New Support for Medicare Coverage of Intensive Counseling for Obesity

October 5th, 2011 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

If the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services needed any more support today for including intensive behavioral counseling for obesity as a covered service, it received it today from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF.)  The USPSTF today released an update of its 2003 recommendation, which was the basis for the Medicare proposal. The update review of literature clearly supports the value of intensive behavioral counseling. It concludes:

  1. Behaviorally based treatment resulted in 6.6 lb greater weight loss in intervention than control participants after 12-18 months, with more treatment sessions associated with greater loss.

  2. Controls generally lost little or no weight, whereas intervention groups lost an average of 4% of baseline weight.

  3. Weight-loss treatment reduced diabetes incidence in patients with pre-diabetes.

  4. Effects on lipids and blood pressure were mixed and small.

The update is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Effectiveness of primary care-relevant treatm… [Ann Intern Med. 2011] – PubMed – NCBI