Faced with growing demand for improved delivery of health services at lower costs, the U.S. health care industry is transitioning away from a traditional fee-for-service (FFS) system towards more risk-based payment models. As such, managing the costs of chronic conditions has become high priority for health care providers and employers. After all, chronic illnesses are the biggest strain on the industry, accounting for more than 80% of the $3.5 trillion spent in annual health care costs.
One area receiving greater attention from health care professionals and payers is the fight against obesity. That’s because of the many chronic (and expensive) diseases associated with it, including heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers, and the list goes on. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) deems obesity one of the leading preventable causes of death.
Obesity as an epidemic is at a tipping point. Health care companies and governments around the world are taking more action to fight obesity due to its association with chronic diseases, as well as the high societal and economic costs of managing those problems. Some companies are poised to benefit . . .