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News: Centegra designated Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery

WOODSTOCK  – Blue Cross and Blue Shield has designated Centegra Hospital-Woodstock as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery. To date, only 230 facilities nationwide have received a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery designation.

As part of Blue Distinction, facilities are required to reapply periodically for re-evaluation. This review process confirms that all Blue Distinction Centers, new and old, continue to meet Blue Distinction’s evidence-based quality thresholds, determined in collaboration with expert physicians and medical organizations. It also provides an opportunity to improve the overall quality of care, by requiring all Blue Distinction Centers to meet selection criteria that keep abreast with ongoing advances in clinical practice.

Obesity is widely recognized as a contributor to serious health risks. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the total number of bariatric surgeries increased 400 percent from 1998 to 2004.

“Bariatric surgery may help some individuals reduce extreme obesity and its associated health risks and improves their quality of life,”  said Dr. Amir Heydari, medical director of the  Centegra Weight Loss Surgery Center in Huntley. “We are very proud to receive the Blue Distinction award as it is reflective of our high-quality outcomes, low complication rates and provides objective information to help patients make informed decisions when choosing a provider.” 

Centegra Hospital – Woodstock provides a full range of bariatric surgery care services including inpatient care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up and patient education.

“Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information,”  said Dr. Allan Korn, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Chief Medical Officer. “Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care.” 

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery, Centegra Hospital – Woodstock met the selection criteria posted at that includes:

  • An established bariatric surgery program, actively performing these procedures for the most recent 12-month period and performing a required minimum volume of 125 such surgeries annually.
  • Appropriate experience of its bariatric surgery team.
    An acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care and emergency services.
  • Full accreditation by The Joint Commission, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) or national equivalent.
  • A comprehensive quality management program.

Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physician and medical organization recommendations. Today, more than 800 Blue Distinction Center designations have been awarded to facilities nationwide, providing consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers and transplants.