Bariatric Surgery Lowers Cost of Treating Severely Obese Employees, Advise Centers for Obesity Related Illness (CORI)

CORI Urges Employers and Self-Funded Companies to Support

Reimbursement for Weight Loss Surgery



05 Jan, 2005, 00:00 ET from CORI Centers

    BANNOCKBURN, Ill., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- As today's employers wrestle
 with the high cost of treating obesity and its co-morbidities, as well as
 bumped up premiums for both health and disability coverage, the Centers for
 Obesity Related Illness (CORI) recommend that employers take a look at
 bariatric surgery as a viable means of reversing obesity-related diseases --
 including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure -- and, thereby,
 significantly reducing medical expenditures.
     Recent studies indicate that severely obese people -- those 80 to 100+
 pounds over ideal weight -- incur almost twice the annual medical expenses as
 those who are not overweight.
     "Obesity costs employers more than $13 billion annually in healthcare
 costs and lost productivity, an expense that could be shaved significantly by
 weight loss surgery," states Alan Bernstein, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., Chief
 Medical Officer of CORI, citing a recent report from the Washington Business
 Group on Health's (WBGH) Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity.
 "Corporate America should be aware that weight loss surgery can, for example,
 help diabetics attain normal blood sugar levels or make it easier for those
 with hypertension to achieve normal blood pressure -- all without continued
 medication. Several recent studies in the medical literature support the
 positive impact that bariatric surgery has on chronic illnesses, healthcare
 utilization and costs, and mortality rates in the morbidly obese."
     Nearly 30 percent of American workers are obese (Journal of Occupational
 and Environmental Medicine, 12/04), which can reduce their productivity and
 greatly increase their cardiovascular disease risk factors. The study found
 that 7 percent of the obese employees said they had some form of work
 limitation due to health or other issues, compared with 3 percent of normal-
 weight workers. The impact of obesity on worker health and productivity was
 equivalent to adding 20 years of age.
     Dr. Bernstein firmly believes that the bottom line is strongly tied to
 workers' waistlines. "Make no mistake about it," he says emphatically.
 "Despite recent retractions of government study figures reporting obesity-
 related deaths, our nation is facing a serious weight problem that
 significantly impacts the workplace. Supporting reimbursement for weight
 reduction surgery reaps compelling rewards in the long-term with improved
 overall health for employees and stronger financials for employers."
     CORI recommends that corporate America support medically supervised weight
 loss programs that offer surgical options. Individuals with a body mass index
 (BMI) of 40+ or who are 100 pounds or more overweight are considered morbidly
 obese and eligible for surgery. Those who have a BMI under 40 but have co-
 morbidities are also eligible for surgical intervention.
     The National Institutes of Health (NIH) advise that surgical weight loss
 is the most effective lasting solution for losing 100 pounds or more.
     CORI sponsors free health and info sessions in conjunction with hospitals
 and encourages employers to send members of their workforce who would benefit
 from this information and guidance. Call 800-578-CORI (2674) or visit
 http://www.WeightLossSurgery.com for program dates and locations.
 
     About CORI
     CORI Centers are operated by MSO Medical, Inc. with its corporate office
 located in Bannockburn, Illinois (Chicago suburb). MSO Medical contracts with
 acute care hospitals to establish Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence
 under the brand name CORI (Centers for Obesity Related Illness). CORI has
 established centers in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Florida. For more
 information, call 800-578-CORI (2674) or visit
 http://www.WeightLossSurgery.com .
 
 

SOURCE CORI Centers
    BANNOCKBURN, Ill., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- As today's employers wrestle
 with the high cost of treating obesity and its co-morbidities, as well as
 bumped up premiums for both health and disability coverage, the Centers for
 Obesity Related Illness (CORI) recommend that employers take a look at
 bariatric surgery as a viable means of reversing obesity-related diseases --
 including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure -- and, thereby,
 significantly reducing medical expenditures.
     Recent studies indicate that severely obese people -- those 80 to 100+
 pounds over ideal weight -- incur almost twice the annual medical expenses as
 those who are not overweight.
     "Obesity costs employers more than $13 billion annually in healthcare
 costs and lost productivity, an expense that could be shaved significantly by
 weight loss surgery," states Alan Bernstein, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., Chief
 Medical Officer of CORI, citing a recent report from the Washington Business
 Group on Health's (WBGH) Institute on the Costs and Health Effects of Obesity.
 "Corporate America should be aware that weight loss surgery can, for example,
 help diabetics attain normal blood sugar levels or make it easier for those
 with hypertension to achieve normal blood pressure -- all without continued
 medication. Several recent studies in the medical literature support the
 positive impact that bariatric surgery has on chronic illnesses, healthcare
 utilization and costs, and mortality rates in the morbidly obese."
     Nearly 30 percent of American workers are obese (Journal of Occupational
 and Environmental Medicine, 12/04), which can reduce their productivity and
 greatly increase their cardiovascular disease risk factors. The study found
 that 7 percent of the obese employees said they had some form of work
 limitation due to health or other issues, compared with 3 percent of normal-
 weight workers. The impact of obesity on worker health and productivity was
 equivalent to adding 20 years of age.
     Dr. Bernstein firmly believes that the bottom line is strongly tied to
 workers' waistlines. "Make no mistake about it," he says emphatically.
 "Despite recent retractions of government study figures reporting obesity-
 related deaths, our nation is facing a serious weight problem that
 significantly impacts the workplace. Supporting reimbursement for weight
 reduction surgery reaps compelling rewards in the long-term with improved
 overall health for employees and stronger financials for employers."
     CORI recommends that corporate America support medically supervised weight
 loss programs that offer surgical options. Individuals with a body mass index
 (BMI) of 40+ or who are 100 pounds or more overweight are considered morbidly
 obese and eligible for surgery. Those who have a BMI under 40 but have co-
 morbidities are also eligible for surgical intervention.
     The National Institutes of Health (NIH) advise that surgical weight loss
 is the most effective lasting solution for losing 100 pounds or more.
     CORI sponsors free health and info sessions in conjunction with hospitals
 and encourages employers to send members of their workforce who would benefit
 from this information and guidance. Call 800-578-CORI (2674) or visit
 http://www.WeightLossSurgery.com for program dates and locations.
 
     About CORI
     CORI Centers are operated by MSO Medical, Inc. with its corporate office
 located in Bannockburn, Illinois (Chicago suburb). MSO Medical contracts with
 acute care hospitals to establish Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence
 under the brand name CORI (Centers for Obesity Related Illness). CORI has
 established centers in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Florida. For more
 information, call 800-578-CORI (2674) or visit
 http://www.WeightLossSurgery.com .
 
 SOURCE  CORI Centers