March 6, 2015, NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has selected Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJ) as one of just six healthcare facilities in New Jersey for inclusion in the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program. Healthcare facilities earning this status have been designated as Blue Distinction Centers for delivering quality care resulting in better overall outcomes for ‪bariatric‬ patients.‪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 extremely proud to achieve this elite designation,” says Ragui Sadek, MD, Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at RWJ. “We have established a multidisciplinary, comprehensive adult and adolescent bariatric surgery program at RWJ and take great pride in delivering the highest quality care and the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

To encourage the consistent approach to using data for the improvement of hospital care, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) in partnership with participating Blue Plans launched the Blue Distinction Hospital Measurement and Improvement Program. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is proud to be a participating Plan in this program.

The program integrates performance measures focusing on appropriateness of care and patient safety into a national framework for improving hospital-based care delivery. The program includes measures from two public sources – the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); and patient safety indicator measures from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

In addition to this designation, The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at RWJ’s Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program was recently named a Center of Excellence by the Surgical Review Corporation. To be named a Center of Excellence, a program must demonstrate a commitment to excellence in the care of bariatric surgery patients at the highest levels of the facility’s administration and the surgeon’s practice. This commitment includes credentialing and privileging guidelines for bariatric surgery that are separate from general surgery guidelines.

The program must have performed at least 80 qualifying bariatric surgery procedures in the preceding 12 months before applying for the designation and each applicant surgeon has performed at least 125 qualifying bariatric surgery procedures in their lifetime, with at least 50 cases performed in the preceding 12 months and meet surgical outcome standards set by the Surgical Review Corporation.

BMSCH and RWJ help make the bariatric surgery pathway to health safe by encompassing, meeting and exceeding the highest standards and protocols to address the whole adult and adolescent patient and family in a program with safety at its core and health, well-being, nutrition, follow-up, support and physical activity to help patients perceive, believe and achieve their health and weight loss goals.

About Robert Wood Johnson University HospitalRobert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 965-bed academic medical center with campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville, NJ. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, joint replacement, and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital ( As the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care. A Level 1 Trauma Center and the only Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years.

Both the New Brunswick and Somerset campuses have earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence, an “A” patient safety rating from the Leapfrog Group and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine. The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services have designated the New Brunswick Campus as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Somerset Campus as a Primary Stroke Center.

The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers and designated the Steeplechase Cancer Center at RWJ Somerset as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center. The Joint Surgery Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total knee and total hip replacement surgery.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University HospitalThe Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) remains as the focal point of New Brunswick’s growing children’s health campus. As New Jersey’s largest free-standing, state-designated acute care children’s hospital, the state-of-the-art facility is specially designed to care for children. BMSCH has nearly 10,000 inpatient admissions and 22,000 pediatric emergency room visits annually.

From pediatric surgery, urology and cardiology to oncology, hematology and pulmonology, BMSCH’s specialists and intensivists provide advanced care for children of all ages—from fragile newborns to adolescents.

BMSCH consistently ranks among the top-rated children’s hospitals in America for patient satisfaction. In fact, BMSCH’s patient satisfaction scores are in the top 1 percent of all children’s hospitals nationwide.

As an academic hospital, BMSCH is able to draw upon the resources of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, one of the nation’s leading comprehensive medical schools. To learn more about BMSCH, please visit