Quality Measurement Gaps and Future Directions in the Assessment of Obesity

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Current obesity reports




Body mass index; Obesity; Payment; Performance measurement; Quality measure


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The disease of obesity continues to increase in prevalence and severity yet obesity care, treatment, and coverage are scarce. Progress has been made in the development and implementation of quality measures in clinical practice and organizational performance. However, major gaps and limitations exist in the context of measuring guideline-based clinical care for obesity. RECENT FINDINGS: Obesity quality measures have entered various stages of testing and development, but only a select few are included in reporting and payment programs. One process measure for adults, "Preventive Care and Screening: Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening and Follow-Up Plan" is used in Medicare. One process measure for pediatrics, "Weight Assessment and Counseling for Nutrition and Physical Activity in Children and Adolescence" is used in Medicare, health insurance plans, and Medicaid. No outcome or digital quality measure exists for the disease of obesity. One quality measure development project is underway that is testing the performance of four measures, including outcome measures for obesity. The general absence of quality measures for obesity means that there are no objective measures to address the quality of obesity care or its outcome. More meaningful efforts are needed to seriously integrate obesity with quality performance measurement and value in healthcare payment programs.


Prevention and Community Health