UMC Recognized for Quality Bariatric Surgery

  • UMC demonstrates success in meeting patient safety and bariatric-specific quality measures.
  • As a result, UMC achieved Blue Distinction by BlueCross and Blue Shield of Texas.

BlueCross and Blue Shield of Texas has recognized UMC with a Blue Distinction® Center designation in the area of bariatric surgery as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community for patient safety and better health outcomes.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery designation, UMC demonstrated success in meeting patient safety as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complications and readmissions, for gastric stapling and/or gastric banding procedures. UMC must also have earned national accreditations at both the facility level and the bariatric care-specific level.

UMC is proud to be recognized by BlueCross and Blue Shield of Texas for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for bariatric surgery.

“We are always striving for improvement in the bariatric surgery process,” said Hilary Diaz, UMC Bariatric Surgery Coordinator, “and this is just another way we have improved. Steps taken to achieve designations, such as this one, help us to continue to improve patient care. It helps keep us accountable, and it ensures patients are receiving the very best care with little to no complications. Everything we do is with patients in mind.”

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.

Research shows that facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, maternity 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 program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit

UMC Health System has developed a strong and enduring culture, adhering to the motto Service is Our Passion, our ‘why.’ This sustains UMC as the employer of choice— consistently ranking among the best places to work in Texas by the Best Companies Group – and the provider of choice – ranking among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for patient experience by HealthGrades.

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