The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Health and Fitness

February 21, 2013

Weight-loss surgery fails to cut costs as hospitalizations rise

(Continued)

The finding also underscores the need for alternative, effective weight loss methods, said Kenneth Thorpe, chairman of health policy and management of Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and a consultant to Vivus Inc., which makes the weight-loss medicine Qsymia.

The Medicare health insurance program for the elderly doesn't cover other weight-loss approaches, such as intensive lifestyle interventions that are much less expensive, he said.

"Rising rates of obesity and chronic disease are a key driver of rising health care costs," he said. "'We need more options to address issues around overweight and obesity in the Medicare program that are less interventional and save money."

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