Los Angeles

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery jointly designates Holy Cross Hospital and U.S. Bariatric as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence(R)

Holy Cross Hospital, Michael A. Perez, MD, and US Bariatric have been approved for renewal as an American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence(r) (BSCOE(r)).

We extend well-deserved thanks and congratulations to our Medical Director, Dr. Michael Perez and our Program Coordinators, Lorraine Fueyo, RN, and Peggy Costantini, RN, for their leadership and guidance in the survey process," said John Johnson, President & CEO of Holy Cross Hospital.

Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an independent, non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the delivery of bariatric surgical care with the highest levels of efficacy, efficiency and safety, reviewed every aspect of the program. SRC administers the BSCOE(r) program on behalf of the ASMBS and, as such, has affirmed that our care processes for the obese and diabetic patient population met their rigorous standards. The ASMBS BSCOE(r) program is endorsed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and numerous other health insurers around the country. There are currently 600 BSCOE(r) surgeons and only 300 BSCOE(r) hospitals in the U.S.

This prestigious designation demonstrates - with data and evidence - that we have the experience and the best outcomes," Johnson added.

According to a study released in July 2005 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of U.S. bariatric surgeries more than quadrupled between 1998 and 2002 - from 13,386 to 71,733. Faced with clinical evidence that the most experienced and best-run bariatric surgery programs have by far the lowest rates of complications, the ASBS Centers of Excellence program was created to recognize bariatric surgery centers that perform well and to help surgeons and hospitals continue to improve the quality and safety of care provided.

To earn a Center of Excellence designation, Dr. Perez and Holy Cross underwent a series of site inspections during which all aspects of the program's surgical processes were closely examined and data on health outcomes was collected. Holy Cross, Dr. Perez and other centers receiving the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence designation agree to continue to share information on clinical pathways, protocols and outcomes data.

Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an organization dedicated to pursuing surgical excellence, formulates and establishes the rigorous standards with which Dr. Perez, Holy Cross and other Centers of Excellence must comply, thoroughly inspects and evaluates each candidate for designation, and upon review recommends approval of designation for those physicians and facilities whose practices and outcomes meet the stringent demands set forth by SRC for ASMBS.

Obesity has become a significant national health issue, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that among adult men, the prevalence of obesity was 31.1% in 2003-2004, and 33.3% in 2005-2006, a small but not statistically significant change. Among adult women, the prevalence of obesity in 2003-2004 was 33.2%, and in 2005-2006 was 35.3%, again a small but not significant change. Morbid obesity is closely correlated with a number of serious conditions that severely undermine the health of overweight patients, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Bariatric surgery, when performed correctly, can help obese patients manage these conditions. By definition, surgeons with ASBS Center of Excellence designations practice only top-quality care, ensuring efficacy of the procedure with each patient to the best of their abilities. At Holy Cross, bariatric surgeons demonstrate this willingness to take the extra step by providing dedicated facilities. We offer a comprehensive program that includes multidisciplinary care and size appropriate equipment. We have made significant investments in operating room technologies and laparoscopic instrumentation. We recognize and provide the essentials in preoperative patient education. Bariatric Services is one of our dedicated service lines and has a dedicated service line leader.

As a pioneering organization, designating Centers of Excellence based on top quality care and efficacious outcomes, the ASMBS, with the help of SRC, is working to align the common interests of patients, surgeons, hospitals and insurers, all of whom suffer when complications develop after surgical care.