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Archive for Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Medicare to pay for more obesity surgery

February 22, 2006

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— Medicare on Tuesday approved three types of stomach-shrinking surgery for obese patients who also suffer from other serious health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The move could open the way for increased coverage of the surgeries by private insurance companies, which have differed greatly in their policies.

All the surgeries can produce dramatic, permanent weight loss of 100 pounds or more, accompanied by a reduction in the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses.

The surgeries cost about $25,000 on average.

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