Lutheran Bariatric Center Designated Blue Distinction® Center+ for quality, cost-effective weight loss surgery

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Jan. 16, 2018) – In an effort to help prospective patients find hospitals that deliver quality weight loss surgery, the Lutheran Bariatric Center has been designated by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana as one of only six hospitals in the state, and the only in the region, to receive the Blue Distinction® Center+ designation for bariatric surgery offered by a comprehensive center.

Blue Distinction Centers® are part of a national designation program that recognizes facilities demonstrating expertise in delivering quality specialty care, safely and effectively. Building on this foundation of recognizing quality specialty care, Anthem expanded the program to add another designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+. To earn this designation, facilities must meet the same updated quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers, and then go an extra step to demonstrate they do so efficiently. The basics of each designation are as follows:

• Blue Distinction Centers: Meets quality-focused criteria that emphasize patient safety and outcomes.
• Blue Distinction Centers+: Meets the same quality-focused criteria that emphasize patient safety and outcomes, as well as cost of care measures.

Guiding principles for the selection process were developed balancing a set of quality, cost and access considerations. These principles offer consumers meaningful differentiation in value for specialty care facilities that are designated as Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+. The guiding principles include:


• Nationally consistent approach to evaluating quality and safety was used, incorporating quality measures with meaningful impact, including delivery system features and specific quality outcomes to which all can aspire.


• Nationally consistent, equitable and objective approach for selecting Blue Distinction Centers was used to address market and consumer demand for cost savings and affordable healthcare.


• Consumer access to Blue Distinction Centers was considered.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery program is available to comprehensive centers with inpatient capability or freestanding ambulatory surgical centers. The Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery program designation includes two types:

• Gastric Stapling

• Gastric Banding

In December, Lutheran’s weight loss surgery program announced its reaccreditation as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program®, a joint program of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The Lutheran Bariatric Center was first recognized as an accredited center of excellence in 2008.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction 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. Research shows that, compared to other facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.

Click here to search for a complete list of Indiana hospitals identified as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery: Comprehensive Center. For more information about the program, visit



The Lutheran Bariatric Center offers monthly information sessions. Visit to learn more about each surgical weight loss option.

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Individual outcomes may vary. 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+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities 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 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.

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If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.
ER wait times are door to clinical professional and can change quickly depending on the urgency of patients that arrive by ambulance. Lutheran Health Network provides care to patients with life-threatening illnesses first.

Because our ER and Urgent Care staffs must treat patients based on the severity of illness or injury, your time is not guaranteed. We will see you as close to your designated time as possible. If your symptoms worsen or you believe you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department as soon as possible.

Patient results may vary. Consult your physician about the benefits and risks of any surgical procedure or treatment.