Summit Addresses Ways To Tackle Complications of Obesity

Albuquerque, N.M. – The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Value (Coalition) is presenting another of its highly-regarded summits, on May 9, 2018 at the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, to show that although the disease of obesity is a significant problem for New Mexico’s employers (obese employees cost employers roughly 43 percent more than those who are non-obese), the state’s providers, health plans and businesses are making strides in tackling obesity here.

The half-day “Obesity: It’s Complicated” Summit, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is free, due to a special grant from the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasers Coalitions, but advance registration is required.

“Today’s obesity epidemic is not just an individual or public health issue. In addition to the health risks it presents for people, New Mexico employers also suffer direct and indirect economic losses caused by obesity in their workforce,” said Patricia Montoya, executive director of the Coalition.

She said that more than one in four (28 percent) working-age adults in New Mexico are obese, and that nationally, medical claims, healthcare and health insurance costs of obesity are estimated to be around $147 billion.

“In addition,” Montoya said, “obesity among employees pose indirect expense through lost productivity, absenteeism and increased rates of disability or co-morbidities, like diabetes and heart disease.”

Despite the host of challenges that obesity in the workplace, state and communities presents, Montoya noted that there is reason to be optimistic. She said, “We know discoveries stemming from research and evaluation investments offer new opportunities to help meet these challenges. We will present, front and center, at the May summit, some of the new information that helps us better understand the factors contributing to obesity, and several of the current, encouraging strategies being used in the state to prevent, treat and control obesity. These include approaches employers are using with their workforce.”

Montoya said that the May Summit is open and geared to those working to prevent and treat obesity—employers, healthcare providers, health plans, and community health officials.

“Come join with Coalition members to learn what you can do, with others, to better focus on overcoming obesity in New Mexico,” she said. “We’ll be bringing together both a national expert on data-driven approaches to optimize workforce health, productivity, and performance for employers and population health, and local healthcare and employer representatives moving forward on clinical and wellness-based prevention and treatment strategies in our state. Those participating will learn more up-to-date information about the disease, and what can be done as an intervention—both for individuals and to control obesity in a broader population, such as the workforce. We’ll hear about treatment advancements and new technologies that can be used to combat obesity, and make New Mexico a healthier state for everyone.”

Register today online at the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Value website:  A preliminary agenda is also available here.

The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Value is an employer-led, non-profit, multi-stakeholder coalition working to improve health and maximize the value of healthcare services in the state. The Coalition supports and brings together employers, health plans, providers, health support organizations and state leaders to align their efforts to more effectively improve the quality, transparency and cost of healthcare. For several years, the Coalition has provided respected, non-aligned and popular forums for stakeholders to come together, share information and “best practices,” find areas of common agreement, and make decisions about mutually-beneficial actions to bring about meaningful change in our health system.