RMC Discontinues Surgical Weight Loss Program


Regional Medical Center (RMC) recently announced the discontinuation of its Surgical Weight Loss (SWL) Program. The mutual decision between RMC and SWL Medical Director Dion Franga, M.D. was based on projected surgical volumes and the increasing difficulty many patients face in getting insurance to pay for weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery. The number of patients in the SWL Program has decreased over time, with surgical volumes trending below the annual requirement for Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery accreditation, a virtual must-have to continue operating a sustainable program. That’s because several insurance carriers now require patients to have their weight-loss surgery performed at an accredited center in order to qualify for coverage. Despite lower volumes, the SWL Program was hugely successful in terms of quality and patient outcomes. Under the direction of Franga, outcomes were much better than the national average and comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and fatty liver disease were reduced by more than 60 percent. RMC will continue to assess the community’s need for weight-loss surgery moving forward. In the meantime, patients who are already in the SWL Program will continue to be seen by Franga.

About the Regional Medical Center

Owned by Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, the Regional Medical Center (RMC) health system includes a 286-bed, acute-care hospital certified by The Joint Commission and 23 primary care and specialty care practices. RMC has advanced certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and is designated as a Level III Trauma Center by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

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