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IHRSA Asks Officials to Include Health Clubs in Medicare Obesity Treatment Benefit

IHRSA has submitted comments to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recommending that Medicare beneficiaries be allowed to utilize a possible obesity treatment benefit in commercial fitness centers. CMS is currently considering a proposal that would allow individuals to seek “intensive behavioral therapy” for obesity. The proposal, however, only allows for such therapy to be provided by a doctor in a primary care setting.

IHRSA is concerned that these limitations would unnecessarily prevent Medicare beneficiaries from accessing vital obesity therapy resources, including expertise and equipment, available in fitness centers across the country.  

Accordingly, IHRSA requested that CMS include fitness centers as allowable settings, and expand the range of practitioners to include exercise physiologists, appropriately certified personal trainers, and nutritionists.