The Medicare Obesity Decision

 

A new Medicare ruling means that doctors will be paid for screening for obesity and counseling of those eligible beneficiaries. What does that mean?  It means that they will pay for face-to-face counseling every week for one month, then one counseling appointment every other week for the following five months for people who screen positive for obesity.  CMS will require counseling be given only by physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists or physician assistants.  Now, here is the big question.   Who has the time to fit a patient in that often?   The answer is no one.  The USA Today discusses the debate over this issue and whether doctors even have the training to do counseling for weight loss.  We don’t.  Since our governmental dietary recommendations (low fat, high grain, high carb) may be a mistake  anyway, I am not sure it would even make a difference.  More importantly, I am just amazed at the fact that another new initiative comes down from CMS without a method or plan to carry it out.  Well done, my friends, well done.

3230cookie-checkThe Medicare Obesity Decision