Tools and recommendations to promote obesity-related policies to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes
STOP generates reports and guidance that provide essential obesity-related information for policymakers, legislators, and other decision-makers. Click the topics below to explore this content.
Coverage for Obesity Care
State-by-State Analysis of Obesity Coverage
In 2021, the STOP Obesity Alliance conducted a state-by-state analysis of State Employee Health Plan health care coverage for plan year 2020/2021 for obesity prevention and treatment, including preventive services and counseling, nutrition counseling, drug therapy, and bariatric surgery.
Proposed Standard of Obesity Care
During 2018, the STOP Obesity Alliance convened a series of roundtable meetings with relevant stakeholders to deliberate about who should provide obesity care, where obesity care should be delivered and what care should be provided by whom. It was our goal to develop a standard of care to enable the patient to move within the continuum of care, as well as to provide assurance that patients have access to appropriate levels of care, regardless of where they enter the healthcare system. The product of our meetings was a practical, tangible, measurable and simple standard of care for the treatment of adult obesity, published in the July 2019 issue of Obesity. No comparable standard addresses the spectrum of care that persons with obesity need to address their disease.
Private Insurance Mandates
Survey of Obesity & Health-Status Mandates by state for Private Insurance (2010)
GWU researchers, including legal researchers, analyzed state insurance codes to determine whether states’ eligibility and rate adjustment determinations were, or could be, based upon obesity or health status factors, as well as any mandates for obesity-related treatments. One of the most interesting research findings is that states’ coverage and mandate decisions appear to lack any evidence base, both across the states and within a state. This is particularly noteworthy given that there are well-recognized federal sources states may utilize when making these decisions, namely the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force(USPSTF) and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Both of these organizations issue evidence-based guidance regarding prevention, screening, and treatment of obesity yet these guidelines appear not to have been considered by most states.
Obesity Outcomes Measures
Changing the Dialogue: Obesity Drug Outcome Measures Project
In 2011 and 2012, STOP convened several roundtables with stakeholders, including FDA, to transform the process used to evaluate pharmacotherapy and developed a consensus report that explored challenges in the development and approval of obesity drugs.
Community Benefit and Obesity Programming
Community Benefit and Obesity Programming: Guidance and Opportunities for Nonprofit Hospitals
In 2013, STOP reflected on the challenges and opportunities for nonprofit hospitals to address obesity through community benefit activities. Nonprofit hospitals can use the insights offered in the paper to inform their decisions around obesity programming. The paper offers guidance on issues such as how to select community partners, how to determine the scope of an intervention, and which obesity-specific factors to take into account when developing programs. Findings included in the paper included a lack of proven community-based programs that directly address obesity in adults; a need to reduce stigma; and the value of effective partnerships.
Comprehensive Obesity Benefit
The present landscape of obesity care coverage is piecemeal, and providers frequently cite inconsistent and/or inadequate reimbursement for obesity-related services as barriers to delivering appropriate care. The STOP Obesity Alliance has outlined what we consider to be the core components of an obesity benefit package that are essential for effective and evidence-based treatment of obesity. Updated 09.01.2021