KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study Finds Bariatric Surgery Does Not Reduce Long-Term Medical Costs

Research disputes widely-held beliefs that the weight-loss operations cut the need for treatments and medicine after patients shed pounds.

Los Angeles Times: Study Disputes Long-Term Medical Savings From Bariatric Surgery
Despite the daunting price tag, mounting research has boosted hopes that the stomach-stapling operations could reduce the nation's healthcare bill by weaning patients off the costly drugs and frequent doctor visits that come with chronic obesity-related diseases like diabetes and arthritis. But a new study has found that the surgery does not reduce patients' medical costs over the six years after they are wheeled out of the operating room (Healy, 2/20).

Reuters: No Long-Term Cost Savings With Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery does not lower health costs over the long run for people who are obese, according to a new study. Some researchers had suggested that the initial costs of surgery may pay off down the road, when people who've dropped the extra weight need fewer medications and less care in general (Pittman, 2/20).

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