a process known as external appeal. We have been successful in having the external appeal overturn the initial denial, allowing patients with BMI between 30-35 to obtain the Lap-Band procedure.

If you are a patient suffering from diabetes and have a BMI of 30-35 and are willing to work with us to fight for your rights to have the Lap-Band surgery to lose weight and to keep it off, and are willing to follow our dietary guidelines, we will assist you to challenge your insurance company to cover your procedure.