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University of Vermont Medical Center Recognized for Quality Bariatric Surgery

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has recognized University of Vermont Medical Center (UVM Medical Center) with a Blue Distinction® Center designation in the area of bariatric surgery.

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Burlington, VT – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has recognized University of Vermont Medical Center (UVM Medical Center) with a Blue Distinction® Center designation in the area of bariatric surgery (bariatric, metabolic and weight loss surgery) as part of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are healthcare facilities shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective patient safety and health outcome measures developed with input from the medical community.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Surgery designation, a healthcare facility must demonstrate success in meeting general patient safety measures like low complications and readmissions, as well as quality measures specific to bariatric procedures like gastric stapling with gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and/or gastric banding. A health care facility must also have earned national accreditations for both their bariatric surgery services and for their overall facilities.

“UVM Medical Center is proud to be recognized by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association as a Blue Distinction Center,” said Wasef Abu-Jaish M.D, FACS, FASMBS, surgical director of the bariatric surgery program at UVM Medical Center. “We believe that success with the rigorous criteria used in granting this distinction illustrates our commitment to patient-centered care. Our surgeons and staff are dedicated to helping Vermonters through the entire journey of controlling their weight; achieving good outcomes involves not only surgery, but support with diet, exercise and other key components of care.”

Since bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S., improving quality of these services makes a big impact on the health care 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. Baratric surgery is one treatment for morbid obesity, a condition from which an estimated 24 million Americans suffer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We congratulate University of Vermont Medical Center for earning the designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery,” said Dr. Josh Plavin, Vice President and Chief Medical Office for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. “This award is based on UVM Medical Center's comprehensive bariatric surgery program’s proven track record of delivering patient outcomes that are better than those produced by many peer facilities across the country.” Plavin added that UVM Medical Center had to meet or exceed national quality standards over a significant number of cases while providing excellent care to earn its Blue Distinction.

"Health costs associated with patients who are candidates for bariatric surgery make up more than 20 percent of total health care expenses in the United States," Plavin said. "UVM Medical Center's commitment to improving care for bariatric surgery patients will reduce these costs and improve the overall quality of life for the patients whom they serve."

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, maternity care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About The University of Vermont Medical Center

The University of Vermont Medical Center  is a 447-bed tertiary care regional referral center providing advanced care to approximately one million residents in Vermont and northern New York.  Together with our partners at the UVM Larner College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, we are Vermont’s academic medical center.  The University of Vermont Medical Center also serves as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. 

 

The University of Vermont Medical Center is a member of The University of Vermont Health Network, an integrated system established to deliver high-quality academic medicine to every community we serve.  For more information visit our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog sites at www.UVMHealth.org/MedCenterSocialMedia.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the State’s only Vermont-based, not-for-profit health plan, providing coverage for about 250,000 Vermonters. It employs about 400 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin, a branch office in South Burlington and its Information and Wellness Center in South Burlington’s Blue Mall. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available at www.bcbsvt.com. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

About 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 nearly 105 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities 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 health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities 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 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 non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.