Bariatric surgery is a well-documented treatment for obesity that leads to considerable weight loss and health improvement, but is the surgery successful in the long run in reducing costs associated with medical care for obesity? A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine recently undertook a multi-year analysis of health insurance claims data to examine this question and found that although the procedure’s success rate is well documented, it does not have a similar impact on health care costs. The findings were released in the February 20 online edition of the journal JAMA-Surgery.
“The results of our study are important because they demonstrate bariatric surgery does not lower overall health care costs in the long term and we found is no evidence that any one type of surgery is more likely to reduce long-term health care costs,” said Jonathan Weiner, DrPH, professor of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School and lead author of the study. He added, “Future studies should focus on the potential benefit of improved health and well-being of patients undergoing the procedure rather than on cost savings.” Continue reading