Sport: New Fat Rules

AMERICA'S WAISTLINE

For years, the U.S. government ruled that most weight-loss programs would not be reimbursed by Medicare because obesity was not a medical illness. That policy was reversed last week. The Department of Health and Human Services dropped language that prevented doctors from billing Medicare for obesity treatments. That doesn't mean that Medicare recipients can now get their stomachs stapled. Reimbursement decisions must be based on "medical science." Medicare may review the evidence on obesity surgery as soon as this fall.

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