MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia has recognized WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital with a Blue Distinction® Center for Bariatric Surgery designation as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.

Highmark West Virginia Designated Blue Distinction Center Bariatric SurgeryTo receive a Blue Distinction Center 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. The facility must be nationally accredited at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels. Facilities recognized with this designation are assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.

In 2017, the Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery program expanded to include not only the type of service provided but also the site of care. Healthcare facilities were evaluated as either a comprehensive center or as an ambulatory surgery center. 
 
WVU Medicine Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery was recognized by Highmark BCBS West Virginia for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center quality selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“WVU Medicine is committed to delivering the highest level of care to patients with excess weight and weight related illnesses,” Lawrence Tabone, M.D., director of WVU Medicine Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery, said. “Our multidisciplinary approach for weight management focusses on helping patients improve health and wellness along with weight related disease prevention and treatment.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the nation have recognized more than 550 healthcare facilities as Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery. 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, maternity care, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, 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 the designated facilities, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction