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Our BRS Centers of Excellence yield proven results

Bariatric surgery is an effective solution to reduce the long-term personal, clinical and economic costs of obesity. The Optum BRS program is designed to increase the potential for success for patients and the savings for their employers.

Obesity: Prevalent, Costly and Comorbid Conditions

Affecting more than a third of Americans and the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, obesity is among the signature epidemics of our time.1,2

Obesity costs the country between $147 billion and $210 billion each year.3 And while the growth rate among adults has plateaued recently, nearly 40 percent of working-age Americans, ages 40 to 59, still classify as obese.1 In addition, comorbid conditions add to the human and financial toll obesity extracts, with the Centers of Disease (CDC) projecting that one-in-three adults could have diabetes by 2050.4

Real-life results

Not all bariatric surgery programs are equal. Those who belong to the Optum bariatric Centers of Excellence (COEs) program perform more successful bariatric procedures than many other facilities nearby. The Optum COEs also have fewer complications and readmissions and is able to boost:

  • 15% lower mortality compared to non-COE providers5
  • 16% lower inpatient hospital readmission5
  • 12% lower reoperation rate for bariatric procedures5
  • $4,239 lower average cost per surgical episode6

To ensure our COEs continue to meet professional standards for top specialty care, we take the added step to annually review and recertify each bariatric COE program. The result is better quality of care for the patients we serve.


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Adult Obesity Facts, http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html, accessed 11/2016.
2. California HealthLine, Obesity Second Leading Cause of Preventable U.S. Deaths, CDC Study Finds, 2004, http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2004/3/10/obesity-second-leading-cause-of-preventable-us-deaths-cdc-study-finds, accessed 12/2015.
3. Robert Johnson Wood Foundation, New Report Finds Adult Obesity Decreased in Four States, September 1, 2016. http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/articles-and-news/2016/09/report-finds-obesity-rates-decreased-in-four-states.html, accessed 11/2016.
4. Robert Johnson Wood Foundation, Obesity Rates & Trends, September 2016, http://stateofobesity.org/rates/, accessed 11/2016.
5. 2014 Center of Excellence qualification analysis results. Compared to non-COE providers. Schrader 2015.
6. 2015 Optum claims book of business analysis. Haig 2015.