Sparrow earns Bariatrics quality care distinction

Published: Sept. 18, 2015

Sparrow Hospital has been recognized as one of the first health care facilities in the nation to receive both a Blue Distinction® Center and a Blue Distinction® Center+ designation in the area of bariatric surgery by the Blue Distinction® Centers for Specialty Care program of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Blue Distinction® Centers are nationally designated health care facilities shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community for Patient safety and better health outcomes.

“I’m very proud that we’ve earned this notable distinction - recognizing the quality care and value provided by Sparrow’s comprehensive program, including our unique multidisciplinary support of diabetes/endocrinology, exercise physiology, physical therapy, behavioral services, and registered dietitians all in one convenient location.” said Mindy Lane, D.O., F.A.C.O.S., Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Sparrow.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery designation, a health care facility must demonstrate success in meeting Patient safety (such as preventing hospital-acquired infections) as well as bariatric-specific quality measures related to complications and readmissions for gastric stapling and/or gastric banding procedures. A health care facility must also have earned national accreditations at both the facility level and the bariatric care-specific level, as well as demonstrate better cost efficiency relative to their peers. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent or more cost efficient than non-BDC+ designated healthcare facilities.

In Michigan, hospitals earning the Bariatric Surgery designation also participate in the Michigan Bariatric Surgery Consortium, a collaborative quality initiative that has improved the safety and quality of bariatric procedures throughout the state. In addition, the initiative has saved more than $26 million statewide in prevented complications and improved clinical outcomes.

Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S., which provides a significant opportunity to improve quality and efficiency within the health care 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.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are excited to be participating in this BDC and BDC+ program. Hospitals designated as BDC meet standards recognized by national professional societies. BDC+ hospitals provide additional value for our members. We congratulate Sparrow Hospital on receiving this designation,” said Marc Keshishian, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, Blue Care Network.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit

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