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For release: March 18, 2013

Amy Kilgore 330.344.6014, amy.kilgore@akrongeneral.org
Jim Gosky 330.344.6083, jim.gosky@akrongeneral.org

Akron General’s Bariatric Center receives high designation
Center named an American College of Surgeons Level 1 Accredited Bariatric Center

Akron General’s Bariatric Center has been accredited as a Level 1 Accredited Bariatric Center by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This designation means that Akron General has met the essential criteria that ensure 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.

Akron General was one of the first hospitals in Ohio to offer minimally invasive (laparoscopic) gastric bypass, or Roux-En-Y. Akron General also offers the latest bariatric procedures available, including the LAPBAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System, the REALIZE™ band and the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. To help patients meet their goals without added financial burdens, there is no program fee. To find out about Bariatric Center Medical Director and Surgeon Walter J. Chlysta, MD, as well as details about procedures, free information sessions, support programs, success stories and more, please visit www.akrongeneral.org/obesity.

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 for patients who undergo this surgical procedure.

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 2005 in an effort to extend established quality improvement practices to all disciplines of surgical care, the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program provides confirmation that a bariatric surgery center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality care for its bariatric surgery 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 that are necessary to address the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients, from the prehospital phase through the treatment process and postoperative care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recognized Akron General 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.

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 seeking that level of accreditation. Each hospital undergoes an 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 to the American College of Surgeons BSCN Database, using a web-based data entry system.


About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons 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 care of the surgical patient. 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 77,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

About Akron General Health System
Akron General Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with the mission of improving the health and lives of the people and communities it serves. Akron General Health System includes: Akron General Medical Center, a 532-registered-bed teaching and research medical center, and Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, the area’s largest provider of rehabilitation services; Akron General Partners, which includes Partners Physician Group, the Akron General Health & Wellness Centers, Lodi Community Hospital, Community Health Centers and other companies; Akron General Community Health Ventures, which includes Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates, the largest and most comprehensive provider of home healthcare services in Ohio; and Akron General Foundation. Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked Akron General Medical Center as the seventh best hospital in Ohio and Becker’s Hospital Review named Akron General Medical Center one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals. For more information about Akron General Health System, visit www.akrongeneral.org.



Akron General Medical Center • 1 Akron General Avenue (Formerly 400 Wabash Avenue) • Akron, OH 44307 • 330-344-6000 • 1-800-221-4601    © 2014 Akron General Health System
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