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Published on January 10, 2012

Surgical Weight Loss Center at UCH Receives Accreditation from the ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network

Designation recognizes excellent patient care and enables center to expand

AURORA, Colo. – The Surgical Weight Loss Center at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) has been accredited as a Level 1 facility by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). 

Although the center has been successfully improving the lives and health of patients since 2004 by enabling weight loss, this designation means it has met the essential criteria established by the ACS BSCN Accreditation Program to ensure certain benchmarks are regularly met. This was UCH’s first attempt at accreditation by the ACS BSCN.

Recognizing patient care and outcomes

Jonathan Schoen, MD

Jonathan Schoen, MD

The ACS accreditation recognizes the high level of patient care and excellent outcomes provided by our doctors, nurses and staff. 

The Level 1 designation will also allow UCH to provide this service to a greater number of people. The Center is planning an outreach campaign beyond the Denver metro area, including the Sante Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico areas that will benefit from more high-quality bariatric surgery options.

“Many insurance plans will only pay for bariatric surgeries at accredited facilities,” said Dr. Jonathan Schoen, clinical director for the Surgical Weight Loss Center. “This highest-level designation will open up UCH to a host of new patients who are interested in learning more about weight loss surgery.”

An effective, lasting treatment for severe obesity

In the United States, more than 11 million people suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers continue to increase. Obesity increases the risks of serious health problems and death 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. 

About accreditation

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 pre-hospital phase through the postoperative care and treatment process. 

Medicare coverage for bariatric surgery

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recognized the University of Colorado Hospital 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.

About University of Colorado Hospital

The Surgical Weight Loss Center is located at the University of Colorado Hospital which is the Rocky Mountain region's leading academic medical center. It is recognized as the highest-performing academic hospital in the United States for delivering quality health care by the University HealthSystem Consortium, and is ranked as the best hospital in the Denver metro area and one of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

UCH is best known as an innovator in patient care and often as one of the first hospitals to bring new medicine to the patients’ bedside. The hospital’s physicians are affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, part of the University of Colorado system. Based on the expansive Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO, the hospital is where patient care, research and education converge to establish the future of health care delivery.

Contact: Dan Weaver (720) 441-7050 (cell); dan.weaver@ucdenver.edu

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