Medicare Adds Obesity Screening and Counseling Coverage
Medicare is adding coverage for preventive services to reduce obesity. This adds to Medicare’s existing portfolio of preventive services that are now available without cost sharing under the Affordable Care Act. Screening for obesity and counseling for eligible patients by primary care providers in settings such as physicians’ offices are covered under this new benefit.
For a patient who screens positive for obesity with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2, the benefit would include one face-to-face counseling visit each week for one month and one face-to-face counseling visit every other week for an additional five months. The patient may receive one face-to-face counseling visit every month for an additional six months (for a total of 12 months of counseling) if he or she has achieved a weight reduction of at least 6.6 pounds (or 3 kg) during the first six months of counseling.
Read the final decision on the new national coverage determination for complete details.