Effective April 1, 2012, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) will combine their respective national bariatric surgery accreditation programs into a single program.

All institutions that have met the standards under the two separate programs—the ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network (ACS BSCN) program and the ASMBS Bariatric Centers of Excellence (ASMBS BSCOE) program — will be extended accreditation in a new Joint Program. Both groups have similar standards for accreditation. This arrangement will not affect recognition by Medicare or other payors.

Once operational committees of the new Joint Program are established, a Standards Committee will develop new program accreditation criteria that will move beyond volume standards to include outcomes reporting. These new accreditation standards will be implemented upon achievement of payor approval, possibly by early 2013.

"The opportunity to combine the expertise of the ASMBS and the American College of Surgeons will result in strong and consistent accreditation standards, promote quality improvement, and return value to patients, our members, and program participants," says ASMBS President Robin Blackstone, MD, in a press release. Blackstone is the director of the Scottsdale Healthcare’s Bariatric Program in Scottsdale, Arizona and a member of the Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery’s editorial advisory board.

Source: ASMBS