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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has recognized P&S Surgical Hospital as one of the nation’s first hospitals to receive a Blue Distinction® Center+ designation in the area of Bariatric Surgery for Gastric Stapling. P&S Surgical Hospital has also received a Blue Distinction® Center designation in the area of Bariatric Surgery for Gastric Banding.
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) are nationally designated healthcare facilities that meet overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also meet cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare.
P&S Surgical Hospital CEO Linda S. Holyfield is proud of the hospital’s weight loss program—also known as Louisiana Center for Weight Loss Surgery—for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.
“We are proud to be one of the nation’s leaders in safe, cost effective bariatric surgery. Our surgeons continue to focus on clinical excellence, the latest in surgical innovation, and the best in patient care,” she said.
To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery designation, a healthcare facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complications and readmissions. A healthcare facility must also have earned national accreditations at both the facility level and the bariatric care-specific level, as well as demonstrate better cost efficiency relative to its peers.
Research shows that facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent or more cost efficient than non-BDC+ designated healthcare facilities.
Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S., which provides a significant opportunity to improve quality and efficiency within the healthcare system. There were 179,000 bariatric surgeries performed in 2013, according to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and the average cost is more than $28,000 per episode, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Furthermore, it is estimated that 72 million Americans are obese and 24 million suffer from morbid obesity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The estimated annual healthcare costs of obesity-related illnesses are $190.2 billion, or nearly 21 percent of annual medical spending in the U.S., according to the Journal of Health Economics.
“More and more, research is showing us that healthcare facilities that provide the highest quality care not only have better health outcomes for their patients, but often keep costs under control, too,” said Dr. David Carmouche, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Executive Vice President for External Operations and Chief Medical Officer. “We are proud to recognize the Blue Distinction Centers+ in Louisiana that are demonstrating high quality and cost efficiency in providing bariatric surgery.”
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction .