Attention all Medicare beneficiaries! New services being covered
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Two new services to address cardiovascular disease and obesity are now being covered by the Medicare program:
Intensive behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease (referred to below as a CVD risk reduction visit) furnished by a qualified primary care physician or other primary care practitioner will be covered each year. The visit consists of the following three components:
·encouraging aspirin use for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease when the benefits outweigh the risks for men age 45-79 years and women 55-79 years;
·screening for high blood pressure in adults age 18 years and older; and
·intensive behavioral counseling to promote a healthy diet for adults with hyperlipidemia, hypertension, advancing age and other known risk factors for cardiovascular and diet-related chronic disease
Medicare will also cover intensive behavioral therapy for obesity, which consists of screening for obesity, nutritional assessment, and intensive behavioral counseling and behavioral therapy to promote sustained weight loss through high intensity interventions on diet and exercise.
Appointments can be scheduled:
·One face-to-face visit every week for the first month;
·One face-to-face visit every other week for months 2-6;
·One face-to-face visit every month for months 7-12, if the beneficiary meets the 3kg weight loss requirement as discussed below.
Call your doctor and make an appointment if you receive Medicare and have not had your CVD risk reduction visit.