CMS may not cover bariatric surgery for non-obese diabetics

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Medicare would not cover bariatric surgeries for people who have diabetes but are not morbidly obese, according to a policy proposed recently by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

"Bariatric surgery is a viable option for many morbidly obese patients who have not been successful with other weight loss programs," said CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems.  "CMS wants to be sure that these patients have access to a solution to help them achieve a healthier weight and avoid some of the most serious complications of type 2 diabetes."

While recent studies have found that bariatric surgery may be helpful for diabetics, CMS did not find evidence that bariatric surgery improved health outcomes for non-morbidly obese individuals. CMS is currently seeking comment from the public on this new coverage proposal. The full proposal decision can be found online at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/center/coverage.asp.