CMS to cover obesity behavior therapy

Share this article:
Providers may be getting their load lightened a bit with help  from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The agency has proposed covering intensive behavioral therapy for obese Medicare Part A and Part B beneficiaries.

Medicare would cover weekly personal visits for the first month; visits every two weeks for the following five months; and then monthly in-person visits the second half of the 12-month period. A participant must lose at least 3 kg (6.61 pounds) in the first six months in order to continue.

Therapy would consist of screening for obesity, a dietary assessment, intensive behavioral counseling and therapy to promote weight loss through diet and exercise. 

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2. One third of U.S. adults are obese and at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.

To qualify for the therapy coverage, obese beneficiaries would have to be competent and meet with a qualified primary care provider, according to an Aug. 31 CMS memo. Nursing facilities would not be reimbursed for such therapy care but would benefit by having a lighter, healthier population to serve.
Share this article:
close

Next Article in News

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.