Morgan Downey, STOP Alliance Policy Advisor, weighs in on where Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is today as it moves closer to the key date, October 1, 2013. What do you need to know? Individual mandate? State exchanges? Essential health benefits?
A recent JAMA article (2014;174:615) that critiqued the FDA’s decision to approve Belviq and Qsymia for weight loss included the following statement: “Although treatment options are limited, obesity is not an emergency – it is not even a disease, but rather a risk factor for disease.” This statement has sparked a vigorous debate.
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View Dr. Richard H. Carmona’s, 17th U.S. Surgeon General and the Alliance’s Health and Wellness Chairperson, letter of support for the Essential Health Benefits Task Force recommendations here.
In this paper, the STOP Obesity Alliance identifies a wide gap between the anticipated increase of people with weight-related conditions entering the health care system and a corresponding limited number of health professionals who are trained to help them. Community health centers (CHCs) and primary care providers working in other settings will increasingly become America's obesity "first responders," needed to provide weight-related health services as the nation continues to implement the Affordable Care Act. Considering the role CHCs may play in providing primary care to this newly-insured population, the Alliance worked to assess their readiness, and found ways that could improve obesity management services in the centers and other primary care settings. The research, conducted by The George Washington University, demonstrated the need to reduce barriers to managing obesity by increasing the education on how to properly advise patients on weight loss, eliminating stigma about weight issues and maintaining focus on weight as a health issue.
The Alliance's research team found that some CHCs have targeted, innovative programs that address obesity and chronic disease in place – and identified key areas that can increase the effectiveness of obesity management including:
The STOP Obesity Alliance hosted a discussion on the important role the primary care community can play in the fight against obesity March 16, 2010 at The George Washington University. The discussion, led by Alliance Health & Wellness Chairperson Dr. Richard H. Carmona and Alliance Director Christine Ferguson, centered around results from two new surveys commissioned by the Alliance and conducted by Harris Interactive as well as a White Paper, "Improving Obesity Management in Adult Primary Care," based on the Alliance's Primary Care roundtable. The research team at The George Washington University based the White Paper on outcomes of an expert roundtable that examined innovative approaches to help address obesity in the primary care setting. The paper outlines five areas to explore to improve the treatment of obesity in primary care:
The STOP Obesity Alliance hosted a roundtable on adult primary care treatment and management of obesity on August 5, 2009 on The George Washington University campus. Attendees included leading health experts, academics and health sector providers from a select group of prestigious organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harvard University, Geisinger Health System, Holston Medical Group, CalorieKing Wellness Solutions, Inc., University of Maryland, Society for Women's Health Research, The University of Vermont, and several Alliance Steering Committee and Associate Member organizations including American Heart Association, The Obesity Society, American Medical Group Association, Obesity Action Coalition, American College of Sports Medicine and the Commissioned Officers Association. Attendees' discussion focused on three different topics:
Click here to view a summary of the roundtable.