Close Close
Popular Financial Topics Discover relevant content from across the suite of ALM legal publications From the Industry More content from ThinkAdvisor and select sponsors Investment Advisor Issue Gallery Read digital editions of Investment Advisor Magazine Tax Facts Get clear, current, and reliable answers to pressing tax questions
Luminaries Awards

Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

Study: Private Insurers Pay For Most Weight-Control Surgery

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Private U.S. health insurers paid about $777 million for “bariatric” surgical procedures in 2002, up from $117 million in 1998.

Although the mean cost of the weight-control procedures increased only 13%, to $13,048 per procedure, the number of procedures covered by private insurers increased to 59,497, from 10,167, according to a team of researchers led by William Encinosa, an economist with the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The researchers have published a paper on trends in bariatric surgery in the latest edition of Health Affairs, a health care finance and delivery journal.

The researchers based their study on data collected by private firms as well as by federal agencies.

The researchers found that private health insurers paid for about 83% of bariatric procedures in 2002, up from 76% 5 years earlier.

The percentage of patients paying for their own bariatric procedures fell to 3.5%, from 5.3%.

Surgeons usually recommend bariatric surgery only for extremely obese patients, but “the potential demand may be quite large,” Encinosa and his colleagues write in their study report.

In 2002, only 0.6% of the 11.5 million U.S. residents who might be eligible for bariatric procedures underwent bariatric surgery, the researchers write.

Payments for bariatric surgery increased to $777 million in 2002


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.