PINEHURST — The Metabolic & Weight Management Center’s bariatric surgery program has received designation as a bariatric Center of Excellence by Optum for the second consecutive year.
Optum is a health care services group that operates across 150 countries and offers data-driven support and expertise to health care employers, government organizations, health plans, providers and pharmacy care services.
To earn Optum Center of Excellence distinction, bariatric surgery programs must meet rigorous criteria for annual volume of surgeries, certifications, complications and mortality rate, length of program existence and experience of surgeons.
The Metabolic & Weight Management Center is a joint venture between Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, FirstHealth of the Carolinas and Pinehurst Medical Clinic. The Center is located at 300 Pavilion Way, Suite 102 in Southern Pines and is an expansion of the FirstHealth Bariatrics program, founded in 1999 in partnership with Pinehurst Surgical Clinic surgeons. New medical weight management services are available to patients alongside weight-loss surgery.
Alex Bonnecaze, M.D., an endocrinologist, and obesity medicine physician with Pinehurst Medical Clinic, has joined David Grantham, M.D., and Raymond Washington M.D., bariatric surgeons with Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, to form an interdisciplinary team.
Dr. Washington, medical director of the FirstHealth Bariatrics program, in partnership with Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, said it is an honor to receive the designation for a second year.
“Our program is committed to offering excellent patient experience and safety and we take pride in helping our patients manage their weight,” he said. “The Optum designation is a reflection of our expertise and quality care.”
Optum bariatric COEs have 19 percent lower mortality rate and 30 percent lower inpatient hospital readmission rate when compared to non-COE providers.
Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the United States, with more than 256,000 bariatric surgeries performed in 2019 based on a report from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
“Weight-loss surgery can help reduce or manage a number of symptoms and conditions,” Dr. Grantham said. “Our patients have experienced relief from hypertension, sleep apnea, joint pain, depression and anxiety, to name a few. We aim to make these procedures as accessible as possible for those who can benefit. The COE designation and expansion of our non-surgical services helps further that mission.”
In addition to the Optum COE designation, the bariatric program has received a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery designation by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. It has also been accredited as a comprehensive center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
For more information about the program, visit www.WeightLossNC.org or call 910-725-7966.