Morbid obesity is recognized as a significant health risk associated with physical problems that may increase morbidity and mortality among the Medicare population. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, “obesity is a risk factor for major causes of death, including cardiovascular disease, numerous types of cancer, and diabetes, and is linked with markedly diminished life expectancy.” The surgical management of morbid obesity, bariatric surgery, is a treatment that may result in dramatic weight loss. Several different surgical procedures have been used for people with morbid obesity, including biliopancreatic diversion, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and gastric banding.
The Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently issued a technology assessment entitled: Pharmacological and Surgical Treatment of Obesity. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 103.* This, along with numerous other publications, indicate the need for a careful assessment of the evidence surrounding bariatric surgery.
CMS is referring the issue of surgical management of obesity to the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee (MCAC). The MCAC will review the evidence related to the benefits, risks and costs of bariatric surgery in obesity.
Notice of this action is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2, section 10(a)(1) and (a)(2)).
This tracking sheet does not represent a National Coverage Analysis for bariatric surgery. It only serves to announce the upcoming MCAC meeting.
*Shekelle PG, Morton SC, Maglione MA, Suttorp M, Tu W, Li Z, Maggard M, Mojica WA, Shugarman L, Solomon V, Jungvig L, Newberry SJ, Mead D, Rhodes S. Pharmacological and Surgical Treatment of Obesity. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 103 (Prepared by the Southern California - RAND Evidence-Based Practice Center, Santa Monica, CA, under contract Number 290-02-0003.) AHRQ Publication No. 04-E028-2. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. July 2004.