The Latest in Plastics Complication Coverage
Since launching just one year ago, the BLIS Complication Protection Program for Plastic Surgeons has grown to become 17 percent of the volume of surgical cases covered by BLIS each month. Surgeons and their patients now more than ever turn to BLIS as they look for solutions to pay unexpected costs associated with surgical complications, should they occur.
Breast augmentation and abdominoplasty top the list of covered cases each month. However, these are only two of 11 procedures BLIS covers. Others include:
- Upper Arm Lift
- Lower Body Lift
- Thigh Lift
- Reduction Mammoplasty
The BLIS Protection model is unique in that the insured is the surgeon, allowing him or her to provide an umbrella of protection for their patients. When complications do happen, the BLIS covered surgeon leads the way on determining the care needed for their patient while BLIS works behind the scenes to take care of the bills associated with that care.
BLIS Plans Expansion of Protection Periods
BLIS protection plans, currently available to qualified plastic surgeons, provide protection from complication related medical bills for periods out to 30 months from the original date of surgery. Soon BLIS will expand this protection period out to 60 months. In the event of a complication, a 365-day treatment period always follows the BLIS protection period.
BLIS’ distinctive protection timeframes are particularly noteworthy for breast augmentation cases as complications related to capsular contracture and/or removal of the implant(s) is included.
The patient of the approved BLIS plastic surgeon, who elects to participate in their plastic surgeons’ BLIS protection plan, essentially acquires an extended warranty on the breast augmentation into a period when the necessity for it may in fact increase. Handel et. al. contend contracture is a progressive phenomenon, and the longer any group of patients is followed, the greater the cumulative risk of developing contracture. This contradicts the widely held belief that if patients remain contracture-free for a year or two they probably will not develop significant contracture. 
Capsular contracture occurs at an average minimum of five percent in patients undergoing breast augmentation. That is more than 14,000 of the 290,224  patients who had breast augmentation surgery in 2013. The goal of BLIS is to cover the financial cost of additional surgical care, hospitalizations, pharmaceuticals, and other therapies for patients such as these.
BLIS approved plastic surgeons have the choice of a 30-day or 6-month initial BLIS protection period for their patients. At the end of the chosen period, their patient may extend the coverage timeframe provided she has maintained eligibility. Patients remain eligible through compliance with the BLIS plastic surgeon’s post-op guidelines and follow-up recommendations, both validated by the surgeon.
These innovative protection packages have recently come to the aid of five patients experiencing breast augmentation complications. Two patients with post-operative infections received required reoperations while three others were treated for capsular contracture. In the case of the latter, two presented at the 90-day post-op period while the other presented at six months post-op.
For theses patients, surgeon-directed diagnosis, care and financial coverage of the related expenses was swiftly delivered under the BLIS protection plan allowing patients and surgeons to focus on the recovery process as financial worries were minimized. Extensions to 60 months will provide similar care to patients further along on the continuum of care.
 Handel, Neal M.D.; Cordray, Tracy M.D.; Gutierrez, Jaime M.D.; Jensen, J Arthur M.D. (2006). A long-term study of outcomes, complications, and patient satisfaction with breast implants. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 117, 757-767.
 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2013 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Retrieved March 4, 2014 from http://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/plastic-surgery-statistics/2013.html
BLIS Surgeons Spotlight
David Stoker, MD
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon David Stoker, MD, has developed a prestigious practice in Los Angeles, an area known for its affinity for plastic surgery. In particular, Dr. Stoker performs a high volume of extreme makeover cases, for which multiple procedures are performed at one time.
In fact, Dr. Stoker has been the exclusive plastic surgeon for all three seasons of the ABC prime time hit Extreme Weight Loss, helping participants to shed excessive skin from arms, waist and thighs among other procedures following successful weight loss.
“In my mind the larger the surgery case, the more beneficial BLIS protection is likely to be for my patients,” says Dr. Stoker. “That having been said, I am happy we have never had a patient need to use benefits from BLIS,” explains Dr. Stoker. “But I know that one day should there be a complication, BLIS will be standing there ready. It provides a convenient, reasonably priced option for patients with insufficient health insurance as they contemplate plastic surgery.”
Dr. Stoker is well aware that not all patients have health insurance and that not all policies provide coverage for plastic surgery. Whereas it is often not realistic for a patient to change insurance or obtain their first policy before their cosmetic surgery, BLIS provides supplemental or primary protection.
On his experience with BLIS, Dr. Stoker adds “BLIS has excellent costumer service in answering questions for patients so it minimizes my time commitment. And, rates seem reasonable given the special nature of the coverage.”
Dr. Stoker offers more than three-dozen plastic surgery procedures at his practices in Marina del Rey and Beverly Hills, CA. He is a frequent course instructor for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In addition, Dr. Stoker has authored textbook chapters and numerous journal articles on cosmetic surgery. To learn more about Dr. Stoker, please visit www.drstoker.com.