Monday, September 27, 2010

Health Care Reform to Require Obesity Counseling Insurer Coverage

A number of rules associated with The US Health Care Reform, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, went into effect on September 23, 2010. One of the rules requires that services, associated with some of the preventive service guidelines established by the US Preventive Services Task Force, be covered by most insurers. And the insurers are to not require co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles for the preventive services. One of the services is obesity counseling for adults, and another is obesity counseling for children over six years of age.

Physicians, however, may be reluctant to provide counseling for obesity. According to a report from the Penn State College of Medicine, physicians don't necessarily believe that offering weight-loss advice and counseling is a worthwhile activity in clinical practice. So even though insurers may cover the counseling intervention, many physicians might not do the counseling.

However, a study described in a June 2010 article of the "Annals of Family Medicine" may help change physicians’ opinions about weight-loss counseling. The article details a counseling study where urban preschool children were subjected to a counseling process that may help the researchers design "effective primary care based interventions." The counseling process focuses on the family and uses the "Five A’s" counseling approach derived from a counseling approach created by the National Cancer Institute. The five A's, in the approach, are "assess," "advise," "agree," "assist," and "arrange."

As part of the study, the urban childrens’ families were asked to fill out a lifestyle questionnaire, called FLAIR (Family Lifestyle Assessment of Initial Risk). And physicians associated with the study were trained to provide specific counseling "about the behavior selected for change," based on the questionnaire. Learning to provide more precise counseling, while including the family in the process, may enable medical practitioners to better counsel overweight and obese patients.

The study's researchers found that the families in the study responded positively to the counseling intervention -- parents and families being receptive to the intervention. Primary care practitioners and bariatric physicians should view the families’ response as positive. With expected insurer coverage, and promising counseling methods, counseling intervention could become a more important tool for physicians who need to help patients lose weight.

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Anonymous Bariatric Products said...

Good to know about the same.cancer is such a dreadful menace eating up so many hundreds and thousands of people...good that there is some light and research on the same.

October 27, 2010 at 6:45 AM  
Anonymous bizconnmedia said...

Counseling services are among the preventive services required, including tobacco counseling, alcohol misuse counseling, obesity counseling,

January 5, 2011 at 2:14 AM  

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