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Increasing Access to Surgery

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BLIS Bulletin March 2014

The Latest in Plastics Complication Coverage

Plastics Program Grows to 17% of BLIS Business
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:

  • Rhinoplasty
  • Blepharoplasty
  • Rhytidectomy
  • Mastopexy
  • Upper Arm Lift
  • Lower Body Lift
  • Thigh Lift
  • Reduction Mammoplasty
  • Liposuction

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.

The BLIS business model was originally created with bariatric surgeons in mind but expanded after successfully working with surgeons and hospitals that kept requesting it for Plastics. It continues to grow each month thanks to participating surgeons sharing with their colleagues the benefits of being a BLIS surgeon.

For top quality plastic surgeons, complications do not happen often. But even the best surgeons face unexpected complications at times. When they do happen, our surgeons testify that having the ability to say, “don’t worry” is priceless.
BLIS is currently enrolling qualified new surgeons for this innovative protection plan. To learn more, please contact Kim Brown at (503) 467-5979 or via email at

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. [1]

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 [2] 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.

[1] 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.
[2] American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2013 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Retrieved March 4, 2014 from

BLIS Surgeons Spotlight

David Stoker, MD
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

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BLIS Bulletin February 2014

Read the full bulletin

BLIS Bariatric Surgeons Have Outstanding Year in 2013

BLIS surgeons performed 2,090 BLISCare covered surgeries in 2013. On these covered cases, just 88 developed a post-surgical complication during the BLISCare protection period giving BLIS bariatric surgeons a 4.2 percent complication rate. More…

Going with Growth in 2014

A solid foundation and upward growth in complication coverage will result in a branching out for BLIS in 2014. New initiatives planned to launch include enhancements to the bariatric portfolio, expanded patient financing, a BLIS Registry, and expanded orthopedic complication coverage. More…

BLIS Surgeons Spotlight

Andrew Hargroder, MD
Andrew Hargroder, MD

Andrew Hargroder, MD, has successfully performed more than 2,000 surgical weight loss procedures. He is known for his experience and excellence in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he practices. Still,

Dr. Hargroder has carried BLISCare complication coverage for more than five years. More…

Drake Bellanger, MD
Drake Bellanger, MD

Drake Bellanger, MD, was the first in the Baton Rouge area to perform the laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure. Today, he offers a number of surgical weight loss solutions to patients but is particularly focused on Sleeve Gastrectomy, of which he performs more than 100 BLISCare covered cases each year. More…

Partner Spotlight

BARInet, a BLIS partner since 2012, creates innovative obesity disease management solutions for self-funded healthcare plans. It is the only bariatric surgery network in America able to include risk assurance and value added pricing while incorporating a truly bundled price.

The relationship between BARInet and BLIS is exclusive. Only BLIS approved surgeons qualify for BARInet. In this way, BARInet is able to offer a unique, exclusive network of bariatric surgeons and healthcare facilities that are clinically integrated to provide bariatric care at the highest level.

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November 2013


BLIS brings to the market a unique surgeon centric approach to complication protection, allowing surgeons to provide the level of care that they want and expect for their patients. BLIS insures surgeons, meaning that each covered surgeon can customize their BLIS Protection to meet the needs of their practice and their patients.

BLIS protection is available for 11 covered procedures with protection time frames from 30 days to 30 months. For Primary Breast Augmentation cases, BLIS includes complications related to Capsular Contracture and Removal, bringing peace of mind to both surgeons and patients alike.
BLIS is currently enrolling new surgeons – contact us today to learn more about how the BLIS Program works and how it can benefit your practice. The surgeons already enrolled with the BLIS Program enjoy knowing that in the event of a complication that BLIS is ready to step in and support them and take care of the bills associated with their patient’s care. See for yourself what surgeons are saying below and then contact us today!



“One never wants to think about things happening that will have short term negative effects. It is part of human nature. Yet, we as surgeons need to discuss such matters as part and parcel of an informed consent.But regret is always a bad feeling too. I find that offering patients the BLIS program gives them a great deal of security for the potential things that can happen and they appreciate that we are involved in offering such a program to them. It is part of being a complete surgical experience. I wholeheartedly endorse and am pleased to offer the BLIS program to all of my patients.”

Jose Garcia, M.D.
Las Vegas, Nevada

“I love BLIS. It allows us to add another level of quality by protecting our patients from the financial risk of complications. BLIS designed a coverage program suited to fit our needs and they work directly with our patients to promote the program benefits.”
David Stoker, M.D.
Beverly Hills & Marina Del Rey, California

“I have been using BLIS for some time now and I find it to be a great adjunct to my patients’ peace of mind heading in to surgery. The plans are flexible and the customer service is top notch. While I have yet to utilize the program to help cover any complications, I am confident that when that day comes I will be covered!”
Aaron Gorin, M.D.
Tualatin, Oregon

“By participating with the BLIS Complication Protection Program, I am able to bring my patients’ another level of commitment for quality outcomes. Even though the risk of complications is minimal, knowing that BLIS is available in the event of a complication provides both my patients and myself with extra peace of mind.”
Michael Brucker, M.D.
La Jolla, California


To learn more about the BLIS Complication Protection Program, contact Kim Brown, Director of Client Services, by calling (503) 467-5979 or via email at

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Dr. Kiener first northern Nevada plastic surgeon to offer complication protection for patients

Dr. Kiener is featured in an article published in Reno, NV by NBC local station KRNV.  Click the link to the article below to see the impact that BLIS is making in the plastic surgery marketplace.

Dr. Kiener first northern Nevada plastic surgeon to offer complication protection for patients.

KRNV Reno Picture

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Signs that the Cash-Pay Market is Coming Back

By Nicholas Berardi

Patient Coordinator

BLIS, Inc. 

June 11, 2013

The BLIS Springstone Patient Financing program is gaining momentum as it provides patients with an affordable lender offered through qualified BLIS Surgeons.  Since launching on April 1, 2013 over $200,000 in credit has been approved.  To date, 48 providers in 13 states have come onboard to offer what we believe is the best overall patient financing program in the market.  The BLIS Springstone program pairs nicely with a market trend that BLIS sees developing; the return of the bariatric cash-pay patient!                                                                                                                                                     

BLIS has experienced substantial increases in case volume each month of the second quarter.  The coinciding launch of the BLIS Springstone Patient Financing program has revealed the rebirth of the bariatric surgery cash-pay market where it was historically solid and also in markets where cash-pay activity had been nominal.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do so by visiting the BLIS Springstone Patient Financing website at:

The BLIS Springstone Patient Financing program provides customer service that you are unlikely to find elsewhere.  Expertise gained by working with providers on multiple fronts allows BLIS to understand the needs of the practice and their patients.  The program offers step by step education so that the practice can introduce this quality product with confidence.  Teams at BLIS and Springstone help your practice and patients through the process at every step of the way.  BLIS works with each practice to customize disbursement of funds to the right place at the right time so that more surgeries can get done with ease.    

BLIS expects to see substantial growth as the company continues to work with qualified practices and facilities to provide our product to the best bariatric surgeons across the US.  As the cash-pay patient market gains momentum, we hope that you will consider joining us in our mission to enhance the bariatric surgery market for all.

Please contact Nick regarding BLIS Springstone Patient Financing at (503) 342-2444

or email to

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Press Release

CONTACT: Ginger Lay

                                                                                                    PHONE: 228-355-0120

BLIS Reaches Agreement with BARInet

BariNetLogo1Unique National Provider Contracting Organization Reaches Exclusive Bariatric Surgery Networking Agreement Supporting Valuable Insurance Product Covering Exclusive Number of Highest Quality Bariatric Surgeons.

Ocean Springs, MS and Portland, OR (May 22, 2013) – BLIS™, a leader in specialized financial services for surgery, today announced reaching agreement with BARInet, a national bariatric surgery Preferred Provider Organization, to organize BLIS insured bariatric surgeons into a first of its kind, national bariatric surgical specialty PPO network.

BLISCare is the first and only insurance product which provides insurance coverage to surgeons covering the cost of complication-related medical care.  The BLIS surgeon is able to make a commitment to payers that, should the patient suffer a surgical complication, the payer will have access to additional medical care needed to treat the complication at no additional cost.  BLISCare can offer payers protection from this risk for up to 30 months following surgery.

BARInet is an innovative and exclusive network of bariatric surgeons and healthcare facilities that is clinically integrated to provide bariatric care at the highest level. BARInet is the only bariatric surgery network in America that includes risk assurance and value added pricing for a true bundled price. BARInet approves participating bariatric surgeons based on a proprietary underwriting model focused on quality. All surgeons are insured for complication protection. Only BARInet bariatric surgeons have this exclusive type of insurance.

BLIS was founded in 2005 with a mission of helping to increase access to surgery for the growing number of Americans struggling from the effects of morbid obesity.   Since its first bariatric surgical case in December of 2006, BLIS has provided complication protection on over 8,000 cases and has paid on behalf of 300 BLIS surgeons over $17,000,000 in medical bills that would otherwise have been the responsibility of the individual patient and their payer organization.

“This agreement will allow BLIS to continue its focus on providing risk protection, while helping create more access to surgery via the innovative networking solutions created by BARInet” said Regi Schindler, President and CEO of BLIS, Inc.  “Our mission is to improve access to surgery.  The knowledge and expertise of BARInet will allow employers of all sizes to reap the benefits of aligning their employees with the high quality BLIS surgeon, in the convenience of a traditional PPO solution.”

“Our relationship with BLIS is a perfect example of the type of innovative solutions the US surgical market is evolving to.  Payers have made it clear they want outcome based solutions and with BLIS, BARInet becomes the first national organization to deliver a true bundled price for surgery.   BARInet is the first national network engineered to meet the specific needs of target business classes,” said Don Davenport, President of BARInet, the specialty bariatric PPO unit of America’s Workforce Medical Assurance Company. ”   BARInet’s expertise in building specialty bariatric network solutions will broaden the ability of BLIS to offer financial protection to health care providers, employers, and patients.” 

About BLIS™
BLIS is a privately held company headquartered in Portland, Oregon.  BLIS provides insurance, patient financing and professional services through a network of related business entities and industry partners.  For more information visit:

About BARInet
BARInet was founded in 2012 and is a privately held company with offices in Jackson, Mississippi and throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast. BARInet’s credentialing of surgeons and facilities is the only type of its kind in healthcare. For more information visit: or contact Ginger Lay, Vice President of Corporate Communications for BARInet: 228-355-0120/

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BLIS Congratulates President Obama on re-election and supports renewed focus on reform

I would like to congratulate President Obama on his reelection and commend Mitt Romney for the effort he put forth in this election.  While the process can be difficult for all of us at times it is nonetheless historically significant at how we Americans routinely will seamlessly transfer power and control of our government.  Business and government leaders have already put the election process behind them and are focusing on the issues at hand.

No single segment of America represents this better than the healthcare industry.  Read the attached news article for examples of how healthcare leaders are moving on.  “It didn’t really matter to us who won. We’re marching toward healthcare reform and the things needed to really transform healthcare in the United States,” said Mr. James Merlino, Chief Experience Officer at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, in an exclusive interview with FierceHealthcare.

  Merlino noted that when you really boil down the candidates’ healthcare platforms, Republicans and Democrats were aiming for the same thing.  “When you look at the platforms and the issues for both sides, they’re very similar in what needs to be done in the system.  I don’t think anyone would disagree that we have an expensive system; we need to take costs out.  We have a lot of uninsured patients; we need to make sure we’re delivering care to them. The basic issues are the same.”

Well said Mr. Merlino.  I couldn’t agree more.