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Health
Medicare to allow some treatments for obesity


The Department of Health and Human Services has dropped language in its Medicare policy that excluded obesity as an disease.

The removal of the phrase "obesity itself cannot be considered an illness" from the Medicare Coverage Issues Manual clears the way for the use of Medicare to pay for some obesity treatments. These include stomach surgery, diet programs, and behavioral and psychological counseling, according to The Washington Post.

Native Americans in some areas of the country suffer from high rates of obesity. Diabetes is closely linked to diabetes.

Get the Story:
Medicare Changes Policy on Obesity (The Washington Post 7/16)
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A Deletion Opens Medicare to Coverage for Obesity (The New York Times 7/16)
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HHS Documents:
Press Release | National Coverage Analysis

Relevant Links:
Medicare coverage - http://www.cms.hhs.gov/coverage

Related Stories:
Diabetes and obesity ravage Native population (04/19)
CDC documents premature deaths from heart disease (02/23)
Surgeon General puts emphasis on prevention (02/05)