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Crouse Health Recognized for Higher Quality in Bariatric Surgery


Excellus.BDBariatricPlusLogoLogo2018-newsExcellus BlueCross BlueShield has recognized Crouse Health with its Blue Distinction® Center+ for Bariatric Surgery designation as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.

Crouse’s bariatric (weight loss) surgery program is the only one in Syracuse to earn the Blue Distinction Center+ designation. To receive the Blue Distinction Center+ 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. A healthcare facility must also be nationally accredited with MBSAQIP (Metabolic and Bariatric Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program) at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels, as well as demonstrate cost-efficiency compared to its peers.

Quality is key: only those health care facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally-established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

In 2017, the Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery program expanded to include not only the type of service provided, but also the site of care. Healthcare facilities were evaluated as either a comprehensive center or as an ambulatory surgery center.

Crouse is proud to be recognized by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center+ quality and cost selection criteria for bariatric surgery as set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“We're pleased to be recognized by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program,” states Crouse /Chief Operating Officer/Chief Medical Officer Seth Kronenberg, MD. “We are especially proud of our patient-centered team approach, led by surgeons Jeff DeSimone, MD, and Ken Cooper, DO, which not only includes pre-operative support and education, but long-lasting support after the procedure to ensure successful outcomes over time. That's what makes the Crouse weight loss surgery program unique,” adds Dr. Kronenberg.

Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S., which provides significant opportunity to improve quality within the health care system. There were 196,000 bariatric surgeries performed in 2015, according to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), 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 nearly 36.5 percent of U.S. adults and 17 percent of youth are obese and impacted by obesity-related health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related conditions are nearly $210 billion per year in the U.S., according to the Journal of Health Economics. On average, health care costs were reduced by 29 percent within five years following bariatric surgery, due to the reduction or elimination of obesity-related conditions, according to ASMBS.

For more information about Crouse’s weight loss surgery program visit:

For more information about the program and a complete listing of the designated facilities visit

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to about 1.5 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools. To learn more, visit

About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) 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 providers located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA 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 evaluation(s) 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 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.

Cheryl Abrams
Crouse Hospital
Communications Department
Phone: 315/470-7123
Fax: 315/470-7232