BlueShield of Northeastern New York has recognized Saratoga Hospital with a Blue Distinction Center+ designation for bariatric surgery as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
The Saratoga Bariatric Surgery and Weight-Loss Program at Saratoga Hospital, located at 1 West Ave. Suite 300, in Saratoga Springs, is the only program in the region to have earned this national distinction.
“The Bariatric Team was elated when we heard the news,” said Dr. Dmitri Baranov, medical director of the Saratoga Bariatric Surgery and Weight-Loss Program. “We have earned the Blue Distinction Center for the last three years, but to earn the ‘plus’ distinction this year is a true testament to the quality, safety and care our dedicated team has been consistently providing for our patients at every stage of their weight-loss journey. This recognition is quite special, and we could not be more proud.”
Since June 2013, the program has performed hundreds of successful bariatric procedures annually. This comprehensive program offers the most modern laparoscopic surgical options available as well as non-surgical weight loss options, including the intragastric balloon.
Hospital officials said the program is also the first in the region to offer body composition analysis for its bariatric patients, which began last year. It is this level of dedication to providing the best resources, expertise and care for patients that are among the many factors that have contributed to the earning of the BDC+ distinction.
Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care 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.
The Saratoga Bariatric Surgery and Weight-Loss Program at Saratoga Hospital’s national accreditation as a comprehensive bariatric facility was granted in 2014 by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program. The MBSAQIP accreditation is set by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
“The Blue Distinction® Center+ designation for Bariatric Surgery assures patients that we meet the highest national standards, have excellent outcomes and are vested in our patients’ success and satisfaction,” said Dr. Richard Falivena, vice president and chief medical and physician integration officer at Saratoga Hospital. “Ultimately, it’s all about compassionate care, patient safety, and quality results, which the program has achieved under Dr. Baranov’s leadership.”
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. Health care facilities were evaluated as either a comprehensive center or as an ambulatory surgery center.
The Saratoga Bariatric Surgery & Weight-Loss Program is a comprehensive center that serves patients from across the Greater Capital Region, including Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Glens Falls and the North Country, as well as Western Massachusetts and Vermont.
Officials said 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 the Saratoga Bariatric Surgery & Weight-Loss Program or its support group, call (518) 693-4699 or visit www.saratogabariatriccenter.com.