Anthem® Blue Cross has recognized Torrance Memorial Medical Center
with a Blue Distinction®+ Center designation in the area of
bariatric surgery, and with a Blue Distinction® Center designation in the area of gastric
banding, as part of the Blue Distinction® Centers for 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,
a healthcare facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety
as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complications
and readmissions, for gastric stapling and/or gastric banding procedures.
A healthcare facility must also have earned national accreditations at
both the facility level and the bariatric care-specific level.
“We are very proud of our achievement. The hospital staff, administration
and surgeons have really excelled together to make this happen,” said
Aileen Takahashi, MD, medical director of the Bariatric Surgery at Torrance Memorial Medical
Center. “We see this recertification as a representation of our
commitment to high quality, safe, and personalized care of these complex
Torrance Memorial Medical Center is proud to be recognized by Anthem Blue
Cross for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for bariatric surgery
set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.
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 facilties designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate
better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program has
helped patients find 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 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,