Clinical Scholar Finds Medicare Reimbursements Don't Align with Preventive Care Recommendations

Jan 20, 2011, 6:17 PM, Posted by

A newly released study from RWJF Clinical Scholar (2009-2011) Lenard Lesser, M.D., finds that Medicare covers only a fraction of the preventive care services recommended by a government task force, and that health care reform should be able to mend the current disconnect between Medicare reimbursement policies and the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), charged by the government with reviewing clinical preventive health services. In particular, Lesser’s study points to the need to improve coordination between assessing the risk for certain illnesses and ensuring that patients receive the appropriate tests and follow-up clinical services. In addition, Lesser finds a persistent and disturbing lack of coverage for obesity and nutritional services, both of which are recommended by the task force and important for maintaining good health.

The study was published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Read a Reuters news service story on the study. Read more about the RWJF Clinical Scholars program. For an overview of RWJF scholar and fellow opportunities, visit

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.