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Posted 3/25/2015

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that this message finds you well. ASMBS is continuing to look for opportunities to increase awareness for treatment of our obese patients. We have a recurring message: bariatric surgery is safe, effective and needed.

1. Clinical Issues Statements: Accreditation and Survival Benefit

One of the main reasons we have seen increasing acceptance of our field is clearly because of our safety record. Due to the accreditation movement, advent of the laparoscopic approach, and appropriate patient and procedure selection, we have seen 30-day mortality plummet 10-fold in less than a decade. In addition, a survival benefit for bariatric surgery has been repeatedly demonstrated even in the most comorbid of populations. The evidence for both the impact of the accreditation and the survival benefit for bariatric surgery will be summarized in two Clinical Statements from our Clinical Issues Committee lead by Drs. Shanu Kothari and Julie Kim.

2. Readmissions

With mortality addressed emphatically in the positive, we now have to move beyond mortality. Our next frontier in quality improvement is in Decreasing Readmissions. CMS and other insurers have identified readmissions as an increasingly important priority due to cost and complications associated with readmissions. The bariatric surgery community is ideally poised to meet this challenge with its emphasis on technical expertise and multi-disciplinary, coordinated care.

On March 2, 2015, the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program launched the DROP (Decreasing Readmissions through Opportunities Provided) project. This project seeks to decrease all-cause 30-day readmissions for primary bariatric surgery at comprehensive centers by 20% in 1 year. A pilot program for DROP decreased readmissions by 69% by utilizing a readmission bundle spanning from pre-op to inpatient to post op care, which includes an educational video, discharge checklist, follow-up phone call and multiple nutritional consults. Currently over 130 hospitals are participating and MBSAQIP looks forward to making the program available to all once the project is complete. The co-chairs of the MBSAQIP Quality Sub-Committee, Drs. Stacy Brethauer and Tony Petrick lead this project.

3. Closed Claims Registry

A hallmark of quality improvement is learning from any adverse event. We know this from morbidity and mortality conferences and root-cause analysis. The newly named Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee (QIPS) hopes to raise the quality of our care by creating a Closed-Claims Registry for bariatric surgery, which will review and provide lessons learned from malpractice claims. In addition, we hope to create an educational program from the Closed-Claims Registry, which will lower premiums if you complete the program. The chairs of QIPS, Drs. Eric DeMaria and Dana Telem, lead the Closed Claims Registry Initiative.

4. Communicate

We want to stay in communication with each of our patients and each of us as much as possible so please use our motivational video below and join twitter so I can tweet you all, @jmortonmd . Don’t forget about our upcoming meetings as well.

Best Wishes, John Morton, MD, MPH, FASMBS, FACS

Motivational Video: Here is how you can use the video.

Meeting Reminders

  • Obesity Weekend in Las Vegas @ Caesar’s Palace, June 27-29, 2015:
    Live Surgery, Revisional Surgery, Intra-Gastric Balloon Course, Integrating Medical Management into a Bariatric Surgery Practice, MBSAQIP Clinical Reviewers Course

  • ObesityWeek in Los Angeles, November 2-7, 2015:
    Low BMI, Emerging Technology, Anesthesia, Plastic Surgery Courses Live Surgery, Revisional Surgery, Intra-Gastric Balloon Course, Integrating Medical Management into a Bariatric Surgery Practice Mason Lecture, Presidential Address LA Community Project

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