Overcoming challenges to obesity counseling: Suggestions for the primary care provider

Kristina H. Lewis, Kimberly A. Gudzune

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To review challenges to obesity counseling in the primary care setting and suggest potential solutions. Methods: Review of the literature. Results: There are many challenges to obesity counseling in the primary care setting, including lack of primary care provider (PCP) training, provider weight bias, lack of reimbursement, lack of time during outpatient encounters, and limited ability to refer patients to structured weight loss support programs. However, there are potential solutions to overcome these challenges. By seeking continuing medical education on weight management and communication skills, PCPs can address any training gaps and establish rapport with patients when delivering obesity counseling. Recent policy changes including Medicare coverage of obesity counseling visits may reduce PCPs' concern about lack of reimbursement and time, and the rise of new models of care delivery and reimbursement, such as patient-centered medical homes or accountable care organizations, may facilitate referrals to ancillary providers like registered dietitians or multicomponent weight loss programs. Conclusion: Although providers face several challenges in delivering effective obesity counseling, PCPs may overcome these obstacles by pursuing continuing medical education in this area and taking advantage of new health care benefits coverage and care delivery models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Outcomes Management
Volume21
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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