Medi-Weightloss® supports its franchisees with the latest tools
while continuing to expand throughout the country and internationally.
Medi-Weightloss® has become the leading and largest physician-supervised weight-loss franchise in the United States over the past 11 years because of its ultimate focus on changing people’s lives and combating the obesity epidemic. “What sets Medi-Weightloss apart is our clinically-proven and individualized program. Each patient gets a plan that is customized to their unique medical history, goals, and food and exercise preferences,” Senior Vice President of Business Development Andrew Cox says.
“The company’s slogan is The One That Works!, and it is certainly embracing the statement - Medi-Weightloss has helped its patients lose more than three million pounds.”
Edward Kaloust, founder and CEO, recognized the need for a better weight loss solution while he was working to lose a few pounds. A successful businessman and recent grandfather, Kaloust saw an opportunity to leave a legacy. His goal was to build a company that could positively impact people’s lives while battling the country’s growing obesity epidemic. Kaloust enlisted physicians, registered dietitians, and experts in education, fitness, and public health to conduct research and develop a cutting edge physician-supervised weight loss program. Today, the program has evolved through evidence-based medicine and is one of the most comprehensive programs available. With 125 franchises sold in 28 states, it’s also among the most exciting investment opportunities.
“Weight is huge today; it’s the No. 1 medical epidemic. Seventy-five percent of American adults are overweight or obese – that’s 170-plus million people. It’s a massive market space,” Cox states. There is certainly a need for weight loss programs that work and Medi-Weightloss exceeds expectations.”
The Medi-Weightloss program is physician-supervised and includes a complete medical evaluation, including a blood panel and EKG. “Our providers develop a weight loss program that includes a nutrition and exercise plan, supplements designed specifically for the program, and an FDA-approved appetite suppressant if prescribed,” Cox explains.
Each patient even receives their own webpage to access their progress, vitals, review exercises and find new recipes. “Simply put, we provide all of the tools our patients need to be successful,” Cox says. “Our providers teach our patients how to eat and how to change their behavior to achieve their goal weight and long-term weight maintenance. This education is provided at weekly one-on-one office visits. The high level of support is a clear advantage.”
Continuous support is also provided to its franchisees – beginning with site selection and territories. “There will not be a Medi-Weightloss on every corner and franchisees are provided large territories. A good area with protected territory is important,” Cox says. “We are a medical retail business, so we are looking for more retail-type locations with good visibility, signage and easy parking.”
The company looks into location demographics such as age and income, and connects franchisees with a national real estate firm. “We dig deep to identify similar psychographics within our patient population. We then create a heat map looking to find the core patient areas that we can target for development,” Cox adds.
Once the optimal location is chosen, Medi-Weightloss assigns a dedicated support team to each new franchisee to ensure they open successfully. Support teams and franchisees connect via online enrollment so they can see in real-time what needs to be done. Before opening, franchisees and their staff are required to attend a four- to five-day training course at the franchise headquarters. “Our opening team travels to the grand opening week so they can continue on-site training,” Cox says. From marketing to operations, the company provides programs and support to help the franchisee succeed. “Our success is their success and their success is our success,” Cox notes
Innovation by Demand
Medi-Weightloss offers patients a line of supplements, snacks and food, and exercise equipment. The company evolves its programs and lines when demand calls for it, which is why Medi-Weightloss recently introduced a nutrition approach called Medi-Weightloss Signature Menus. “It’s not a meal replacement program, but a set menu that takes the guesswork out of meal planning. Our patients are parents, busy professionals, travelers, and they want something that is quick and easy. So, we expanded our line and offer healthy protein supplements, meals, and snacks. The response has been phenomenal,” says Cox. In addition to satisfied patients, franchisees happily say the expanded product line is a revenue generator, he adds.
Another demand from patients and franchisees, encouraged by the Affordable Care Act, is to establish contracts with insurance companies. “Because our program is physician-supervised, certain services provided - such as the initial consultation, office visit and preventive medical counseling - may be covered by a patient’s insurance plan,” says Cox.
The company has spent $12 million since its inception to develop a state-of-the-art proprietary bariatric software system. Over the past two years, the system was improved further to accommodate the billing intricacies associated with accepting insurance. Franchisees choose for themselves whether their franchise will accept cash only or insurance. “The challenge with insurance is that it’s complex and varies in every state and region, but the increased volume and revenue is proving to be worth it! Our team connects the franchisees with established credentialing and billing companies to help guide them,” Cox says.
Each franchise and its medical providers are credentialed separately by insurance carriers. Medi-Weightloss has begun accepting insurance in many locations. “Insurance has allowed our medical providers to help a larger volume of patients,” Cox adds. “Losing weight will reduce the patient’s risk for developing so many obesity related health conditions.”
Initially, more people with experience in the medical profession were attracted to our franchise opportunity, but over the past decade the interest has grown to include a wide variety of business people. “We have many physician franchisees and the other half are business people who really come from all walks of life,” Cox explains. “It’s an opportunity for anyone that wants to make a positive difference in the health of their community.”
Moving forward, Medi-Weightloss plans to continue franchising. “No one offers the support that we do; it’s a total turnkey approach,” Cox says. “Medi-Weightloss is a unique franchising opportunity because we offer a financially rewarding and clinically successful way to help people. Here at Medi-Weightloss, franchisees are like family and we are growing our success together.”