Wellington Regional Medical Center’s Bariatric Surgery Program Honored

Wellington Regional Medical Center’s Weight Management Center was recently recognized by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association with a Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery designation. The recognition is part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities that show a commitment to delivering high-quality patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations. The hospital’s bariatric program is already accredited by the American College of Surgeon’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery program provides a full range of bariatric surgery care, including surgical care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education.

“Since the Wellington Regional Weight Management Center began treating patients in 2018, it has continued to offer several options for people who struggle with weight loss,” WRMC CEO Pam Tahan said. “The Blue Distinction is an indication of the hospital’s commitment to providing the highest quality surgical options and outcomes for patients who choose to have bariatric surgery.”

Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S., with more than 252,000 bariatric surgeries performed in 2018. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that nearly 42.7 percent of U.S. adults and 18.5 percent of youth are obese and are impacted by obesity-related health conditions. With obesity reaching epidemic levels among U.S. adults, the annual healthcare costs of obesity and obesity-related conditions is expected to rise $48 to $66 billion by 2030, if the rate of obesity in the U.S. continues to climb.

Bariatric surgery can be an effective treatment option for severely obese patients because it allows for substantial, sustained weight loss and possible resolution of obesity-related co-morbidities, such as Type 2 diabetes.

On average, healthcare costs were reduced by 29 percent within five years following bariatric surgery, due to the reduction or elimination of obesity-related conditions.

To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery designation, a healthcare 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. All designated facilities must also be nationally accredited at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels.

Wellington Regional Medical Center is a 235-bed acute care hospital accredited by the Joint Commission. Celebrating more than 30 years of treating residents in Wellington and the surrounding community, the hospital offers a wide range of services, including comprehensive stroke care, comprehensive lung program, minimally invasive services, cardiac services, a birthing center and Level III NICU, a comprehensive women’s center, hepatobiliary surgical procedures, intraoperative radiation therapy, interventional procedures, and a wellness and weight loss center. To learn more, visit www.wellingtonregional.com.