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Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery®

Blue Distinction® recognizes facilities that meet objective, evidence-based thresholds for clinical quality, developed in collaboration with physicians and medical organizations. At the core of Blue Distinction are the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care®, providing our members with a credible, easily identifiable means of selecting facilities that meet their individual health care needs.

Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery have demonstrated their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for bariatric surgery patients. They offer a broad range of bariatric surgery care services, including inpatient care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education. To date, we have designated more than 270 facilities nationwide that meet our evidence-based selection criteria.

In determining the selection criteria for Blue Distinction, we collaborated with physician experts and medical organizations such as the American College of Surgeons (ACS), American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC).* Potential Blue Distinction Centers® submit clinical data to establish that they meet the selection criteria, which include:

  • 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 facility accreditation by a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-deemed national accreditation organization
  • A comprehensive quality management program

Detailed selection criteria  are publicly available, providing consumers with support for their health care decisions and facilities with a clinically established path for quality improvement.

To maintain its Blue Distinction Center designation, each facility must reapply periodically for re-designation. This not only encourages continuing quality at the facility level, but it also provides us with an opportunity to work with physicians and medical organizations to determine if any of the Blue Distinction quality thresholds should be raised to reflect current clinical practice. This process fosters ongoing opportunities for improving the overall quality of care.

Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery, along with the Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care®, Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers®, Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip ReplacementSM, Blue Distinction Centers for Spine SurgerySM and Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants® are a key part of our efforts to collaborate with physicians and facilities to improve the overall quality, and resulting affordability, of specialty care.


* These organizations have provided information and input but do not formally endorse the Blue Distinction Centers program.

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 Blue Shield Plan; and call your provider before making an appointment, to verify the most current information on their Network participation status. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any of its Licensees are responsible for any damages, losses, or non-covered charges that may result from using this website or receiving care from a provider listed in this website.