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CMS Will Not Cover Weight-Loss Surgeries For Non-Obese Diabetes Patients

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

CMS on Monday said that it will not cover weight-loss surgery for Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes who are not dangerously overweight because there is not ample evidence proving the procedure can improve their health, Reuters/Yahoo! News reports.

Currently, Medicare and private insurers cover weight-loss surgeries, which range in cost from $15,000 to $35,000, for severely obese people.

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After a small study released earlier this year found that such surgeries could completely reverse type 2 diabetes, the agency decided to conduct its own review of available data. According to a proposal, the agency found no "convincing medical evidence that bariatric surgery improved health outcomes for non-morbidly obese individuals."

CMS said it will review public comments before making a final ruling, which is likely to influence policies set by private insurers (Heavey, Reuters/Yahoo! News, 11/17).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.