Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey recognizes HackensackUMC for quality in bariatric surgery

February 5, 2015 11:42 AM

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. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of the facilities designated as Blue Distinction® Centers for delivering quality care resulting in better overall outcomes for bariatric patients.

”The Bariatric Surgery Program at HackensackUMC is one of the region’s leading providers,” said Martin S. Karpeh, M.D., chairman and surgeon-in-chief, Department of Surgery, HackensackUMC. “Our board-certified surgeons provide state-of-the-art treatment options including gastric bypass, vertical sleeve gastrectomy and lap-band surgery. The Blue Distinction Centers designation affirms the high-level of care that our bariatric patients receive when they choose HackensackUMC.”

“In addition to offering state-of-the-art weight loss surgery options, we treat each patient with an extraordinary degree of focused, personalized care,” said Hans J. Schmidt, M.D., FACS, division chief, Bariatric Surgery, HackensackUMC.  “Our team, which includes dieticians, counselors, surgeons and nurses who support patients before, during and after their procedures, emphasizes postoperative nutrition and lifestyle, which really distinguishes us within the field of weight-loss surgery.”

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.

“Horizon is committed to providing our 3.7 million members with access to high quality healthcare 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.

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 www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About Hackensack University Medical Center

HackensackUMC, a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state, comprised ofmore than 11,300 employees, 3,100 credentialed medical staff members and 1,697 hospital and nursing home beds. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital rankings for 2014-15. It is one of the top 30 hospitals in the nation by receiving 11 national specialty rankings, including a national ranking for the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Neurology and Neurosurgery in the 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals. The children’s hospital is housed with the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital in the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center, and was included on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is among Healthgrades® America’s Best 100 Hospitals in five different areas, is one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals™ for eight years in a row, and received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center has also been named a Leapfrog Top Hospital, and received 23 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and was Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament and the NY/NJ Super Bowl XLV111 Host Committee. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.   

 

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 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 Twitterand 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 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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