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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Johns Hopkins Finds Medicare Policy May Limit Minority Access to Weight Loss Surgery

Safety measures intended to improve bariatric surgery outcomes may impede obese minorities’ access to care. This is according to a new research letter published online in the September 12 issue of JAMA which compares rates of bariatric (weight-loss) surgery for minority Medicare vs. non-Medicare patients before and after implementation of a Medicare coverage policy. The policy limits Medicare patients seeking bariatric surgery to high-volume hospitals designated as centers of excellence. Led by faculty from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the researchers found a decline in the number of minority patients with Medicare receiving bariatric surgery after the policy was implemented.