Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital Earns Blue Distinction Center+ For Bariatric Surgery

Guthrie is proud to announce that Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital has been named a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery by Highmark.

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. 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+.

Dr. Mustafa Aman, Director of the Bariatric Surgery Program at Guthrie Weight Loss Center said, “We are proud to receive this national distinction which recognizes the high quality care provided by Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital. The Guthrie Weight Loss Center team is privileged to provide excellent care to treat obesity and obesity-related health conditions, thereby helping our patients live healthier lives. This award highlights our commitment to quality care and the successful outcomes of our patients."

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 demonstrating low complications and low 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.

Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital is proud to be recognized by Highmark BS for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center quality selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

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 American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). 

 “The Blue Distinction program gives Highmark Blue Shield 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 healthcare decisions. We congratulate our Blue Distinction Specialty Care Providers on their accomplishment and thank our members for choosing Highmark BS”, said Dr. Charles DeShazer, Vice President and Executive Medical Director, Clinical Services, Medical Policy & Quality.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (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 program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About Guthrie
Guthrie is a non-profit integrated health system located in north central Pennsylvania and upstate New York, serving patients from an 11-county service area. Guthrie is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, and is the first health system based in Pennsylvania and New York to join this network. Guthrie is comprised of a research institute, home care/hospice, hospitals in Sayre, Pa., Corning, N.Y., Towanda, Pa., and Troy, Pa., as well as a multi-specialty group practice of more than 300 physicians and 190 advanced practice providers in a regional office network encompassing 45 sub-specialty and primary care sites in 21 communities throughout Pennsylvania and New York. Guthrie offers a wide range of services and programs designed to enhance the health and well-being of those it serves.

About Highmark Blue Shield
Highmark Inc. doing business as Highmark Blue Shield serves approximately 1.2 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. It employs nearly 2,300 people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. 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.