Calling Daniel Webster. Put in a good word for bariatrics.

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05/21/2010

I chatted with Dr. Kevin Huffman yesterday about how health care reform will attempt to address our obesity epidemic by making sure docs get paid for treating the disease. As that  happens, the docs and the patients will have conversations about the patient's needs, including bariatric durable medical equipment (you knew I was going to say that, didn't you?).

Huffman recently became a consultant to Gendron, which offers a line of bariatric DME.

Bariatric, said Huffman, will become a more common word in the health care conversation. As I was boiling our 1,000-word conversation down into a 450-word article, I noticed that my spell-check didn't recognize "bariatric." OK. Spell-check probably doesn't recognize a lot of medical words, although pediatric and geriatric pass with flying colors.

I reached for my trusty American Heritage, 4th edition, and flipped through the Bs. Not there either. Apparently, the word bariatric has some ground to cover if it wants to earn a spot between "bar graph" and "barite."

Meanwhile, back at the doc's office, providers should consider using the word much more frequently as they position themselves to enter this market, says Huffman.

Say it. Bariatric. It kind of rolls off the tongue, eh?

Theresa Flaherty