Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Recognizes 25 Hospitals Statewide for High-Quality, Affordable Bariatric Surgery

Meghan O'Brien

| 4 min read

What to know about HMOs
DETROIT, February 14, 2018 – In an effort to help prospective patients find hospitals that provide high-quality, cost-effective care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has designated 25 hospitals throughout the state as Blue Distinction ® Center and Blue Distinction® Center+ for bariatric surgery. These are designations that meet or exceed requirements under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Obesity affects one in three Michiganders. Bariatric surgery is an effective, durable treatment for morbid obesity, and roughly 216,000 bariatric surgeries are performed yearly throughout the United States according to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Blue Distinction Center designation gives patients a well vetted measure of facilities that provide high-quality, cost-effective bariatric treatment. To earn a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery designation, a health care 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. A health care facility must also be nationally accredited at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels. Facilities earning a Blue Distinction Center+ designation have also demonstrated cost-efficiency compared to peers. In all cases, facilities are assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from medical claims. “The Blue Distinction Center designation is an indication of quality performance, safe and effective care for Michigan residents who receive bariatric surgery each year,” says Amy McKenzie, MD, MBA, medical director, Value Partnerships, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “We congratulate all the designated hospitals for their commitment to providing this high level of care.” The following Michigan hospitals have earned designation as Blue Distinction Center+ for bariatric surgery:
  • Beaumont Hospital - Dearborn
  • Beaumont Hospital - Royal Oak
  • Beaumont Hospital - Troy
  • Borgess Medical Center
  • Covenant Medical Center
  • Henry Ford Hospital
  • Marquette General Hospital Up Health Systems
  • McLaren Flint
  • McLaren Macomb Hospital
  • Mercy Health Saint Mary's
  • Midmichigan Medical Center-Gratiot
  • Munson Medical Center
  • Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital
  • St Mary Mercy Hospital Livonia Campus
  • University of Michigan Hospital Main Campus
The following Michigan hospitals have earned designation as a Blue Distinction Center for bariatric surgery:
  • Beaumont Hospital - Grosse Pointe
  • Harper University Hospital & Hutzel Women’s Hospital
  • Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital
  • Hurley Medical Center
  • Lake Huron Medical Center
  • Mercy Health Muskegon
  • Midmichigan Medical Center-Midland
  • North Ottawa Community Hospital
  • Providence Hospital
  • John Hospital & Medical Center
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find high quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants. Research shows that compared to other facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities. For more information about the program, visit Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit or The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for nearly 105 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA. Blue Distinction Centers met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A local Blue plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your local Blue plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its local Blue plan. Facilities in California, Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington may lie in two local Blue plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluations must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your local Blue plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association