The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) signed a memorandum of understanding on March 7 as part of an agreement to unify their two separate bariatric surgery accreditation programs—the ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) and the ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Centers of Excellence (BSCOE) program. As a result of this historic move, one gold standard for accreditation in bariatric surgery will be achieved, according to ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, who signed the agreement on the College’s behalf.
The development of a single standard provides a solid foundation to enhance patient safety and return added value to the participating programs, said Robin Blackstone, MD, FACS, president of the ASMBS and an ACS Governor from Scottsdale, AZ. “The light of leadership of ASMBS and ACS burns brighter in the field of quality improvement through our joint effort,” added Dr. Blackstone, who signed the memorandum on behalf of the ASMBS.
To facilitate the transition toward unified accreditation, all institutions that have met the standards set through either the ACS BSCN or the ASMBS BSCOE program will be accredited through the joint program. All centers will report to the same data registry, which will build on the current ACS BSCN data collection platform.
A committee will be formed to oversee the program with representation from both societies. This committee will develop new outcomes based accreditation standards. These new standards will be implemented as soon as the criteria are approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and a robust infrastructure to allow centers to apply and be certified is in place.
The memorandum of understanding takes effect on April 1. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.