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BGMC/GVI Recognized with Blue Distinction Centers+ Designation for Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Bariatric Surgery

Updated: 1/27/2021

Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York 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.  

“This distinction demonstrates our commitment to providing our patients with the most innovative weight loss surgery options along with focused, personalized care and comprehensive support services,” said Chris Lane, president, Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute. “Our multidisciplinary team, including dieticians, counselors, surgeons, advanced practice providers and nurses support patients before, during, and after their procedures to maximize long-term success.”

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). 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. 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.

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, as well as demonstrated cost-efficiency compared to its peers. Facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other facilities. 

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

To learn more about the Bariatric Surgery Program at Kaleida Health, click here.