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BCBS Recognizes Sanford for Quality Bariatrics

Mar 29, 2015 11:53AM ● By MED Magazine

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has recognized Sanford USD Medical Center as one of the first healthcare facilities in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction Center+ designation in the area of bariatric surgery.

Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective measures, which were developed with input from the medical community, for patient safety and better health outcomes.

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, for gastric stapling and/or gastric banding procedures. A healthcare facility must also have earned national accreditations at both the facility level and the specific bariatric care level, as well as demonstrate better cost efficiency relative to its peers.

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.

Only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures are considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.