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

Nursing home antipsychotic use has dipped nearly 19% under national effort, latest figures show

Nursing home antipsychotic use has dipped nearly 19% ...

The percent of long-stay nursing home residents receiving antipsychotic medication has decreased 18.8% under a nationwide initiative that started in 2012.

Jimmo succeeds in getting Medicare coverage, two years after landmark case ended

Glenda Jimmo has reached a settlement with the federal government and will finally receive Medicare coverage for claims that were denied in 2007, which led her to file a class-action lawsuit over the so-called "improvement standard."

Breier named new CEO at Kindred

Breier named new CEO at Kindred

Kindred Healthcare announced Thursday that it has chosen a new top executive to lead its push toward creating a mammoth national brand. Benjamin A. Breier, the company's current president and ...