Medicare will pay for bariatric surgery

CMS said Medicare will pay for three common types of bariatric surgery, a procedure which involves surgically reducing the size of the stomach. The procedures covered will include the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric banding and biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch. Critics question the necessity of the surgeries and point out the considerable risks involved with the operations, which can include clotting, leakage and infections. Some analysts predict that the government, which has generally avoided the obesity issue, will now consider paying for other popular weight loss treatments, including counseling and weight-loss drugs. Many insurers currently refuse to cover bariatric surgeries, which generally cost between $25,000 and $40,000.

- read the report from The Washington Post