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Capitol Health Call
September 8, 2015

Proposed Bill Would Expand Obesity Treatments for Medicare Recipients

JAMA. 2015;314(10):983. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10459

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced House and Senate versions of the same bill, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2015, intended to help reduce health care costs and decrease the incidence of chronic disease associated with obesity, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes (http://1.usa.gov/1M5geA6).

The legislation would give Medicare beneficiaries access to obesity treatments provided by health care practitioners other than primary care physicians, including nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and registered dietitians, if referred by a primary care physician. The bill would allow Medicare to cover evidence-based lifestyle counseling and would expand drug coverage for obesity treatment under Medicare Part D.