In a recent study published by Pediatrics, economic hardship, school closing, and shutdowns led to sedentary lifestyles and increases in childhood obesity. The research analyzed doctor visits pre-pandemic then during the pandemic period, and the increases were dramatic. Overall obesity increased from 13.7% to 15.4% in patients 5 to 9 years. Increases from 1% in children aged 13 to 17 to 2.6% for those aged 5 to 9 years were observed.


The study recommended new approaches to Weight Assessment and Counseling. These include recommending virtual activities that promote increased physical activity. Focusing on ways to remain safe and active with outside activities, such as park visits, walks, and bike riding were also suggested.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a great resource called Ways to Promote Health with Preschoolers. This fun flyer shows how we can all work together to support a healthy lifestyle. You can download a copy here.


The HEDIS® measure Weight Assessment and Counseling for Nutrition and Physical Activity for Children/Adolescents (WCC) requires a nutritional evaluation and pro-active guidance as part of a routine health visit:

  • When counseling for nutrition, document current nutritional behavior, such as meal patterns, eating and diet habits, and weight counseling.
  • When counseling for physical activity, document current physical activity behavior, such as exercise routine, participation in sports activities, bike riding and play groups.
  • Handouts about nutrition and physical activity also count toward meeting this HEDIS measure when documented in the member’s health record.

HEDIS measure WCC looks at the percentage of members, 3 to 17 years of age, who had an outpatient visit with a PCP or OB/GYN and have documented evidence for all the following during the measurement year:

  • Body mass index (BMI) percentile (percentage, not value).
  • Counseling for nutrition.
  • Counseling for physical activity.


Telehealth, virtual check-in, and telephone visits all meet the criteria for nutrition and physical activity counseling. Counseling does not need to take place only during a well-visit, WCC can also be completed during sick visits. Documenting guidance in your patient’s records is key.

Code services correctly to measure success.

These diagnosis and procedure codes are used to document BMI percentile, weight assessment, and counseling for nutrition and physical activity:






BMI percentile




Counseling for nutrition

97802, 97803,



G0270, G0271, G0447, S9449, S9452, S9470

Counseling for physical activity


Z02.5, Z71.82

G0447, S9451


Codes to identify outpatient visits:
99201-99205, 99211-99215, 99241-99245, 99341-99345, 99347-99350, 99381-99387, 99391-99397, 99401-99404, 99411, 99412, 99429, 99455, 99456, 99483
HCPCS: G0402, G0438, G0439, G0463, T1015


HEDIS® is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).


CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.


American Academy of Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics raises concern about children’s nutrition and physical activity during pandemic. Available at: Accessed December 10, 2020.



Featured In:
July 2022 Anthem New Hampshire Provider News