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Bariatric Center Recognized for High-Quality Care

Columbus, Ind. -   The Bariatric Center at Columbus Regional Hospital announced today that it has been named an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence®. The ASMBS BSCOE designation recognizes surgical programs with a demonstrated track record of favorable outcomes in bariatric surgery.

According to a report released in 2007 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of bariatric surgeries has grown from 16,000 procedures performed in 1992 to 170,000 performed in 2005. Faced with clinical evidence that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have by far the lowest rates of complications, the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence program was created to recognize bariatric surgery centers that perform well and to help surgeons and hospitals continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided.

To earn a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation, The Bariatric Center at Columbus Regional Hospital underwent a series of site inspections during which all aspects of the program's surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected. The Bariatric Center at Columbus Regional Hospital and other centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.

"Due to the increasing prevalence of morbid obesity, we recognized the need to implement a systematic approach to maximizing quality in surgical care of these patients," said David J. Lee, M.D. "At The Bariatric Center, we believe that the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence program serves as a catalyst, driving strong programs like ours to get even better."

Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which The Bariatric Center and other Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence must comply, thoroughly inspects and evaluates each candidate for designation, and upon review recommends approval of designation for those physicians and facilities whose practices and outcomes meet the stringent demands set forth by SRC for ASMBS.

Obesity has become a significant national health issue, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that 66 percent of all US 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.

Bariatric surgery, when performed correctly, can help obese patients manage these conditions. By definition, surgeons with ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation practice only top-quality care, ensuring efficacy of the procedure with each patient to the best of their abilities.

As a pioneering organization, designating Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence based on top quality care and efficacious outcomes, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, with the help of SRC, is working to align the common interests of patients, surgeons, hospitals and insurers, all of whom suffer when complications develop after surgical care.

About The Bariatric Center at Columbus Regional Hospital, managed by Southern Indiana Surgery, Inc.
Led by Southern Indiana Surgery's Dr. David J. Lee and Dr. Stephanie Dunkle-Blatter, the Bariatric Center at Columbus Regional Hospital offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach for qualifying patients that includes services such as weight loss surgery, nutritional counseling and psychological testing. Specially trained surgeons, dietitians, psychologists, nurses and doctors address each patient's medical nutritional, physical and psychological needs. For more information about the Bariatric Center visit columbusbariatrics.com.

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