Highland Hospital Earns "Accredited Bariatric Center" Status

Designation Allows Patients with Medicare Coverage to Receive Surgery

February 13, 2007

Highland Hospital’s Bariatric Surgery Center has been designated an “Accredited Bariatric Center” by the Bariatric Surgery Center Network Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons. Highland is the only hospital in Upstate New York to earn the designation.

An accredited bariatric surgery center provides the optimal care for morbidly obese patients and also supports the entire spectrum of care and needs of bariatric patients, from pre-surgery classes, nutritional and psychological counseling to postoperative care and treatment.

“We earned this accreditation by providing a high standard of care to our patients. We are measured in several ways including the skill of our surgeons, a minimal complication rate but also for the sensitivity and awareness of our staff for the special needs of our patents,” William O’Malley, MD, director of the Bariatric Surgery Center at Highland Hospital and faculty member of the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Surgery said.

Last year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid decided that coverage would only be provided to patients who receive bariatric surgery at recognized institutions. The Accredited Bariatric Center designation allows patients with Medicare coverage to now receive the surgery at Highland.

“We have about 30 Medicare patients who have gone through the pre-operative classes but have been on hold until the accreditation became official,” explained Dr. O’Malley. “Those patients can now receive their surgery.”

Last year Highland opened a completely renovated Bariatric Center that includes a new operating room suite that consists of a specially designed bariatric surgery table, state-of-the-art laparoscopic instruments, cameras, flat panel video monitors and specially designed lighting. Since 2001, Highland has performed nearly 2700 bariatric surgeries.

For more than 118 years, Highland Hospital has provided innovative, high quality patient care for the Rochester community. Today, Highland is a 261-licensed acute care bed facility known for its comprehensive women’s services, nationally ranked geriatrics program, the Evarts Joint Center, an Accredited Bariatric Center and extensive network of primary care physicians.

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