American Medical Association adopts policy to improve patient access to care for obesity

Posted: Jun 12 in Medical Weight Loss News by

improve patient access to care for obesityI am thrilled that on June 11th, 2014, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted policy advocating for patient access to obesity treatment services including behavioral, pharmaceutical, nutritional and surgical interventions.  This policy comes one year after the AMA recognized obesity as a “disease requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention,” a decision I was thrilled to play a pivotal role in.

Although I needed to miss this year’s meeting due to having had a newborn son 4 days before the meeting began, I am a member of the AMA House of Delegates representing the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, and was thrilled to contribute to this ongoing process.

So, what does this mean?  It means that the AMA, the most powerful organized medical association in the country, supports decreasing barriers to proper care for obesity.  This takes us one step closer to insurance coverage for medical, nutritional, and surgical treatment, improved physician education, and reduced stigma regarding obesity.  I hope that in coming years we continue to see movement towards “obesity parity” where the treatment of obesity is viewed the same as any other medical disease, like high blood pressure or diabetes.

-Ethan Lazarus, M.D.

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