The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently made a ruling that Medicare will now cover obesity counseling services. The good news is that CMS recognizes that obesity is a medical condition that should be covered! The bad news is that only the patients’ primary care provider will be covered to provide obesity counseling services.
What does that mean…you ask?
Well, doctors already have a lot on their plates (no pun intended). How are they going to fit in more time to talk to each obese or overweight patient that needs it. Answer…they won’t. They don’t have time to handle the quantity of patients out there needing obesity counseling now. I already have to explain half of the diagnoses that my patients have to them, because their doctor didn’t have the time to.
Also, DIETITIANS ARE THE NUTRITION EXPERT! We should have been covered!!! Most doctors only take one semester course in nutrition. I completed seven years! There is no comparison. How could any professional provide obesity counseling without talking about nutrition? Answer…you can’t. I am not saying that doctors don’t know how to say “eat less” or “move more.” I am saying that patients might get inaccurate information during the process or never receive the proper nutrition education they need.
What does this mean for you…you ask?
I need your help. Help me be the change I want to see CMS make. PLEASE take two minutes and sign the American Dietetic Association’s petition to President Obama to urge CMS to include RDs in obesity treatment! We need 25,000 signatures and we NEED yours!!!
I am number 1,082! Please go here, sign it, and write your number in a comment below!!!