Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Fueled by the high prevalence of morbid obesity, bariatric surgery centers are proliferating rapidly across the United States.1 Reports of serious complications and deaths have raised concerns that many hospitals perform too few bariatric procedures and lack the necessary staffing and facilities to perform these complex procedures safely.1 Some private insurers are selectively contracting with hospitals meeting “centers of excellence” criteria, which include minimum procedure volumes and specific requirements for staffing, services, and facilities. The American College of Surgeons2 and the American Society for Bariatric Surgery3 have initiated credentialing processes for hospitals offering bariatric surgery based on similar criteria.
Birkmeyer NJO, Wei Y, Goldfaden A, Birkmeyer JD. Characteristics of Hospitals Performing Bariatric Surgery. JAMA. 2006;295(3):278-284. doi:10.1001/jama.295.3.282-c