The CMS cleared the way for increased Medicare coverage of treatments for obesity by removing language from the Medicare coverage manual that stated obesity was not an illness. The revision means Medicare beneficiaries can ask the agency to make coverage decisions on obesity treatments based on the medical evidence. Previously, because obesity was not viewed as an illness, Medicare did not have to consider paying for treatments for it. The revision is not expected to have an immediate impact but will in the long term as requests for coverage decisions are made, HHS said. The CMS is specifically interested in scientific data showing obesity treatments improve health. The CMS Web site has more information. -- by Tony Fong
CMS opens door to coverage of obesity treatments
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