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Published on July 22, 2010

Wesley Long Community Hospital designated Blue Distinction

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has designated Wesley Long Community Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery. More than 230 facilities nationwide have received this designation.

Obesity is widely recognized as a contributor to serious health risks. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the total number of bariatric surgeries increased 400 percent from 1998 to 2004. Bariatric surgery may help some people reduce extreme obesity and its associated health risks. The Blue Distinction designation is designed to provide objective information to help people make informed decisions when choosing a provider.

“Today, people seeking medical care are interested in quality service. Designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery reassures patients that they will receive high quality care,” says Jeannie Wilson, RN, Bariatric Surgery Program Specialist, Wesley Long Community Hospital. “It’s great to have outside validation that our patients get the high quality services they need before, during and after their surgery right here in their own community.”

The Bariatric Surgery Program at Wesley Long Community Hospital provides a full range of services, including inpatient care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up and patient education.

“Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information,” says Allan Korn, MD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Chief Medical Officer. “Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care.”

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery, the Bariatric Surgery Program at Wesley Long Hospital met the selection criteria posted at, which includes:

• An established bariatric surgery program, actively performing these procedures for the most recent 12-month period and performing a required minimum volume of 125 such surgeries annually.
• Appropriate experience of its bariatric surgery team.
• An acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care and emergency services.
• Full accreditation by The Joint Commission, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) or national equivalent.
• A comprehensive quality management program.

Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that demonstrate expertise in delivering quality healthcare. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physicians’ and medical organizations recommendations.

More than 800 Blue Distinction Center designations have been awarded to facilities nationwide, providing consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, and transplants.

Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities' overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.

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