Around the nation: New York smoking rate hits record lows

After hearing that Shawn Alvarado, who weighs nearly 500 pounds, was denied coverage for doctor-ordered weight loss surgery by his insurer, surgeon Hooman Shabatian offered to perform the surgery at no cost, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Maryland, and New York.

  • California: After hearing that Shawn Alvarado, who weighs nearly 500 pounds, was denied coverage for doctor-ordered weight loss surgery by his insurer, surgeon Hooman Shabatian offered to perform the surgery at no cost. "Calling this a cosmetic procedure is insane, it's absurd," said Shabatian. "There's nothing cosmetic about losing hundreds of pounds of fat around your heart, your liver" (Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, 2/21).

  • Maryland: The Maryland Hospital Association has named Bob Atlas president and CEO. Atlas currently serves as the president of EBG Advisors, a consulting affiliate of health law firm Epstein Becker Green, and has previously served as the Medicaid reform adviser to North Carolina's health and human services secretary (Haefner, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/20).

  • New York: State health officials announced Tuesday that New York's adult smoking rate has hit its lowest recorded level. According to state officials, the rate of adults who were smokers in 2016 was 14.2%, compared with 14.5% the year before. The smoking rate of those in high-school also reached an all-time low, officials said, at 4.3% in 2016 (AP/Sacramento Bee, 2/20).

Get key insights on medical weight loss programs

 Key insights on medical weight loss programs

As obesity and its related comorbidities remain top concerns nationwide, many hospitals are considering how to enhance their services to this patient group. Understanding that weight loss demands a comprehensive approach to care, many hospitals have launched non-surgical weight loss programs to support those patients who are not candidates for surgery.

This brief profiles three non-surgical weight loss programs at community and teaching hospitals to identify the variety of services available.

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