Thursday, September 24, 2009

Health insurers aren't getting the return on investment that they want to see when they cover clinical treatments for pediatric obesity. That's one reason there is a shortage of programs in that area, according to Roberta Clarke, an associate professor in Boston University's Health Sector Management Program who just closed down one of the few pediatric obesity treatment clinics in New England.

"With families changing their insurance plans on average every three years, the insurers reasoned that by the time one of (our) children avoided diabetes or other obesity-related health problems due to the program intervention, that child would no longer be covered by that insurer," Clarke writes in a Boston Globe column. "Therefore, the insurer would lose its investment in making that child less obese."

1 Comment:

  1. Jesse Hackell MD said...
    Duh! But the plan not covering the obesity treatment would benefit from another plan's covering it--patients don't disappear, hey just rotate between a finite number of available plans.
    This represents that "Tragedy of the Commons", where each individual (plan) acting in its own selfish interest serves, in sum, to poison the commons for all. If each plan acted as if it WOULD benefit in the long run, all plans (and, BTW, all patients) would benefit.
    But when corporate heads cannot see past the end of the next quarter, we end up all losing.
    Jesse Hackell MD

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