The Weight Loss Center at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center has been accredited as a Level 1 facility under the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The accreditation demonstrates the center’s commitment to delivering the highest quality care for its bariatric surgery patients.

               To earn the accreditation, Chesapeake Regional met the essential criteria that ensure its ability to support a bariatric surgical care program and the institutional performance requirements outlined by the BSCN accreditation standards. Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide both the hospital resources necessary for optimal care of morbidly obese patients and the support and resources necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients, both pre- and postoperatively.

            “We are very proud to have received further endorsement and the highest accreditation level for our program,” said Peter F. Bastone, president and CEO of Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. “Our patients receive a top-level quality of care and, as a result of this accreditation, we will be able to expand the type of patients we can care for within this service. I am proud of our bariatric program and team of professionals. I am looking forward to serving a broader spectrum of patients residing in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.”

            Bariatric surgery centers that are accredited under ACS BSCN program standards are part of the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Accreditation Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) administered by the ACS. In March 2012, the ACS and American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) announced plans to combine their respective national bariatric surgery accreditation programs into a single unified program to achieve one national accreditation standard for bariatric surgery centers. That transition is now in process.

            ACS BSCN accreditation is awarded in categories, each with its own criteria that must be met. Facilities undergo a site visit by an experienced bariatric surgeon, who reviews the facilities’ structure, process and data quality. Because optimal surgical care requires documentation using reliable outcome measures, accredited bariatric surgery centers are required to report their outcome data to the MBSAQIP Data Registry Platform.

            The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has recognized Chesapeake RegionalMedical Center and allows expanded Medicare coverage of bariatric surgery for beneficiaries of all ages who have been diagnosed with other health problems associated with obesity. Medicare coverage has been limited to procedures performed in facilities accredited by the ACS or the ASMBS.

            In the United States, more than 15 million people suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of the diseases and conditions that are commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks. At the present time, weight-loss surgery provides the only effective, lasting relief from severe obesity. Therefore, the ACS believes it is of utmost importance to extend its quality initiatives to accrediting bariatric surgery centers so that it can assist the public in identifying those facilities that provide optimal surgical care of patients who undergo this surgical procedure.

            The ACS is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the quality of care for the surgical patients. Its achievements have placed it at the forefront of American surgery and have made the College an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

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