Bassett Medical Center’s surgical weight-loss program was recently designated a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities 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.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery designation, a health care facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety measures as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complication and readmission rates for laparoscopic procedures in sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and adjustable gastric band. A health care facility must also be nationally accredited at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels, as well as demonstrated cost-efficiency compared to its peers.

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+.

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. Health care facilities were evaluated as either a comprehensive center or as an ambulatory surgery center.

Bassett’s weight-loss surgery program provides a full range of bariatric surgery care; including surgical care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education. Bassett’s emphasis on pre-operative education and support throughout the patient journey is particularly appreciated by patients; follow-up evaluations and surveys show they feel well informed and ready by the time surgery is scheduled.

More than 2,200 patients have chosen Bassett’s weight-loss surgery program since it began in 2002 and many have traveled an hour or more to have their surgery performed by the bariatric team at Bassett Medical Center.

Stephanie Oceguera, MD (photo above), a specialist in weight-loss surgery, and medical director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Bassett notes, “Bassett’s program is rigorous and requires patients to attend an orientation class and demonstrate an understanding of the process leading up to surgery, the procedure they’ve chosen and a real commitment to the lifestyle changes ahead of them. We want patients to be successful long-term and with their active engagement and our program’s support they do enjoy a much better quality of life.”

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