Interview with Justin B. Dimick, MD, MPH, author of Bariatric Surgery Complications Before vs After Implementation of a National Policy Restricting Coverage to Centers of Excellence. Summary Points:
- Bariatric surgery has become much safer over the past decade, likely due to better techniques, training in advanced laparoscopy, and tighter credentialing of surgeons.
- The CMS policy of restricting care to Centers of Excellence has not improved outcomes, but may have had the unintended consequence of reducing access to care.
- Referring patients to Centers of Excellence for bariatric surgery will not lower the risk of adverse outcomes and decisions should be based on other factors, such as a surgeon’s training, experience, and outcomes.