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NANTICOKE WEIGHT LOSS RECOGNIZED FOR QUALITY IN BARIATRIC SURGERY

March 19, 2018

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Delaware has recognized Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery 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.

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 rate 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.

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.

Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery is proud to be recognized by Highmark BCBS Delaware for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center quality selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S., which provides significant opportunity to improve quality within the health care system. There were 196,000 bariatric surgeries performed in 2015, according to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), 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 nearly 36.5 percent of U.S. adults and 17 percent of youth are obese and impacted by obesity-related health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related conditions are nearly $210 billion per year in the U.S., according to the Journal of Health Economics. On average, health care costs were reduced by 29 percent within five years following bariatric surgery, due to the reduction or elimination of obesity-related conditions, according to ASMBS.

“The Blue Distinction program gives Highmark BCBS Delaware members the ability to choose their Providers based upon reliable quality and safety information. It also provides a pathway for exceptional Providers to demonstrate their value, and delivers the kind of transparency necessary for members to make informed value-driven health care decisions. We congratulate our Blue Distinction Specialty Care Providers on their accomplishment and thank our members for choosing Highmark BCBS Delaware,” said Dr. Charles DeShazer, Vice President and Executive Medical Director, Clinical Services, Medical Policy & Quality.

BCBS companies across the nation have recognized more than 550 health care facilities as Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery. Health care facilities recognized with this designation are assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.

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 health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other health care facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.

For more information about the Blue Distinction program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction. To learn more about services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit www.nanticokeweightloss.org.


Nanticoke Health Services includes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, the Nanticoke Physician Network and the Nanticoke Health Foundation. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital was the first hospital on Delmarva to receive a 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is the only hospital in Delaware and Maryland to be nationally recognized by Healthgrades with both the Outstanding Patient Experience Award™ and the Patient Safety Excellence Award™. Nanticoke holds a Level III Trauma Center certification, is nationally certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, and is a Gold Plus Award performer according to the American Heart/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® program. Nanticoke’s Cancer Care Services holds Accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and is a member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. Nanticoke’s medical staff includes over 160 health care providers practicing in 40 different specialties including the 55 providers employed within the Nanticoke Physician Network.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware serves approximately 440,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Headquartered in Wilmington, it employs more than 600 people. Highmark Delaware is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross and 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 Index. 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 for patient safety and outcomes, 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 health care. 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 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.