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Medicare to Cover Obesity Counseling in 2012

As part of a new obesity prevention program being rolled out in 2012, Medicare will cover obesity-counseling services for patients with a BMI of 30 or higher. The program is designed to reduce obesity and chronic diseases associated with it.

According to a decision memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), counseling consists of “intensive behavioral counseling and therapy” to help patients lose weight through “high intensity interventions on diet and exercise.” According to the memo, intensive counseling and therapy consists of the following:

  1. Screening for obesity in adults using measurement of BMI;
  2. Nutritional assessment; and
  3. Intensive behavioral counseling and behavioral therapy to promote sustained weight loss through high intensity interventions on diet and exercise.

Read full memo here.

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