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ECMC Recognized with Blue Distinction® Centers+ Designation for Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Bariatric Surgery

BUFFALO, NEW YORK — Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation is proud to be recognized by BlueCross BlueShield 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.

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 ECMC/Synergy Bariatrics team is appreciative of this recognition by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center quality selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

ECMCC President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D., said, “ECMC is pleased to be designated as a Blue Distinction® Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. ECMC has become a leader in Bariatric Surgery, and we appreciate this recognition of the excellent care provided to our patients by our physicians, nurses and entire bariatric care team.”

The annual healthcare spend on obesity and obesity-related conditions 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.

Quality is key: only those health care facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally-established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

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 Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) CorporationThe ECMC Corporation was established as a New York State Public Benefit Corporation and since 2004 has included an advanced academic medical center with 573 inpatient beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and Terrace View, a 390-bed long-term care facility. ECMC is Western New York’s only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, as well as a regional center for burn care, behavioral health services, transplantation, medical oncology and head & neck cancer care, rehabilitation and a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and patient experiences—the difference between healthcare and true care.

About BlueCross BlueShield of WNY BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Since 1936, BlueCross BlueShield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. BlueCross BlueShield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as life and disability coverage, dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, BlueCross BlueShield contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of our community.

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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