Two Providence Medical Centers Awarded Blue Distinction Center + Designations for Joint Replacements

April 02, 2013

Designation Identifies High Performing Hospitals

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care. The designation expanded recently to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety, as well as new cost-efficiency measures.

Since 2006, consumers, medical providers and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals that deliver quality care in numerous specialties including these joint replacement procedures. The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community, and include general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics.

“More and more very active Baby Boomers are finding relief in total knee or hip replacements and returning to active lifestyles,” said Patrice Hallak, administrative director of orthopedics, neurology and rehabilitation at the two San Fernando Valley hospitals. “The Blue Distinction Center+ distinction reflects our dedication to top quality care in providing these life-changing procedures and in doing everything possible to achieve excellent results.”

Hallak credited physicians, nurses, technicians and therapists for teaming to provide comprehensive programs in knee and hip replacement, resulting in better overall outcomes for patients.

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than other hospitals. Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed healthcare decisions. These results also enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality objectives.

"Blue Distinction Centers set themselves apart by adhering to best practices in patient safety and surgical care and producing consistently strong outcomes with fewer complications,” said Marcus Thygeson, M.D., senior vice president and chief health officer for health care services at Blue Shield. “Blue Shield of California is pleased to recognize the high-quality care these hospitals and these physicians deliver." To learn more about the Blue Distinction designation, visit http://www.bcbs.com/why-bcbs/blue-distinction/.

About Blue Distinction® Centers

Blue Distinction® Centers met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction® Centers+ also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on www.bcbs.com. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. To find out which services and providers (including hospital based physicians) are covered under your policy, or to learn about Local Blue Plan Criteria, contact your Local Blue Plan; and contact your provider before making an appointment to verify its current Network and Blue Distinction Centers status. Each hospital’s Cost Index is calculated separately, based on data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in portions of CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in areas served by two Local Blue Plans, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether all hospitals in these areas must meet Blue Distinction Centers+ national criteria for one or both Cost Index figures. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages, losses, or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers. To find out more, contact your Local Blue Plan.