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AMA declares obesity a diseaseUPDATED 8:00 PM HST Jun 19, 2013Video Transcript
Big changes by the American Medical Association. The AMA voted to declare OBESITY a DISEASE. Doctors we talked to today call it a good move One in three Americans are considered to be obese. In Hawaii-- our numbers are better--- but not by much. One in Four adults here are Obese. Doctors say moving obesity's status from "a major health problem" to a chronic "disease" is good. 43;42 DR I THINK it's a FANTASTIC THING ITS SOMETHING WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR IN THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY AND I THINK WHAT IT DOES IS OPEN THE DOORS TO EARLY INTERVENTION. 43:50 43;51 BY THE TIME SOMEONE NEEDS BARIATRIC SURGERY WHICH IS WHAT I DO, OFTEN TIMES ITS NOT TOO LATE, BUT ALOT OF THINGS HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED THAT COULD HAVE BEEN POTENTIALLY REVERSED IF CAUGHT EARLY 44:00 Many in the medical community are hoping the AMA's treatment of obesity as a DISEASE will push health insurers to INCREASE their coverage for treatment. 44:03 RIGHT NOW MOST IF NOT ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES DONT PAY FOR OBESITY MANAGEMENT. WE HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER ILLNESS TO ATTACH TO IT CARD AND THATS HOW PHYSICIANS GET PAID 44:23 Doctors are hoping the changes this new designation brings will make people more aware of the need to seek medical help earlier. 47:01- 47:10 THE MORE RECOGNITION THAT WE ARE ABLE TO GET FOR THIS DISEASE PROCESS WHICH MEANS OUR PATIENTS ARE GOING TO BE TAKEN CARE OF FASTER, SOONER AND MORE COMPREHENSIVELY. Elisa Yadao... The Senior Vice President Consumer Experience at HMSA released this statement: "HMSA has always considered obesity a serious health risk. That's why we partner with organizations such as Healthways and Kulana Hawaii to give our members access to health coaches and weight management programs. We do cover bariatric surgery for members who meet the medical necessity criteria. Right now, it's too soon to tell if the AMA's decision will have any impact on our policies."