HealthDay News — According to a study presented at the annual meeting of The Obesity Society in New Orleans, more than half of health professionals view improved health insurance coverage as a solution for obesity management and weight loss.
Ruchi Doshi, MPH, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined health professionals’ perceptions of insurance coverage-related challenges and solutions.
There were 450 health professionals in the fields of nutrition, nursing, behavioral/mental health, exercise and pharmacy who were surveyed in 2014. The researchers found that 23% of the health professionals cited current insurance coverage as a challenge and improved coverage was perceived as a solution for obesity management and weight loss by 57%.
The proportion of health professionals who predicted probabilities of identifying insurance coverage as a challenge to care and viewing future benefits expansions as a solution to improve outcomes was similar for those with non-low-income panels and for those with low-income panels (P=.33 and P=.08, respectively).
“More than half, 57%, of the 450 health professionals we surveyed believe that improved health insurance coverage for weight loss is a solution to greater access to care and this finding cuts across all patient income levels,” Doshi said in a statement.
“Furthermore, we found that a quarter of health professionals perceive current insurance coverage to be a weight-loss challenge.”
Insurance Coverage of Obesity, Lack of Formal Diagnosis Emerge as Top Barriers to Getting Professional Weight Loss Help [press release]. New Orleans, LA: The Obesity Society; November 3, 2016.