CMS to cover behavioral therapy for obesity

Share this article:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed covering intensive behavioral therapy for obese individuals enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2. The therapy would consist of screening for obesity, a dietary assessment and intensive behavioral counseling and therapy to promote weight loss through diet and exercise.

According to the Aug. 31 memo, CMS would cover a face-to-face visit every week for the first month, a face-to-face visit every other week for months two through six, and a face-to-face monthly visit for months seven through 12. In order to qualify, a beneficiary would have to be competent and alert, and meet with a qualified primary care physician or primary care provider, such as a nurse practitioner. While skilled nursing facilities would not be eligible for reimbursement, a less obese older population nonetheless would be good news for providers struggling to keep up with the costs and demands of bariatric patients.

The public can weigh in by clicking on the memo and clicking on the orange “comment” button.

Share this article:

More in News

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest list of hospital readmissions causes

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest ...

Two infectious conditions common in long-term care settings — septicemia and urinary tract infections — were among the top causes of hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries in 2011, according to ...

PharMerica to pay $200,000 settlement over federal charges of unsafe dispensing practices

Long-term care pharmacy company PharMerica has agreed to pay about $213,000 to settle charges that it dispensed medications without prescriptions and committed other breaches of the Controlled Substances Act, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

Shortchanging the Older Americans Act has led to unnecessary nursing home placements, ...

Chronic underfunding of the Older Americans Act is leading to unnecessary long-term care facility admissions, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and 26 of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate said in a recent letter to Appropriations Committee leaders.