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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

CoE certification does not limit access to surgery

Center of Excellence (CoE) certification does not appear to limit access to bariatric surgery, according to a paper ‘Effect of Mandatory Centers of Excellence Designation on Demographic Characteristics of Patients Who Undergo Bariatric Surgery’ published in JAMA. “The CoE requirement limited bariatric surgery to designated locations, which potentially restricted access,” the authors write.

Post-surgical readmissions are not care related

A study from Northwestern Medicine and the American College of Surgeons suggests that penalising hospitals for patient readmissions following surgery may be ineffective, and even counterproductive, for improving the quality of hospital care in America. The authors of the study, ‘Underlying Reasons Associated with Hospital Readmission Following Surgery in the United States’, published in JAMA, found that most surgical readmissions are not due to poor care coordination or mismanagement of known issues.

Medicare may expand options for weight loss counselling

Research on how primary care practitioners can best provide behavioural weight loss counselling to obese patients in their practices is sparse, according to a systematic review of this topic published in .JAMA. The study was led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Surgical groups disappointed with Medicare CoE ruling

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the American College of Surgeons have expressed their disappoint at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recent decision that it will no longer require Medicare patients to undergo bariatric surgical procedures at accredited facilities. The ruling means that eligible Medicare patients may have bariatric operations performed at any centre they choose, even those facilities with little experience in handling high-risk patients.

CMS drops bariatric Center of Excellence facilitation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has ruled it will no longer require Medicare patients to undergo bariatric surgical procedures at accredited facilities. The ruling means that eligible Medicare patients may have bariatric operations performed at any center they choose, even those facilities with little experience in handling high-risk patients. The decision is effective from 25 September 2013.

Medicare CoE policy could limit minority access to surgery

The policy of treating Medicare bariatric surgery patients at high-volume hospitals designated as Centers of Excellence could be blocking obese minorities' access to care, according to Bariatric Surgery in Minority Patients Before and After Implementation of a Centers of Excellence Program. published online in JAMA.

CMS urged to reconsider need for bariatric certification

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the American College of Surgeons (ACS), and other medical societies claim that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) decision to consider a reversal of its 2006 decision requiring certification of facilities that perform bariatric surgery could endanger Medicare patients who undergo bariatric surgery.

ASMBS defends accredited bariatric centres

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) has defended the outcomes from bariatric surgery at accredited centres, following the recent announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that it is considering reversing its 2006 decision requiring certification for facilities that perform bariatric surgery on Medicare beneficiaries.

CMS to eliminate CoE accreditation for bariatrics?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to eliminate the requirement for facility certification/Center of Excellence (CoE) designation, so centres can perform surgery on CMS patients. According to the proposed decision, the CMS claims that the evidence is sufficient to conclude that continuing the requirement for certification for bariatric surgery facilities would not improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries.  Therefore, CMS proposes to remove this certification requirement.

CMS to offer obesity screening and counselling

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will cover preventive services aimed at reducing obesity. This new benefit will be available without any cost sharing, as with other Medicare preventive services under the Affordable Care Act. 

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