Jenny Bogard on How Payers Can Combat Childhood Obesity

Payers acknowledge obesity as a public health issue and are working to establish offerings that align with USPSTF recommendations in order to treat and prevent obesity, says Jenny Bogard, MPH, director of healthcare strategies at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Published Online: July 12, 2017


Payers acknowledge obesity as a public health issue and are working to establish offerings that align with USPSTF recommendations in order to treat and prevent obesity, says Jenny Bogard, MPH, director of healthcare strategies at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
 
Transcript (slightly modified)
What work are you doing with payers to help combat childhood obesity?
We recently launched an obesity prevention and treatment payer taskforce, last October. This was in collaboration with the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Institute of Medicine, which is now the National Academies of Science, and the American College of Sports Medicine. We brought together a collective group of payers and Medicaid state plans to really talk about aligning benefits to the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and we’re working together right now to develop a pledge where we hope to make a formal announcement, later in the fall, with our partners and with the participants.
 
Again, this is really extending our legacy program which is the Healthier Generation Benefit, where we focus just on pediatric obesity, but really broadening it to adult obesity, as well, and inviting multiple new stakeholders to come to the table so that we can universally agree upon what set of offerings should be available to people to treat and prevent obesity. 
 
How has payer involvement in obesity treatment and prevention evolved in the last few years?
Over the last several years, payers have recognized that obesity is a critical public health challenge, so they know they have to do something. They also know that they have to align their benefit offerings to the United States Preventive Task Force recommendations. We kind of help them do that and reach their goals internally to do that as an organization. They also recognize, as I said earlier, is that obesity is related to multiple chronic conditions and that they need to address obesity and the root of the cause so they can really see impactful change.

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