Lots of things are starting to move. The economy is getting a little better. The bees in the avocado orchard are buzzing. My patients seem to be firing on all cylinders.
And Medicare is starting to pay doctors to counsel patients about obesity…and to help them lose weight. Isn’t it about time?
Doctors are like other workers: they do more of what they are paid well to do. And the right word from your physician can make the difference between losing the fat, or not.
Of course, Medicare does not pay docs well to do this: I estimate (from the RVUs) $34 to counsel patients on what is arguably the most complex and difficult to treat endocrine disorder.
But Medicare does offer 22 visits (if you lose 6.6# by visit 16, in month 6). And tells doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants what they need to do to help patients.
I think this is so important I am doing a live 90 minute webinar for clinicians and managers later this month. Later this Spring, I’ll publish a step-by-step downloadable log, and a separate, detailed white paper on my personal site for those who want to get the documentation just right.
I’ve been interviewing coders and clinicians all over the country! Medicare and risk management are so hard to understand! But essential! And private insurers often follow Medicare in coverage!
Something else I’m grateful for: PBS stations in Idaho, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Vermont, Illinois, Iowa and Utah are re-broadcasting “Eat and Cook Healthy” this month, and I continue to get questions from patients and readers, trying to answer the question “What do I eat for this…that doesn’t taste like cardboard?”
It’s a donation to PBS, one of the best things I know: the broadcast is free, and (+5 DVDs and a CD) jam-packed with everything I could squeeze in about culinary medicine–and what to eat for diabetes, cholesterol, back pain, heart disease and more.