Coverage Policy Manual
Policy #: 2011025
Category: PPACA Preventive
Initiated: September 2010
Last Review: May 2018
  PREVENTIVE SERVICES FOR NON-GRANDFATHERED (PPACA) PLANS: OBESITY SCREENING IN ADULTS

Description:
The Federal Patient Protection and Preventive Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in March 2010.  The preventive services component of the law became effective 23 September 2010. A component of the law was a requirement that all “non-grandfathered” health insurance plans are required to cover those preventive medicine services given an “A” or “B” recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.  
 
Plans are not required to provide coverage for the preventive services if they are delivered by out-of-network providers.
 
Task Force recommendations are graded on a five-point scale (A-E), reflecting the strength of evidence in support of the intervention.  Grade A: There is good evidence to support the recommendation that the condition be specifically considered in a periodic health examination.  Grade B: There is fair evidence to support the recommendation that the condition be specifically considered in a periodic health examination.  Grade C: There is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the inclusion of the condition in a periodic health examination, but recommendations may be made on other grounds.  Grade D: There is fair evidence to support the recommendation that the condition be excluded from consideration in a periodic health examination.  Grade E: There is good evidence to support the recommendation that the condition be excluded from consideration in a periodic health examination.
 
Those preventive medicine services listed as Grade A & B recommendations are covered without cost sharing (i.e., deductible, co-insurance, or co-pay) by Health Plans for appropriate preventive care services provided by an in-network provider.  If the primary purpose for the office visit is for other than Grade A or B USPSTF preventive care services, deductible, co-insurance, or copay may be applied.
 

Policy/
Coverage:
Screening and counseling for obesity in adults is covered for members of “non-grandfathered” plans without cost-sharing (i.e., deductible, co-insurance, or co-pay).
 
Twelve services per member per year will be allowed.
 
The appropriate ICD-9 codes to report these services are V70.0, V77.8 or V82.89.
 
The appropriate ICD-10 codes to report these services are Z00.00, Z00.01 or Z13.89.
 
Codes that may be used to report the screening and counseling for obesity in adults are HCPCS codes G0447 and G0473 and CPT 99385-99387, 99395-99397, and 99401-99404. When the primary purpose of the service is the delivery of an evidence-based service in accordance with a US Preventive Services Task Force A or B rating in effect and other preventive services identified in preventive services mandates (legislative or regulatory), the service may be billed with Modifier ‘-33’.  The correct coding as listed for both ICD-9 and CPT or HCPCS codes are also required.
 
 

Rationale:
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians screen all adult patients for obesity and offer intensive counseling and behavioral interventions to promote sustained weight loss for obese adults (Grade B recommendation).
 
The USPSTF recommendations include the following information:
    • A number of techniques, such as bioelectrical impedance, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and total body water can measure body fat, but it is impractical to use them routinely. Body Mass Index (BMI), which is simply weight adjusted for height, is a more practical and widely-used method to screen for obesity. Increased BMI is associated with an increase in adverse health effects. Central adiposity increases the risk for cardiovascular and other diseases independent of obesity. Clinicians may use the waist circumference as a measure of central adiposity. Men with waist circumferences greater than 102 cm (> 40 inches) and women with waist circumferences greater than 88 cm (> 35 inches) are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The waist circumference thresholds are not reliable for patients with a BMI greater than 35.
    • Expert committees have issued guidelines defining overweight and obesity based on BMI. Persons with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are overweight and those with a BMI of 30 and above are obese. There are 3 classes of obesity: class I (BMI 30-34.9), class II (BMI 35-39.9), and class III (BMI 40 and above). BMI is calculated either as weight in pounds divided by height in inches squared multiplied by 703, or as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides a BMI calculator at http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ and a table at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.htm.
    • The most effective interventions combine nutrition education and diet and exercise counseling with behavioral strategies to help patients acquire the skills and supports needed to change eating patterns and to become physically active. The 5-A framework (Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, and Arrange) has been used in behavioral counseling interventions such as smoking cessation and may be a useful tool to help clinicians guide interventions for weight loss (go to "Effectiveness of Interventions on Weight Loss"). Initial interventions paired with maintenance interventions help ensure that weight loss will be sustained over time.
    • It is advisable to refer obese patients to programs that offer intensive counseling and behavioral interventions for optimal weight loss. The USPSTF defined intensity of counseling by the frequency of the intervention. A high-intensity intervention is more than 1 person-to-person (individual or group) session per month for at least the first 3 months of the intervention. A medium-intensity intervention is a monthly intervention, and anything less frequent is a low-intensity intervention. There are limited data on the best place for these interventions to occur and on the composition of the multidisciplinary team that should deliver high-intensity interventions.
    • The USPSTF concluded that the evidence on the effectiveness of interventions with obese people may not be generalizable to adults who are overweight but not obese. The evidence for the effectiveness of interventions for weight loss among overweight adults, compared with obese adults, is limited.
    • Orlistat and sibutramine, approved for weight loss by the Food and Drug Administration, can produce modest weight loss (2.6-4.8 kg) that can be sustained for at least 2 years if the medication is continued. The adverse effects of orlistat include fecal urgency, oily spotting, and flatulence; the adverse effects of sibutramine include an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. There are no data on the long-term (longer than 2 years) benefits or adverse effects of these drugs. Experts recommend that pharmacological treatment of obesity be used only as part of a program that also includes lifestyle modification interventions, such as intensive diet and/or exercise counseling and behavioral interventions.
    • There is fair to good evidence to suggest that surgical interventions such as gastric bypass, vertical banded gastroplasty, and adjustable gastric banding can produce substantial weight loss (28 to > 40 kg) in patients with class III obesity. Clinical guidelines developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Expert Panel on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults recommend that these procedures be reserved for patients with class III obesity and for patients with class II obesity who have at least 1 other obesity-related illness. The postoperative mortality rate for these procedures is 0.2 percent. Other complications include wound infection, re-operation, vitamin deficiency, diarrhea, and hemorrhage. Re-operation may be necessary in up to 25 percent of patients. Patients should receive a psychological evaluation prior to undergoing these procedures. The long-term health effects of surgery for obesity are not well characterized.
    • The data supporting the effectiveness of interventions to promote weight loss are derived mostly from women, especially white women. The effectiveness of the interventions is less well established in other populations, including the elderly. The USPSTF believes that, although the data are limited, these interventions may be used with obese men, physiologically mature older adolescents, and diverse populations, taking into account cultural and other individual factors.
 
 

CPT/HCPCS:
99385Initial comprehensive preventive medicine evaluation and management of an individual including an age and gender appropriate history, examination, counseling/anticipatory guidance/risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of laboratory/diagnostic procedures, new patient; 18-39 years
99386Initial comprehensive preventive medicine evaluation and management of an individual including an age and gender appropriate history, examination, counseling/anticipatory guidance/risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of laboratory/diagnostic procedures, new patient; 40-64 years
99387Initial comprehensive preventive medicine evaluation and management of an individual including an age and gender appropriate history, examination, counseling/anticipatory guidance/risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of laboratory/diagnostic procedures, new patient; 65 years and older
99395Periodic comprehensive preventive medicine reevaluation and management of an individual including an age and gender appropriate history, examination, counseling/anticipatory guidance/risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of laboratory/diagnostic procedures, established patient; 18-39 years
99396Periodic comprehensive preventive medicine reevaluation and management of an individual including an age and gender appropriate history, examination, counseling/anticipatory guidance/risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of laboratory/diagnostic procedures, established patient; 40-64 years
99397Periodic comprehensive preventive medicine reevaluation and management of an individual including an age and gender appropriate history, examination, counseling/anticipatory guidance/risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of laboratory/diagnostic procedures, established patient; 65 years and older
99401Preventive medicine counseling and/or risk factor reduction intervention(s) provided to an individual (separate procedure); approximately 15 minutes
99402Preventive medicine counseling and/or risk factor reduction intervention(s) provided to an individual (separate procedure); approximately 30 minutes
99403Preventive medicine counseling and/or risk factor reduction intervention(s) provided to an individual (separate procedure); approximately 45 minutes
99404Preventive medicine counseling and/or risk factor reduction intervention(s) provided to an individual (separate procedure); approximately 60 minutes
G0447Face-to-face behavioral counseling for obesity, 15 minutes
G0473Face-to-face behavioral counseling for obesity, group (2-10), 30 minutes

References: PPACA & HECRA: Public Laws 111-148 & 111-152. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Screening for Obesity in Adults.(2011) U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsobes.htm. Last accessed May 2011.


Group specific policy will supersede this policy when applicable. This policy does not apply to the Wal-Mart Associates Group Health Plan participants or to the Tyson Group Health Plan participants.
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