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New studies examine adverse outcomes associated with obesity and more applicable measures of obesity
Date:5/2/2010

NEW ORLEANS, LA (May 2, 2010) Pay-for-performance reimbursement models may create unintended financial incentives for doctors to discriminate against obese patients, measuring a patient's waist circumference may be more effective in predicting surgical outcomes than the more traditional body mass index measure, and childhood obesity doubles the risk of developing colon cancer, according to data being presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2010. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"Doctors have long been aware of the toll that obesity takes on the body," said Christopher C. Thompson, MD, MSc, FASGE, Brigham & Women's Hospital. "These studies help us understand the specific ramifications of childhood and adult obesity and the increased risk that obesity poses when considering surgical outcomes."

Pay-for-Obesity? Performance Metrics Ignore Differences in Complication Rates and Cost for Obese Patients Undergoing Two Common General Surgical Procedures (Abstract #290)

New Medicare and Medicaid payment policies are intended to reward physicians for positive patient outcomes while cutting costs, but according to new research from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, such policies may actually provide financial incentives for doctors to discriminate against patients.

Pay-for-performance policies have grown in popularity over the last few years and are increasingly used to measure the quality of medical care. The premise behind the mechanism is to financially reward hospitals and doctors for good outcomes and punish for poor patient outcomes by adjusting reimbursement by one percent to two percent if an infection occurs within 30 days of surgery. According

to Martin Makary, MD, MPH, surgeon and associate professor of public health at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, s
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Contact: Amy Levey
alevey@gymr.com
202-745-5116
Digestive Disease Week
Source:Eurekalert

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