To summarize the news: For Medicare beneficiaries with obesity, who are competent and alert at the time that counseling is provided and whose counseling is furnished by a qualified primary care physician or other primary care practitioner and in a primary care setting, CMS proposes to cover:
- One face to face visit every week for the first month;
- One face to face visit every other week for months 2-6;
- One face-to-face visit every month for months 7-12.
At the six-month visit, a reassessment of obesity and a determination of the amount of weight loss should be performed.
CMS has opened the economic doors for the PCP to treat patients who are obese, and has provided general guidelines (5-As), that were, incidentally, presented in the American Academy of Family Physician’s monograph on obesity published in 2003. Contact the AAFP and ask for a copy to use as a tool in treating your patients.