Kennedy's Bariatric Surgery Program Receives Level 1 Accreditation from ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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Kennedy University Hospital’s Bariatric Surgery Program been accredited as a Level 1 facility by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Kennedy is now one of only three ACS/BSCN Level One bariatric programs in the state of New Jersey.

This designation means that Kennedy – Stratford has met the essential criteria that ensures it is fully capable of supporting a bariatric surgery care program, and that its institutional performance meets the requirements outlined by the ACS/BSCN Accreditation Program. There are four categories of accreditation for inpatient facilities and one level for outpatient surgical care facilities. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility; Level 1 designation is the highest achievable level.

Each hospital undergoes onsite verification by experienced bariatric surgeons, who review the center’s structure, process, and quality of data using the current ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program Manual as a guideline in conducting the survey.  Because high-quality surgical care requires documentation using reliable measurements of outcomes, accredited bariatric surgery centers are required to report their bariatric surgery outcomes data either to the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) or the College’s BSCN Database, using a Web-based data entry system.

Kennedy initially received accreditation through the program in 2010.

“We are extremely pleased to become a Level 1 accredited Bariatric Surgery Center,” Kennedy President & CEO Martin A. Bieber said. “Since Kennedy’s bariatric surgery program was established in January 2007, more than 400 patients have successfully undergone weight-loss surgery at our Stratford hospital. Our dedicated team of bariatric surgeons and support staff are commmited to helping obese patients achieve permanent weight-loss through various surgical options.”

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 2005, the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program is awarded to bariatric surgery centers that demonstrate commitment to providing the highest quality care for its patients.  Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide not only the hospital resources necessary for optimal care of morbidly obese patients, but also the support and resources necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients -- from the pre-hospital phase through the post-operative care and treatment process. 

As a Level 1 facility, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recognized Kennedy, 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 certified by the American College of Surgeons or the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.

More than 11 million people suffer from severe obesity in the United States, and the numbers continue to increase.  Obesity increases the risks of morbidity and mortality because of diseases and conditions commonly associated with it, such as type II diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, among other health risks.  Currently, weight-loss surgery provides the only effective, lasting relief from severe obesity.  For more information about Kennedy’s Bariatric Surgery Program, please contact Program Coordinator Lisa Shaw, RN, at 856-346-6470, or visit: www.kennedybariatric.org