Question: What is Intensive Behavioral Therapy, and how does it work?
Answer: Intensive Behavioral Therapy, or IBT, is nutrition behavioral counseling done by a dietitian in an outpatient setting. Individuals with Medicare insurance and a BMI >30 kg/m2 are eligible for the program.
With Medicare's support and coverage of intensive behavior therapy, individuals can work with a dietitian to develop healthy habits through the three pillars of weight loss success: diet quality, behavioral control and exercise effectiveness. They can receive the support and guidance needed to reach their weight loss goals and improve their health.
The goal of IBT is a weight loss of 6.6 pounds at the end of six months. If the goal is met, individuals are covered for counseling sessions for up to twelve months (a maximum of 22 visits per year). The sessions follow a specific format:
Month 1: meet weekly
Months 2-6: meet bi-monthly
Months 7-12 (only if goal is met): meet monthly
Sessions follow a patient-centered approach to educate individuals on effective nutrition, exercise and strategies for weight loss.
A referral must be obtained by a physician in order for IBT. At the end of six months, the dietitian will document and update the physician on weight loss progression.
Madison Regional Health System now offers IBT for those who are eligible. If you are interested in IBT, please visit with your primary health care provider or call me at 605-256-8684.
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