American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®
The IMBS is an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®. The ASMBS Center of Excellence designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.
To earn a Center of Excellence designation, the Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery underwent a series of site inspections during which all aspects of the program's surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes were collected. IMBS and other centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.
Obesity has become a significant national health issue, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 66 percent of all U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of serious conditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery
Independence Blue Cross designated Abington Memorial Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.
"It is a great honor for our team to receive Blue Distinction status, and to be recognized for our work in bariatric surgery," says, Fernando B. Bonanni, Jr., M.D., director, Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. "We are dedicated to providing our patients with a high-quality comprehensive approach to weight loss that features a full range of services, including several of the latest surgical options, ongoing support and counseling, an exercise program, a nutrition plan and a lifetime of follow up care."
Bariatric Surgery, or weight-loss surgery, refers to the various surgical procedures that can be performed to treat obesity, which is widely recognized as a contributor to serious health risks. The surgeries involve modifications of stomach, intestines or both. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the total number of bariatric surgeries increased 400 percent from 1998 to 2004. Bariatric surgery may help some individuals reduce extreme obesity and its associated health risks, and Blue Distinction® provides objective information to help them make informed decisions when choosing a provider.
Abington Memorial Hospital provides a full range of bariatric surgery care services, including inpatient care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up and patient education. Abington Memorial Hospital's Institute for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery offers a high-quality, comprehensive approach to weight loss that features a full range of services, including several of the latest surgical options, ongoing support and counseling; an exercise program; and a nutrition plan and a lifetime of follow-up care. Its name reflects the commitment to treating metabolic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and obstructive sleep apnea.
"The Blue Distinction Program is an important part of our commitment to offering members access to quality care," said Dr. I. Steven Udvarhelyi, chief medical officer at Independence Blue Cross. "Through this program we are able to identify physicians and hospitals that meet high quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care. We congratulate Abington Memorial Hospital for their achievement in becoming a newly designated Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery."
Abington Memorial Hospital met numerous selection criteria thresholds necessary to be named as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery, including:
- offering a full-service inpatient hospital facility;
- being fully accredited by The Joint Commission or Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program;
- performing a required volume of bariatric surgeries during the recent 12-month reporting period;
- being staffed by an experienced and appropriately credentialed bariatric surgical team;
- being supported by appropriate equipment and staffing;
- establishing documented policies and procedures for patient care and follow-up care;
- demonstrating a commitment to quality improvement, as shown by its ongoing quality management and improvement programs.
The full list of Blue Distinction selection criteria is available to the public at www.BCBS.com/bluedistinction.