AMA House of Delegates adopts policy on patient access to evidence-based obesity treatment services
ASBP representation in House of Delegates plays key role in policy's adoption
DENVER, COLO., June 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) applauds the American Medical Association (AMA) for its adoption today of a policy advocating the need for patient access to a continuum of medically proven treatment options for obesity.
The policy includes behavioral, pharmaceutical, psychosocial, nutritional and surgical interventions as being possible obesity treatment options, each of which are effective according to evidence-based medical research and practice.
"We are thrilled that through this and last year's decisions, AMA has affirmed its commitment to working with us and fellow medical specialty societies focused on solving our global obesity crisis," said ASBP President Dr. Eric C. Westman (Durham, N.C.), who also served as the ASBP 2014 delegate to AMA.
This policy comes one year after AMA's decision recognizing obesity as a "disease requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention." ASBP representatives to the AMA House of Delegates played key roles in these decisions, alongside representatives from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.
It is important to note that although AMA decisions do not have recognized legal implications, these policy decisions are often referenced by federal and state legislators and other decision makers when setting medical policy and health regulations.
With this and last year's AMA policy adoptions on obesity, the implications for patients and the health care community may be far reaching. Possible changes include:
- improved training in obesity at medical schools and residency programs,
- reduced stigma of obesity by the public and physicians,
- improved insurance benefits for obesity-specific treatment, and
- increased research funding for both prevention and treatment strategies.
The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (www.asbp.org) is the leading association for clinical physicians and other providers dedicated to the comprehensive medical treatment of patients affected by obesity and associated conditions. ASBP was admitted to the AMA House of Delegates in 2001, as the first obesity medicine-focused medical specialty society with such a seat. Many ASBP-member physicians also hold certification from the American Board of Obesity Medicine. In 2013, ASBP released the first-ever Obesity Algorithm® charts, available for download at www.ObesityAlgorithm.org. Individuals can search for obesity medicine clinicians in their own area at www.FindObesityTreatment.org.
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Source:American Society of Bariatric Physicians