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University of Iowa News Release

 

Sept. 19, 2006

UI Receives Cardiac Care, Bariatric Surgery Distinctions

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa today named University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care and as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric (weight loss) Surgery.

Blue Distinction is a nationwide program that creates an unprecedented level of healthcare transparency for consumers and providers. Driven by quality, collaboration and affordability, Blue Distinction strengthens consumer engagement and provider partnerships through new specialty centers that offer the best practices and standards of care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care and transplant services.

"Providing a complete line of state-of-the-art cardiovascular care is a high priority of UI Heart and Vascular Care," said Mark Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Cardiology in the UI Department of Internal Medicine and associate director of the Cardiovascular Research Center. "We are committed to quality and innovation and are pleased to be recognized for our success by Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield."

"University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has a long history of excellence in bariatric surgery," said Isaac Samuel, M.D., director of the UI Obesity Surgery Program. "In fact, UI Hospitals and Clinics is the birthplace of bariatric surgery as the first gastric bypass for severe obesity was conceived and performed here by Dr. Edward E. Mason in 1967. We currently perform a state-of-the-art laparoscopic approach to gastric bypass with excellent outcomes, showing that this complex procedure can be performed safely at specialized centers.

"We are very pleased to receive this national distinction, and I thank all the individuals involved for contributing to this success."

The process used to select Blue Distinction Centers is based on clinical data supplied by hospitals. Each facility's structure, processes and care outcomes are rigorously evaluated. The criteria for designation include nationally endorsed quality measures, developed in collaboration with medical experts and professional organizations.

The criteria for becoming a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care include:

-- Full-service, accredited inpatient hospital facility;

-- Program must be performing a required volume of percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass graft surgeries and provide a full range of services including inpatient cardiac care and cardiac rehabilitation;

-- Sub-specialty board certification of cardiac team;

-- Ongoing quality management and improvement programs; and

-- Cardiac care processes and outcomes for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass graft surgery including evaluation of complication and mortality rates.

The criteria for becoming a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery include:

-- Full-service, accredited inpatient hospital facility;

-- Program must be performing bariatric surgery for the most recent 18- to 24-month period and must perform a required volume of bariatric surgical cases;

-- Experience and credentialing of the bariatric surgical team;

-- Ongoing quality management and improvement programs;

-- Appropriate equipment and staffing; and

-- Patient care and follow-up care including evaluation of bariatric surgery complication and mortality rates.

For more information about cardiac care at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, call toll free 1-800-777-8442 or locally 319-384-8442, or visit online at www.uihealthcare.com/heartcare.

For more information about the UI Obesity Surgery Program, call 319-356-1887 or 319-356-7694 and ask for Debi Heitshusen, registered nurse, visit online at www.uihealthcare.com/weight or send an e-mail to obesitysurgery@uiowa.edu.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.