Tag Archives: eat and cook healthy

Medicare Pays for Obesity

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?

This is remarkable, life-changing and powerful. Green

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.

Check out a sneak preview on YouTube: broadcast times by request and on Twitter.

Creative Commons License photo credit: colros

Should There Be a Cholesterol Registry? What Should It Do?

Love of food is important, like love of self.  And you can have and should have both.

The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) has documented exactly what

 people do who have lost weight and kept it off.  Over 5000 people have lost an average of 66 lbs and kept it off for 5.5 years.

The research of the weight control registry helps me coach my clients to lon

g term weight loss too. I use it every day both in ChefMD online and Chef Clinic.

Because so many of my patients have lowered their LDL cholesterol levels by 50% and raised their HDLs by 40% with diet and lifestyle changes, I thought it might be helpful to create a site like NWCR which told the stories of people who have been successful, including changing the shape and size of their cholesterol, from unhealthy to healthy.

Chef Clinic is teaming up with nutrition firm Provident Clinical Research to work together to make this a reality.  If you’re in the Chicago area, Provident is offering free cholesterol screenings currently.

I mention the idea of a cholesterol registry in my first PBS Special, raising money for public TV. It airs this month beginning Saturday March 5 (it’s called "Eat and Cook Healthy with Dr John La Puma"); follow @EatCookHealthy for local #PBS broadcast times a few hours before air time’ pledge gifts include Super Healthy Combo package; 75 second video/pledge link preview here: http://vimeo.com/20618658).

What should a cholesterol registry do? Should it do research, offer testing, tell best stories, create or rank supplements, give best recipes, or give discounts on meds and tests? What would be your intent?


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