June 21, 2022

Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital’s Bariatric Surgery Program Earns Center of Excellence from Optum

TEMPE – Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital is honored and excited to announce its Metabolic and Surgical Weight Management program has earned the Bariatric Centers of Excellence (COE) from the Clinical Sciences Institute of Optum. 

"The Center of Excellence designation from Optum is a prestigious and hard-earned accreditation and recognizes our commitment to providing the highest quality of patient care and safety for our bariatric surgery patients,” said Brent Cope, President of Tempe St. Luke’s. “Thanks to Dr. Robert Schuster, Chelsea Price, MS, RD LDN and the entire team for working so hard to create a center of excellence for our patients."

Achieving the Optum Bariatric COE requires meeting rigorous criteria including less complications and mortality rates than other, non-designated programs; reaching set annual volume of surgeries; the number and experience of the surgeons in the program; the length of the programs existence; and having a multi-disciplinary team. On average, Optum Center’s of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery have 60% lower morality rates compared to non-COE programs; 38% lower inpatient hospital readmissions; and a 43% lower reoperation rate for bariatric procedures. Plus, surgical procedures completed at an Optum COE cost almost $5300 less than those performed at other facilities.

Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital’s Bariatric program is also proud to be accredited as a Comprehensive Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP®), a joint Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).  The MBSAQIP® accreditation is recognized as the “gold standard” for bariatric surgical programs. The MBSAQIP Standards, Optimal Resources for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, ensure that metabolic and bariatric patients receive multidisciplinary medical care, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. MBSAQIP-Accredited centers offer preoperative and postoperative care designed specifically for patients with obesity.

"Achieving this designation will increase our access to care for those suffering from the disease of obesity,” said Dr. Robert Schuster, Medical Director, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital. “As a multi-accredited hospital, patients can be confident in their choice to have surgery here, knowing they are receiving top-notch care where we put the patient at the center of everything we do".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 93 million adults in the United States are affected by obesity and that number continues to increase. Obesity-related comorbidities, which include type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, are estimated to add $342 billion dollars in related health care cost each year.  Metabolic and bariatric surgery has proven to be effective in the reduction of comorbid conditions related to obesity. Working together, the ACS and the ASMBS have developed accreditation standards for metabolic and bariatric surgery to assist patients with obesity in identifying centers that provide optimal patient care.

For more information about Tempe St. Luke’s and its Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Management,
(Tempe St. Luke’s Receives Optum COE for Bariatric Program, page 2)


About Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital
Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital is a 74-bed, full-service hospital that has been caring for families and residents in the community since 1944. Located in the heart of Tempe, the hospital is centrally located and offers a full range of high quality services to serve our diverse and dynamic community. Our team is committed to providing excellent care in a friendly community hospital environment. Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital is accredited by DNV Healthcare, a worldwide leader in quality management.

About Steward Health Care System
Nearly a decade ago, Steward Health Care System emerged as a different kind of health care company designed to usher in a new era of wellness. One that provides our patients better, more proactive care at a sustainable cost, our providers unrivaled coordination of care, and our communities greater prosperity and stability.
As the country’s largest physician-led, tax paying, integrated health care system, our doctors can be certain that we share their interests and those of their patients. Together we are on a mission to revolutionize the way health care is delivered - creating healthier lives, thriving communities and a better world.
Steward is among the nation’s largest and most successful accountable care organizations (ACO), with more than 5,500 providers and 43,000 health care professionals who care for 12.3 million patients a year through a closely integrated network of hospitals, multispecialty medical groups, urgent care centers, skilled nursing facilities and behavioral health centers. 
Based in Dallas, Steward currently operates 39 hospitals across Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah.