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

Double homicide at Houston nursing home; victims' roommate arrested

Double homicide at Houston nursing home; victims' roommate ...

A double murder occurred late Tuesday night in a Houston nursing home room shared by four men, according to local authorities. Police arrested Guillermo Correa on suspicion of beating two ...

$2 million HIPAA settlement highlights mobile device risks facing healthcare providers

Laptops and other mobile devices containing personal health information have been stolen from long-term care ombudsman programs and other healthcare organizations, including from Concentra Health Services and QCA Health Plan Inc. Now, Concentra and QCA have agreed to legal settlements totaling nearly $2 million, federal ...

Long-term care nurses often 'scramble' to get family members' blessing for palliative ...

Nursing home residents might not transition to full palliative care until they are very near death, at which point nurses and family members act in a state of crisis, suggests recently published research out of Canada.