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BIDMC Weight Loss Surgery Program First to Get Top-Level Accreditation

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s weight loss surgery program is the first in Massachusetts and in the United States to earn the American College of Surgeons (ACS) highest level of accreditation as a Level 1a Bariatric Center, based on the number of procedures, high standards of care and patient outcomes.

BOSTON - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's weight loss surgery program is the first in Massachusetts and in the United States to earn the American College of Surgeons (ACS) highest level of accreditation as a Level 1a Bariatric Center, based on the number of procedures, high standards of care and patient outcomes.

With this distinction, BIDMC also becomes the only ACS-accredited weight loss surgery program in the state. As an accredited program, BIDMC qualifies for new Medicare coverage guidelines for bariatric surgery procedures. In February, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced expanded Medicare coverage for weight loss surgery to all beneficiaries regardless of age. Patients must, however, be diagnosed with other health problems associated with obesity, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Coverage is limited to procedures performed in high-volume facilities accredited by the American College of Surgeons or the American Society for Bariatric Surgery.

"BIDMC has made patient safety in obesity surgery our top priority. We have focused on a multidisciplinary team, education, anesthesia expertise, facility, personnel and clinical pathways," says Daniel B. Jones, MD, FACS, chief, section of minimally invasive surgery and director of the bariatric program. BIDMC's outcomes compare very favorably to national quality averages as compiled by the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) for bariatric surgery.

BIDMC offers the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band and the laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. These minimally invasive operations are performed in state-of-the-art surgical endosuites. Typically, patients note improvement in other health-related issues (among them high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, knee pain, infertility, reflux, diabetes and sleep apnea.

A multidisciplinary approach distinguishes the BIDMC weight loss program. "Patients must be approved by five disciplines - medicine, nursing, nutrition, psychiatry, and surgery - before they are booked for surgery," emphasizes Edward Hatchigian, MD, medical director. BIDMC's newly renovated bariatric unit, designed to more comfortably accommodate patients of size, features proper-sized beds, furniture and gowns. "Most importantly, our dedicated environment promotes patient education, expedited services and coordinated care," adds Jones.

For additional information, please call 617-667-2845.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and ranks fourth in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox.