According to a study released today from HealthGrades, Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) is ranked number one in New Jersey for Bariatric Surgery for the fifth straight year. Bariatric surgery is a term used for any one of a few elective weight-loss procedures. HUMC was ranked among the top five percent in the nation for bariatric surgery according to a new study issued today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. Based on this ranking, HUMC is one of only 48 hospitals in the nation to receive the 2010/2011 Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award™ from HealthGrades, which the hospital has now done five years in a row.
“At a time when our nation is experiencing an obesity epidemic, I am pleased that we have a program that encompasses a comprehensive, quality program that puts people on the path to a healthier lifestyle,” said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of HUMC.
The fifth annual HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study is the largest annual study of its kind.
The study of objective patient outcomes evaluated all hospitals in 19 states over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 using data obtained from state governments. Hospitals could not choose whether or not to participate in the study. In all, nearly 200,000 surgeries were evaluated for major inhospital complication rates at the 481 hospitals (out of more than 2,500) that performed bariatric surgeries in sufficient enough volumes to be rated.
HUMC is the only facility in New Jersey to rank in the top five percent of hospitals in the nation for bariatric surgery, and one of only two hospitals in the New York, Northern New Jersey, and Long Island core business statistical area.
Bariatric surgery can produce dramatic weight loss among the morbidly obese, who comprise about five percent of the national population according to the Centers for Disease Control. In many cases, individuals undergoing the procedure lose the equivalent of one-third of their body weight or more. Bariatric surgery has also been shown, in the morbidly obese, to significantly improve or cure a variety of major health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.
HUMC and other top-performing hospitals in bariatric surgery had 43% fewer complications, on average, than hospitals performing at an average level, according to the HealthGrades study. Patients at top-performing hospitals had lengths of stay that averaged exactly 2 days, while patients at average hospitals had lengths of stay that averaged 2.21 days and patients at the poorest-performing hospitals had lengths of stay that averaged 2.48 days.
“This study shows, quite dramatically, that for bariatric surgery, it is important for patients to evaluate hospitals using objective information as they make their choice,”said Rick May, MD, a vice president with HealthGrades and a co-author of the study.
The fifth annual HealthGrades Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study is available at www.healthgrades.com.