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Medicare Pays for Obesity: A Webinar and Cheat Sheet

Posted Mar 03 2012 9:28am

Lots of things are starting to move. The economy is getting a little better. The bees in the avocado orchard are buzzing. My patients seem to be firing on all cylinders.

And Medicare is starting to pay doctors to counsel patients about obesity…and to help them lose weight. (I’ve been lobbying for this for decades ). Right now, it’s aimed at guys in John Goodman’s age bracket. But not for long!

This is remarkable, life-changing and powerful. Doctors are like other workers: they do more of what they are paid well to do. And the right word from your physician can make the difference between losing the fat, or not .

Of course, Medicare does not pay docs well to do this: I estimate (from the RVUs) $34 to counsel patients on what is arguably the most complex and difficult to treat endocrine disorder .

But Medicare does offer 22 visits (if you lose 6.6# by visit 16, in month 6).  And tells doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants what they need to do to help patients.

I think this is so important I am doing a  live 90 minute webinar for clinicians and mana ger s later this month. I’ll publish a step-by-step downloadable log, and a separate, detailed white paper here for those who want to get the documentation just right.

I’ve been interviewing coders and clinicians all over the country! Medicare and risk management are so hard to understand! But essential! Because I’m on a mission to help people who want to get really healthy do so! Whether it’s 20, 40 or 100#, you can do it!

Another encouraging note: PBS stations in Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin are re-broadcasting my “ Eat and Cook Healthy ” this month…and more every day!

It’s 90 minutes ( +5 DVDs and a CD ) jam-packed with everything I could squeeze in about culinary medicine–and what to eat for diabetes, cholesterol, back pain, heart disease and more. It’s a donation to PBS, one of the best things I know.  TV is a blast to do: you can see a sneak preview on YouTube, and follow me on Twitter for broadcast times.

 
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