The bariatric surgery center at Grinnell Regional Medical Center has been re-accredited as a Level 1 facility by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This designation of excellence means that Grinnell Regional Medical Center and Grinnell Bariatrics have 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.
GRMC partners with Grinnell Bariatrics, a sub-practice of Surgical Associates of Grinnell, to offer a comprehensive surgical weight-loss program. The program was initially accredited in 2006 and has earned re-accreditation every three years. Though the medical center facility earns the accreditation based on the number of cases and protocols, the surgeons David Coster, MD, Nicholas Kuiper, DO; and Mathew Severidt, DO, along with Stefanie Noun, PA-C, and other staff from Surgical Associates and Grinnell Regional Medical Center perform the medical assessments, education, surgery, and follow-up care.
“The BSCN accredits only the best programs in the nation based on stringent criteria. The accreditation requires an absolute team commitment by both the hospital and surgical practice. During this review we passed with exceptional marks. I’m very proud of the entire team of surgeons, program coordinator, nurses, surgery director, dietitians, exercise therapists, behavioral therapist, and all the others who play an essential role in the care patients receive at GRMC,” says Suzanne Cooner, GRMC vice-president of operations. “Patients receive excellent care in the comfort and environment of a compassionate rural hospital.”
“An additional aspect of this designation is that Grinnell is considered by physicians across the state as the place to go for the most difficult and complex cases, so not only is GRMC a designated Level 1 Center of Excellence, the hospital and our surgeons and management team are the best of the best of those centers in Iowa,” says Coster, medical director for bariatric surgery.
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.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recognized GRMC 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.
In the United States, more than 11 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.