Financial Simulation Tool Limitations

  1. The cost information in the model is partial and only looks at health outcomes through age 35, and only accounts for Medicaid and payors investments. Other costs such as out-of-pocket costs for the patient and family and lost wages and productivity due to obesity are not counted.
  2. The model underestimates actual health outcomes and potential cost savings over children’s lifetimes, particularly because most negative outcomes and healthcare costs manifest later in life, beyond the scope of this model.

The reasons for these imitations are that while the tool was built with the best available data on health outcomes and payor costs associated with obesity interventions, the data is limited. This initial version is also focused on the investments and outcomes that are most material to Medicaid and managed care payors. Additional research and development could be done to create a fuller picture of the total costs and impacts associated with childhood obesity interventions, and the ramifications for coordinated action amongst affected stakeholders.