MDPrevent Launches First Weight Loss Program for Seniors, Paid for by Medicare, to Rave Reviews

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With an investment of millions of dollars, MDPrevent, led by Steven Charlap, MD, MBA, custom develops and launches an innovative approach to lifestyle modification and weight loss. The LEAN (Lifestyle Education And Nutrition) Weight Loss Program, using a team of medical and educational professionals, combines private consultations with group sessions to achieve sustainable lifestyle modification and weight loss results. For eligible seniors, Medicare covers the entire cost of the program.

I see smiles on faces when a class completes for the day. People feel empowered and for the first time in a long time, in control of their health and their weight. I think we are really on to something that can change the future of healthcare.

Obesity has become a major national health concern. According to the latest Gallup survey, at least 24% of adults 65 or older are obese. In response to this major cause of chronic disease, in 2012, Medicare implemented new coverage for Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity (IBTO) as part of a growing menu of preventive services. As with many other preventive services, IBTO requires no co-payment or deductible; it is a service valued at about $600 provided at no cost to eligible Medicare beneficiaries.

Working within Medicare’s guidelines for IBTO, in 2012, MDPrevent, a preventive medicine, primary care, and education center launched its custom-developed and innovative LEAN (Lifestyle Education And Nutrition) Weight Loss Program. The LEAN program does not include pills, injections, or surgery. It is a medically supervised lifestyle modification program that includes private consultations with primary care practitioners combined with group sessions with dietitians, psychologists, fitness and yoga instructors, and health educators. The program aims for slow, but steady and sustainable weight loss. Most importantly, it focuses on healthy living and improved well-being. Participating patients are already losing weight in a sustainable manner by changing their relationships with food, their patterns of physical activity, their handling of stress, and how they sleep. The best part of the program is that it is free to eligible seniors. MDPrevent knows of no other program, locally or nationally, offering such a comprehensive weight loss program subject to Medicare’s new guidelines.

MDPrevent is led by Steven Charlap, a pioneering physician with an MD from NYU Medical School, an MBA from Harvard, and surgical residency training. In 1989, he founded HealthDrive and then grew it to be the largest U.S. medical and dental practice serving the extended care industry. Over twenty years, HealthDrive cared for over 5 million seniors and Dr. Charlap witnessed first-hand what happens to people who don’t take adequate care of their health, end up being institutionalized and dependent on the kindness of strangers. According to Dr. Charlap, “It is really sad to see people end their lives in a nursing home. What was disappointing was coming to the realization that there may be very little one could do about improving health and longevity at that stage in a person’s life. Even more frustrating was that I couldn’t even try because Medicare and Medicaid basically shunned preventive services.” Dr. Charlap sold HealthDrive and essentially retired in 2008.

In 2010, Dr. Charlap became euphoric when he discovered that in 2011, Medicare was ready to invest in prevention, finally recognizing that a focus on primary prevention was necessary to save the Medicare Trust Fund, which was already beginning to absorb the tens of millions of baby boomers joining Medicare’s rolls. In response, Dr. Charlap and Michael Rose, a close friend, invested millions of dollars into MDPrevent, an innovative preventive medicine, primary care, and education center to provide these critical preventive services and change the course of the next generation’s lives by focusing on longevity. Dr. Charlap states, “The scientific evidence supports that the longer you live, the healthier you’ve been.” After much research and consultations with the experts in the field of prevention, Dr. Charlap assembled a dream team of Preventioneers including doctors, nurse practitioners, psychologists, nutritionists, fitness experts, and health educators.

The Preventioneers’s first goal was to develop a new lifestyle modification program to tackle chronic disease prevention. Starting in 2010, they began studying many of the existing clinical and commercial models and theories of lifestyle modification and weight loss. In 2012, the first product of those efforts, LEAN Weight Loss, was implemented. The most important aspect of LEAN is that it focuses on healthy living and improved well-being.

Since Medicare initiated coverage for IBTO, MDPrevent has enrolled about 70 patients in its LEAN program and initial weight loss results are very promising. According to Dr. Charlap, “I see the smiles on people’s faces when they complete a class for the day. They feel empowered and for the first time in a long time, in control of their health and their weight. I think we are really on to something that can change the future of healthcare.”

About MDPrevent

MDPrevent is a new concept in primary care that seamlessly integrates primary care, preventive medicine, and education. The healthcare practice helps American’s prevent problems before they happen, reduce healthcare costs, stay healthy, and enjoy a life well lived through free Annual Wellness Visits (paid 100% by Medicare and most major insurances) The Annual Wellness Visit includes a comprehensive health risk assessment, biometric measurements, review and analysis of prescription, supplement and vitamin use, and development of a five- to 10-year prevention plan.

MDPrevent’s Preventioneers, so called because they are pioneering new approaches to prevention, include MDs, nurse practitioners, health psychologists, registered dietitians and nutritionists, exercise physiologists, fitness and yoga instructors and health educators, in addition to private consultations also provide interactive group courses, medically supervised weight loss (with no pills, injections or surgery - paid 100% by most insurances if you qualify) and other classes on health, diet and nutrition, fitness and exercise, stress management, relationship and social network building, and other key elements of a healthy life. The goal: to improve life and smooth out the effects of aging by identifying, preventing, delaying or mitigating the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia and some forms of cancer. Learn more at

5130 Linton Blvd.
Suite H1
Delray Beach, FL 33484
(561) 807-2561

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Ilana Dolgow

Steven Charlap, MD

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