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Apr 29 2021

Huntington Hospital Recognized for Higher Quality in Bariatric Surgery by Anthem Blue Cross

Asok Doraiswamy, MD, Medical Director, Bariatric Surgery, Huntington Hospital

Huntington Hospital is proud to be recognized by Anthem Blue Cross with a Blue Distinction® Centers for Bariatric Surgery designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities that show a commitment to delivering high quality patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery program provides a full range of bariatric surgery care; including surgical care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care, and patient education. 

Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S. — with more than 252,000 bariatric surgeries performed in 2018 based on a report from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).[1] Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 42.7 percent of U.S. adults and 18.5 percent of youth are obese and are impacted by obesity-related health conditions.[2] With obesity reaching epidemic levels among U.S. adults, a significant opportunity exists to improve quality care for bariatric surgeries within the national healthcare system.

Huntington Hospital is proud to be recognized by Anthem Blue Cross for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center quality selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“We are proud to be recognized by Anthem Blue Cross for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center quality selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program,” said Asok Doraiswamy, MD, medical director, bariatric surgery, Huntington Hospital. “This designation is a reflection of Huntington’s dedicated and skilled team of bariatric physicians, nurses and staff, who – through a wide range of services – help bring a healthier lifestyle to our patients every day. It’s truly life-changing.”

The annual healthcare spend on obesity and obesity-related conditions expected is expected to rise by 2030, if the rate of obesity in the U.S. continues to climb.3 Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severely obese patients because it allows for substantial, sustained weight loss, which leads to, improves, or resolves obesity-related co-morbidities like type 2 diabetes. On average, healthcare costs were reduced by 29 percent within five years following bariatric surgery, due to the reduction or elimination of obesity-related conditions, based on findings by ASMBS.

To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery designation, a healthcare facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety measures as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complication and readmission rate for laparoscopic procedures in sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and adjustable gastric band. All designated facilities must also be nationally accredited at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels.

“The Blue Distinction program is another example of Anthem Blue Cross’ commitment to ensuring our members have access to high-quality specialty care delivered safely and effectively though our in-network providers,” said Dr. John Yao, senior chief medical officer at Anthem Blue Cross. “We commend Huntington Hospital on its designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.”

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery, and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other healthcare facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of designated facilities, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

All companies and trademarks listed above are the property of their respective owners and used for identification purposes only, and are in no way associated or affiliated with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Use of these trademarks does not imply endorsement. The Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® names and symbols and Blue Distinction® are registered trademarks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

About Anthem Blue Cross (Blue Cross of California)

Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross name and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

About the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health IndexSM. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on www.bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for noncovered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.


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[1] American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) https://www.soard.org/article/S1550-7289(19)31160-8/fulltext#:~:text=previous%202%20years

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html#:~:text=Prevalence%20of%20Childhood%20Obesity%20in%20the%20United%20States&text=The%20prevalence%20of%20obesity%20was,to%2019%2Dyear%2Dolds.

[3] Wang, Y. C., McPherson, K., Marsh, T., Gortmaker, S. L., & Brown, M. (2011). Health and economic burden of the projected obesity trends in the USA and the UK. Lancet (London, England), 378(9793), 815–825. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60814-3