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Citizens receives distinction for bariatric center

By ADVOCATE STAFF REPORT
Oct. 21, 2010 at 5:21 a.m.

Citizens Medical Center's Bariatric Center has been designated as a blue distinction center by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, making it the only distinguished center on the Gulf Coast.

The hospital's center is one of 24 to receive the distinction, which was received for meeting several criterion, like establishing a bariatric surgery program and performing at least 125 surgeries a year, according to Blue Cross' website.

"Over this past decade, we have learned patients will travel great distances for the speciality bariatric team at Citizens," said Dr. B. Dean McDaniel, the director of the center.

Other criteria include appropriate experience of its bariatric surgery team, having an acute car inpatient facility, being fully accredited by a national accreditation organization and having a comprehensive quality management program.

Personnel have been hard at work to meet all these criteria, he said.

Most people who qualify for bariatric surgery are either severely obese, have health risks because of their weight, or both.

The distinction validates the decade of hard work personnel have time to improve the care of obese patients, he added.

DeTar Hospital Navarro just completed a year with the DeTar Surgical Weight Loss Program, but has not received accolades for care because it's so new, said Judith Barefield, DeTar spokesperson.

Some insurance companies are even likely to encourage patients to receive the surgery by offering in-network benefits, McDaniel said.

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