You will often see Bariatric Center of Excellence used by certain insurance carriers and hospitals will often advertise that they have been accredited. Some private insurance companies will occasionally stipulate that a surgery has to be performed at a COE certified hospital.
COE stands for Center of Excellence. Hospitals have to go through a rigorous reporting process and inspection to become a COE certified hospital. Along with having certain types of equipment geared towards the bariatric patient, they also have to maintain minimum number bariatric cases per year in order to maintain their standing.
Hospitals that are accredited Bariatric Centers of Excellence are required to maintain a minimum of 140 bariatric procedures per year. Currently, in the United States there are two institutions that inspect facilities, collect data, and accredit hospitals with the Bariatric Center of Excellence designation.
• The American Society of Metabolic Surgeons (ASMBS)
• The Surgical Review Corporation (SRC)
While these institutions have slightly different requirements, the intent is the same. Their accreditation signifies a level of excellence in the field of bariatric medicine.
Another important feature of an accredited Center of Excellence is the training that is required. Below are a few of the required training courses that the hospital’s staff are required to take.
• Obesity sensitivity training
• Proper moving of an obese patient
• Recognizing the signs and symptoms of bariatric surgery complications
• Post-op care of the bariatric patient
• Bariatric surgery post-op nutrition
For these reasons it is in a patient's best interest to have their surgery done at a Center of Excellence even if your insurance doesn’t require it.