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

MBSAQIP Releases Unified Accreditation Standards

American College of Surgeons and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery jointly issue new accreditation standards designed to foster surgical quality improvement


CHICAGO (February 4, 2014): The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) have released the inaugural standards for their joint accreditation program, the Metabolic Bariatric Surgery and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). These standards are published in the online document Resources for Optimal Care of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Patient 2014. The Resources document also provides guidance for inpatient and outpatient facilities in the United States and Canada seeking accreditation from the MBSAQIP. MBSQIP accreditation provides an objective and accountable process whereby centers can demonstrate high-quality surgical care for bariatric patients in a multidisciplinary format.

These new standards are important because they create a “national unified program around which all MBSAQIP participating centers will comply,” said Ronald Clements, MD, FACS, Co-Chair of the ACS Committee for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, which oversees the MBSAQIP, and professor of surgery and director of bariatric surgery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville. He said the standards are “designed around locally driven quality improvement and foster a collaborative relationship at any one given hospital,” meaning the standards provide locally driven data with national oversight that allows each center to have their own data, analyze it, and develop surgical quality improvement processes.

Centers are required to meet seven Core Standards for MBSAQIP accreditation as well as two additional standards specific to band center and adolescent center accreditation:

  • case volume, patient selection, and approved procedures by designation level
  • commitment to quality care
  • appropriate equipment and instruments
  • critical care support
  • continuum of care
  • data collection
  • continuous quality improvement
  • band center accreditation
  • adolescent center accreditation

“The MBSAQIP standards are the cornerstone of the MBSAQIP and address future initiatives such as risk-adjusted data, enhanced verification, and quality improvement efforts” said John Morton, MD, MPH, FACS, President-Elect, American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Co-Chair of the ACS Committee for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and chief, bariatric and minimally invasive surgery, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.

As part of the accreditation process, an MBSAQIP-trained metabolic and bariatric surgeon surveyor conducts an on-site visit. During these visits, centers are verified against set criteria, including annual facility and individual surgeon volumes for stapling and non-stapling procedures.

“The standards are a blueprint for continued and future safe and effective outcomes for patients undergoing bariatric surgery. With over 18 million potential surgical candidates, the bariatric surgical community through MBSAQIP has taken stewardship of these patients in need,” Dr. Morton said. “The standards build upon a legacy of success for bariatric surgery where mortality has fallen from 1 percent to 0.1 percent over the past decade. With the standards in place, future innovation and improvement in care for bariatric surgery can take place.”

The newly released standards can be found online at

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About the American College of Surgeons (ACS)
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 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 (ASMBS)
The ASMBS is the largest organization for metabolic and bariatric surgeons in the world. It is a not-for-profit organization that works to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery and is committed to educating medical professionals and the lay public about metabolic and 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 metabolic and 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

In March 2012, ACS and ASMBS combined their respective national bariatric surgery accreditation programs into a single unified program so they could begin to work collaboratively to achieve one national accreditation standard for bariatric surgery centers. Currently, more than 700 centers across the United States and Canada participate in the MBSAQIP entering approximately 150,000 metabolic and bariatric surgery cases a year into the MBSAQIP Data Registry Platform.


Dan Hamilton

Sally Garneski