Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Recognizes Six Healthcare Facilities for Quality in Bariatric Surgery

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Six noteworthy healthcare facilities have been designated as Blue Distinction® Centers for delivering quality care resulting in better overall outcomes for bariatric patients.

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Horizon is committed to providing our 3.7 million members with access to high quality health care services, so we are proud to recognize those hospitals in our network that have gone above and beyond to improve care quality and enhance patient safety.

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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) today named six healthcare facilities in New Jersey as part of the Blue Distinction® Centers for Specialty Care program. These noteworthy healthcare facilities have been designated as Blue Distinction® Centers for delivering quality care resulting in better overall outcomes for bariatric patients.

“Horizon is committed to providing our 3.7 million members with access to high quality health care services, so we are proud to recognize those hospitals in our network that have gone above and beyond to improve care quality and enhance patient safety,” said Jim Albano, vice president of Network Management and Horizon Healthcare Innovations at Horizon BCBSNJ.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery designation, a healthcare facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complications and readmissions, for gastric stapling and/or gastric banding procedures. A healthcare facility must also have earned national accreditations at both the facility level and the bariatric care-specific level.

The following healthcare facilities in New Jersey have been named as part of the Blue Distinction® Centers for Specialty Care program:

  •     AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Pomona, NJ
  •     Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ
  •     Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ
  •     JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ
  •     Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ
  •     Virtua-Memorial in Mount Holly, NJ

Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S., which provides a significant opportunity to improve quality within the healthcare 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. Furthermore, it is estimated that 72 million Americans are obese and 24 million suffer from morbid obesity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The estimated annual healthcare costs of obesity-related illnesses are $190.2 billion, or nearly 21 percent of annual medical spending in the U.S., according to the Journal of Health Economics.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver. For more information about the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit http://www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
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About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at http://www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.7 million members.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare 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. National criteria is displayed on http://www.bcbs.com. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. For details on Local Blue Plan Criteria, a provider’s in-network status, or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan. 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. Neither Blue Cross Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

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Thomas Vincz
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
973-466-6625
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