The Medical weight loss market has been growing exponentially over the past 20 years. The entire medical weight loss clinic craze started in the late 90s and has continued to grow. Why? Because the demand has increased as the American population has gained more and more weight…
The diet and nutrition industry is HUGE. We are talking to the tune of $75 BILLION dollars. Yes, $75 BILLION… The medical weight loss portion of that is in the billions of dollars as well. What does this mean? A fantastic business opportunity for the astute nurse practitioner entrepreneur.
Medical weight loss clinics make for a great niche side practice because the demand is high, the profit potential is high, the expenses are low, the liability is low, and it is very easy to start. It can also be done via telemedicine without much of an issue. Providing medical weight loss services does not require a tremendous amount of training either. It can be considered within the general medicine scope and can be easily learned by any nurse practitioner.
Medical weight loss predominately revolves around diet planning, exercise instruction, motivational coaching, emotional support, and of course, medications. The nurse practitioner must understand these concepts if they truly want to set themselves apart from the competition. Many weight loss clinics are nothing more than phentermine pill mills. While profitable, they usually fail to deliver long lasting results for the patient. If you want to go that route, that is fine from a business perspective, but as a clinician that is focused around improving the health of their patients, the weight loss program should be comprehensive vs. just a pill. This is what would set you apart from the competition.
Regardless, learning how to build a sustainable medical weight loss program is not difficult. Any nurse practitioner can learn how to do this quickly with diligent study. For this reason, it is a niche side practice that can be started quickly! Remember, you should be starting a practice part-time, therefore, you will be able to put your studies to work slowly as you ramp up and get busier and busier. This is the perfect combo!
Outside of the educational requirements, the business aspects of a medical weight loss practice are favorable as well. A medical weight loss clinic can become profitable very fast because the demand is high. There is no shortage of overweight and obese people, therefore, you will always have patients in need of treatment. You will literally have people scheduling appointments during the first week of opening and consistently thereafter. Call any medical weight loss clinic and ask how busy they are… If they aren’t busy, then they need to reevaluate their marketing strategy.
These patients are willing to spend money to look and feel better. Because of this, it makes for a GREAT cash practice. Yes, you could bill insurance for this type of practice, but often times, insurance will not cover the medications once they are prescribed because many of them are considered “off label.” The cash practice can fix this problem easily though by utilizing compounding pharmacies and having the medications delivered straight to the patients door. How does this increase your bottom line? Well, you simply just have the compounding pharmacy bill the clinic for the medications and then you charge the patient whatever you want. This means the mark up is high, which results in increased profits for you.
For example, it will cost the you about $25-$30 for a 30 day supply of phentermine from a compounding pharmacy that can you can then sell to the patient for $90. Not too bad! Same goes with the other various medications.
Not only can you make money off marking up the medications, but you also profit off the visits and routine follow up required to manage the patient. When you combine everything that can be added into a medical weight loss clinic (hormone replacement therapy, IV hydration, and peptide therapies for example), the profit potential is very high.
A busy weight loss clinic could easily generate $30,000+ a month. If you are a follower of The Elite Nurse Practitioner Model and start this as a part time practice, then you could easily generate $10,000-$20,000 a month working 2 days a week. Each patient will be generating approximately $120 a month, so multiply $120 by 100 patients, and you have $12,000 a month in revenue! Remember, you don’t need thousands of patients, you only need 100!
Another great aspect of a medical weight loss practice is that the expenses are generally low. Opening a medical weight loss practice requires very little in terms supplies and equipment. You essentially just need general office supplies, a vitals sign machine, a scale, possibly an ECG machine if you are prescribing phentermine, and a prescription pad. That is it! A well equipped and visually appealing medical weight loss practice could be started for around $5,000-$7,500…
Tell me any other investment of $7,500 that could turn into $10,000+ a month in profit…
Your biggest expense when getting started will be marketing it. The good news though, is that a tremendous amount of marketing is not necessary as people will often times be looking for you. Therefore, it is critically important you have your digital footprint well established so it is effortless for people to find you.
Listen, there is a reason many doctors own part-time weight loss clinics, because in all simplicity, it is AWESOME. I knew an ER doctor who owned 2 weight loss clinics in a city I used to live in. This guy was making a supplementary income of over $30,000 a MONTH off these clinics. The craziest part was that he only saw patients for an afternoon every week at each clinic. It was ridiculous…
I have integrated weight loss services into my men’s health practice with tremendous success as well! My patients absolutely love the results they are seeing. Not only does this increase my revenue, but it also increases referral business. I have seen 10 more patients this month alone simply from integrating medical weight loss into my practice. Not only did I start them on a weight loss program, but I also started them on testosterone replacement therapy. Its fantastic!
Justin Groce, NP-C also does VERY well integrating medical weight loss into his practice. He makes upwards of $5,000-$10,000 a month simply through his medical weight loss program in his wellness practice that offers a plethora of other services.
You should seriously consider opening a medical weight loss clinic if you are looking for an in demand part-time practice and have an interest in helping people lose weight. If you already have a practice, then developing and integrating a medical weight loss program into it could result in increased revenue and happier patients! I know multiple other successful entrepreneurs who offer weight loss therapies within their wellness practice and it is a very profitable service line for them.
Remember, The Definitive Medical Weight Loss Therapy Course has been released! This course covers everything you need to know to start a medical weight loss clinic. Topics include diet planning, exercise programming, motivational coaching, medication management, practice start up, marketing, and much more. Snatch up this course before the discount price ends on November 2nd!
Good Monday Justin,
I am in Mississippi (collaborator required) and therefore considering providing telemedicine in a full-authority state. Your article states that medical weight loss can be done via telemedicine, but my question is what would I do about vital signs and obtaining patient’s weight? I thank you in advance for your time.
You would just have the patients obtain a set of vital signs from an urgent care or walk in clinic and have them take their own weight with a scale at home. It is not complicated 🙂
I really like this idea!
How do I sign up for your course on how to do this?
Simply click the “courses and books” tab at the top of the page and scroll down. You will see all the courses including the weight loss one 🙂
Is this course just for NP’s – I am an MD. Thanks
MDs can take it. Our courses are applicable to any provider type!
Hi, Justin! Loving your courses so far. I have a question regarding labs drawn in clinic for weight loss program. We are considering drawing thyroid and hormone panels, as well as the labs listed as “essential” in the course, but do not currently provide HRT or thyroid medication management. Is this something where referral to PCP is warranted with abnormal results or how would you advise to handle such a situation when we do not currently desire to enter the realm of primary care? Thanks in advance!
I would advise treating the hormone deficienies as it will increase the revenue of your practice. Why refer business out? I think a robust and well rounded weight loss clinic should also have the capabilities of treating general hormone deficiences (thyroid, testosterone, estrogen, etc…) Follow the steps in the HRT courses. It is very simple AND profitable. If you don’t want to though, then yes just refer out to PCP.