The American Medical Association has classified obesity as a disease. In addition to the health debate of this new classification, discussion has cropped up regarding the new diagnosis’ impact on workers comp and insurance costs.
The new classification could affect a significant portion of the population. According to some estimates, one third of the nation is affected by obesity.
Traditionally, workers comp has been viewed as a co-morbidity issue that is largely unreported does not require medical attention before treating work-related injuries and illnesses. According to Business Insurance, the new classification could result in more cases that list obesity as a co-morbidity. Workers comp could see an increase in cases where obesity is claimed as a consequence of injury. What’s more, research in California revealed that that workers comp claims that classified obesity as a co-morbidity lost significantly more time from work.
With obesity reclassified as a disease, medical providers may feel a greater responsibility to counsel obese patients about their weight. Or, if treatment for a compensable injury causes or leads to significant weight gain it could lead to more claims.
Currently, only about half of obese patients have been countered to lose weight. This could be due to the uncomfortable nature of the topic or because doctors don’t want to become in lengthy treatments that they aren’t compensated for. The new classification of obesity as a disease alters this.
Workplace accidents and work-related illnesses are commonplace. Cal-Nevada Insurance Agency offers business insurance clients throughout San Francisco and northern California, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada areas workers compensation insurance that protects the company against the costs of employment-related injuries and illness. Contact us today for more information (866) 670-5948