American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Unified National Accreditation Program Announced by ACS and ASMBS


CHICAGO  (March 9, 2012): The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) announced plans today to combine their respective national bariatric surgery accreditation programs into a single unified program to achieve one national accreditation standard for bariatric surgery centers.

As of April 1, 2012, all institutions that have met the standards under the two separate programs—the ACS Bariatric Surgery Center Network (ACS BSCN) program and the ASMBS Bariatric Centers of Excellence (ASMBS BSCOE) program—will be extended accreditation in a new Joint Program.  This arrangement will not affect recognition by Medicare or other payors, since a program’s accreditation status has always come directly from the ACS and the ASMBS. 

“Bariatric surgery accreditation symbolizes an institution’s commitment and accountability for safe, high-quality surgical care,” said Clifford Y. Ko, MD, FACS, Director, ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care.  “We are pleased that our dialog with ASMBS on developing a closer working relationship has led both of our organizations to come to a decision to jointly develop a single national accreditation program for quality and patient safety in bariatric surgery,” he said.  “We look forward to working with ASMBS in the months ahead and sharing our expertise and experience with creating a quality infrastructure that encompasses resources and processes of care.”

 “The opportunity to combine the expertise of the ASMBS and the American College of Surgeons will result in strong and consistent accreditation standards, promote quality improvement, and return value to patients, our members, and program participants,” said Robin Blackstone, MD, FACS, FASMBS, President of ASMBS.

The transition to the ACS-ASMBS Joint Program will begin April 1, during which time the ACS BSCN-accredited centers will continue to adhere to existing ACS standards, and the ASMBS BSCOE-accredited centers will adhere to existing ASMBS standards.  Because the joint program is based on current accreditation standards, “there will be no interruption in accreditation, verification, or reporting,” Dr. Blackstone explained.   

It is anticipated that once operational committees of the new Joint Program are formed, a Standards Committee will develop new program accreditation criteria that will move beyond volume standards to include outcomes reporting.  New accreditation standards will be implemented upon achievement of payor approval.  It is anticipated that the new accreditation program infrastructure will be in place early in 2013.

All accredited programs will begin to report to the ACS BSCN data registry beginning April 1, 2012.  The ACS and ASMBS will be in continual contact with all accredited centers in the weeks and months ahead as the Joint Program progresses.

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About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

About the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
The ASMBS is the largest organization for bariatric surgeons in the world. It is a non-profit organization that works to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery and is committed to educating medical professionals and the lay public about bariatric surgery as an option for the treatment of morbid obesity, as well as the associated risks and benefits. It encourages its members to investigate and discover new advances in bariatric surgery, while maintaining a steady exchange of experiences and ideas that may lead to improved surgical outcomes for morbidly obese patients. For more information, visit


Sally Garneski (ACS)


Keith Taylor (ASMBS)
Phone: 212-527-7537