View this email in your browser
This Issue
Federal Health Plans Step Up Coverage of Obesity Treatment
STOP Resources                 
Educators       Providers         Parents


A recent updated guidance sent to health insurance carriers that administer the Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) has clarified that “carriers are not allowed to exclude anti-obesity medications from coverage based on a benefit exclusion or a carve out." This guidance is encouraging and should help in our efforts to increase the number of health insurance plans that cover anti-obesity medications (AOMs).
The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) serves as the chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the federal government. OPM manages the health insurance benefits for more than eight million federal employees, retirees, and their families. Over 200 FEHB health plans are offered across the country.
In 2014, OPM encouraged FEHB plans to cover obesity treatments. Their guidance also prohibited FEHB plans from excluding coverage based on the belief that obesity is a lifestyle condition or that such treatment is cosmetic. Despite this guidance from OPM, many plans continued to exclude or carve out coverage for AOMs. A recent survey conducted of thirteen of the FEHB 2021 plan brochures, covering 85.7% of the federal employees, found that only 3 plans covered medications for weight loss. Two of the plans were unclear and eight of the plans did not cover AOMs.
In its communication to the FEHB plans for 2023, OPM is more explicit. In the annual call for benefit and rate proposals, OPM sends out a “carrier letter” that includes policy goals and initiatives for the upcoming benefit year. In this year’s carrier letter, OPM spelled out specific guidance to the FEHB plans on obesity. The letter is clear in its statement that:

"Obesity is a complex, multifactorial, common, serious, relapsing, and costly chronic disease that serves as a major risk factor for developing conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, renal disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and certain types of cancer.”

The letter also calls on the FEHB plans to address how obesity is covered in children and adolescents in their benefit proposals.  
Following up on the annual carrier letter is technical guidance to the FEHB plans. This year’s guidance states that plan proposals for 2023 plan year will be “reviewed for elements to reduce impacts of obesity in children and adolescents, access to anti-obesity medications, communication efforts, and billing and coding use and education of staff." As part of the guidance, OPM states that FEHB plans “must have adequate coverage of FDA approved AOMs on the formulary to meet patient needs and must include their exception process within their proposal.”

This is a huge step forward. Federal employees and their families in 2023 will have many more options available for obesity care treatment than ever before. Many members of the STOP Obesity Alliance that have worked with OPM for nearly a decade on this issue are hopeful that this new guidance will have a catalytic effect on other public and private health plans to provide comprehensive coverage for obesity care. For now, we welcome the good news.


Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Upcoming Events

May 14-15: YWM2022-Virtual
May 18: COPE Webinar
Jun 9: International NASH Day

Obesity Canada Courses
Save the Dates for ObesityWeek® 2022
New Publications by WW
YWM2022-Virtual: Syncing Expert-Led Education with Science-Based Solutions
Registration for the OAC’s Your Weight Matters Virtual Convention is now open! Join the OAC May 14th through 15th for a weekend packed with innovative and interactive education opportunities to help you develop a deeper understanding of your weight and health. 

YWM2022-Virtual offers multiple registration options to meet all needs, including a FREE option. All registrants will have access to post-event chat opportunities with fellow attendees, the perfect occasion to unite with a community of other individuals who are passionate about education, connection and action!  

Learn more and register here.
Upcoming Webinar with COPE

May 18, 2022, 12-1 PM EST
Would you love to include culinary-centric counseling to enhance your client/patient outcomes and elevate your professional impact, but are overwhelmed by the thought?

Hosted by Hope Barkoukis, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND, this webinar will highlight the technical, educational, and practical components necessary for successful culinary counseling sessions and serve as the first step to developing your toolkit. A food demonstration is included to highlight simple, yet innovative strategies to promote good, better, and best practices for culinary-centric counseling.

Learn more and register here.
Global Liver Institute Announces the Fifth Annual International NASH Day
Global Liver Institute (GLI) will convene the fifth International NASH Day (#NASHday) on June 9, 2022 with the theme Stop NASH Now. This year, GLI is pleased to support grassroots efforts from around the globe that will raise awareness and promote diagnosis and care options in ways as unique as each community. #NASHDay exists to increase awareness about nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) among at-risk patients, medical professionals, and the global public health community. 

Learn more about International NASH Day here.
Explore the NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE Program Schedule
Taking place June 14-16, NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE is the premier event for the entire nutrition community. Browse the schedule for lectures, scientific sessions, satellite programs, virtual abstract presentations, and more.
This year, NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE is even better, as it’s now part of the year-long NUTRITION 2022 series of learning events. Get the All Access pass for year-round programming, including NUTRITION LIVE ONLINE 2022, Deep Dives, Nutrition Rounds – Research to Practice, Nutrition Innovations, Nutrition Learning Labs, and Sponsored Satellite Programs.
Learn more about NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE and the comprehensive NUTRITION 2022 series of events here.
New Publications by WW
The first study is titled A Comprehensive Examination of the Nature, Frequency, and Context of Parental Weight Communication: Perspectives of Parents and Adolescents. Diverse samples of U.S. parents and adolescents completed surveys about their experiences with parental weight communication. Read the full study here.

The second study is titled Effects of a group-based weight management programme on anxiety and depression: A randomised controlled trial (RCT). People with overweight were randomized to a self-help or group weight management program (WW) for 12 weeks or 52 weeks. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed at baseline and 3, 12, and 24 months. Read the full study here.
Course Offerings from Obesity Canada
The Advancing Obesity Management Program (AOMP) is an online course featuring 10 modules and additional videos from an interprofessional panel of obesity experts highlighting the important and emerging issues with obesity management. By demonstrating how healthcare professionals can integrate the 2020 Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines into practice, the course is designed for all primary care clinicians and healthcare professionals who want to improve the obesity care they deliver in their practice.

The Certified Bariatric Educator (CBE®) designation is an in-depth, evidence-based examination, aligned with the Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines, and has been designed for Canadian healthcare professionals who understand the principles of obesity management. The designation was signifies specialized knowledge in the principles of obesity management and will help distinguish healthcare professionals as having achieved competency in obesity management.

Learn more about these courses here.
Save the Dates for ObesityWeek® 2022
Registration opens in June for ObesityWeek® 2022! It will take place via a hybrid format November 1-4, 2022, in San Diego, California.

Learn more here.
Copyright © 2022 STOP Obesity Alliance, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp