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So, what is a “Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Accredited Center?”

Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Accredited Center is a designation given separately to facilities and physicians that performs a particular medical/surgical service. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) designates Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program for Bariatric Surgery. Established in 2004, the intention was to allow for the creation of a standardized surgical program that would enhance the safety, efficacy, and efficiency of bariatric and metabolic surgical care.

In 2006, the ASMBS partnered with the Surgical Review Corporation to secure the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services National Coverage Determination for Bariatric Surgery. As a result, Medicare and Medicaid have formally recognized the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence program.

What does this mean? Well, it means that Medicare and Medicaid will cover the Bariatric Surgical services performed by Center of Excellence surgeons practicing at Center of Excellence facilities. With most insurances/payors following Medicare guidelines, I expect that this designation may be required by many more insurances/payors in time.

The goal is for excellent patient care – both by the surgeon, and the facility. The designation distinguishes specific providers that commit to the highest quality perioperative and long-term care. This requires a comprehensive approach toward surgery, and true dedication to a long-term follow-up program.

So, what is a ‘comprehensive’ approach? It involves 10 specific requirements that are verified by the ASMBS through site inspections:

  • Institutional Commitment to Excellence
  • Established Surgical Experience and Volumes
  • A Designated Medical Director
  • Responsive Critical Care Support if Needed
  • Appropriate Equipment and Instruments for Bariatric Surgical Patients
  • Surgeon Dedication with Qualified Call Coverage
  • Designated Clinical Pathways and Standardized Operating Procedures
  • Bariatric-trained Nurses, Physician Extenders, and a Program Coordinator
  • Regular Patient Support Groups
  • Long-Term Patient Follow-up

Tucson Medical Center has been deemed a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Accredited Center.