In a rare direct payer-provider partnership, Phoenix Children's Hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona are launching a medical home program this month to curb and prevent childhood obesity.
The idea for a jointly operated childhood obesity clinic started about a year ago, said Dr. Kristen Samaddar, a pediatrician at Phoenix Children's and one of the leaders of the year-long program.
The youth obesity rate in Arizona was almost 20% in 2011, according to the National Survey of Children's Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as many as 17% of U.S. children are obese, with many costly chronic illnesses such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes linked to the condition.
“Most pediatricians find themselves talking about this a lot,” Samaddar said.