Choosing to undergo a surgical procedure is never an easy choice. For those who do not have insurance coverage, it’s a more difficult decision, especially considering the state of the economy today.

Centennial Center for the Treatment of Obesity has been helping self- pay patients interested in undergoing weight loss surgery for a number of years. For over a year, through a partnership with Portland, Ore.-based BLIS Inc., Centennial’s bariatric surgery program has been the only hospital in the state offering an insurance product called BlisCare that protects self-pay patients from the cost of medical treatment should complications arise after surgery. 

“The peace of mind that we offer to our patients through this program is phenomenal. We certainly hope that none of our patients ever need to utilize it but feel strongly that it is a great patient benefit,” said Pam Davis, program director for Centennial Center for the Treatment of Obesity. “As with any surgical procedure, weight loss surgery patients can experience complications after surgery and this program provides financial coverage and security for these patients.”

BLISCare is only offered to programs across the country that can prove they have strong clinical outcomes and minimal complications.

“It essentially is another way for patients to know their surgeon has been verified to have excellent outcomes and encourages surgeons and hospitals to provide the highest-quality care,” Davis said.

“Much like car insurance carriers, we monitor our physician partners to make sure they meet our high quality standards,” said BLIS President & CEO Regi Schindler. “By being involved with this program, Centennial is showing just how committed it is to the long term success and safety of their patients.”

BLISCare is built-in coverage for all of Centennial’s self-pay bariatric patients. In 2008, nearly one out of five patients who underwent weight loss surgery at Centennial were self-pay patients.

“With insurance coverage continually changing, more and more people are undergoing surgical intervention as a self-pay patient. Many are nervous about the potential out of pocket costs that they might incur should a complication arise. With the state of the economy today, most people are unable to justify this financial risk for themselves and their families,” said Douglas Olsen, bariatric surgeon and Medical Director for Centennial Center for the Treatment of Obesity. “Although complications are rare, they can happen. BLISCare helps patients to feel more comfortable with their decision.”

Centennial Center for the Treatment of Obesity and its bariatric surgeons have been designated a Center of Excellence in weight loss surgery. Drs. Douglas Olsen, David Dyer, and Hugh Houston have performed over 3,000 laparoscopic bariatric procedures with complication rates well below the national average. Surgeries offered include laparoscopic gastric bypass, Lap-Band, Realize band, laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic duodenal switch, and revisional surgery. For additional information on Centennial Center for the Treatment of Obesity, visit

Centennial Medical Center, part of HCA’s TriStar Health System®, is a 665-bed tertiary facility that is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). For more information about Centennial Medical Center, call TriStar MedLineSM at 615-342-1919 or 800-242-5662.