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Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Expands Blue Distinction(R) Designation to Include Spine Surgery, Knee and Hip Replacement
Date:1/27/2010

portant aspects of quality and safety of patient care.  These designations will help patients and referring physicians identify hospitals that offer comprehensive, integrated orthopaedic care."

The addition of the two new Blue Distinction designations will bring the nation's number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600, across 46 states and the District of Columbia, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.  By March 2010, more than 300 Spine Surgery and more than 500 Knee and Hip Replacement facilities are anticipated to be designated as Blue Distinction Centers.

"As the volume of patients receiving spine surgery grows in the United States, it becomes increasingly important to help these patients and their physicians identify facilities that have experience in comprehensive non-surgical spine care, surgical expertise, and post operative rehabilitation," said Daniel K. Resnick, MD, MS*, associate professor and vice chairman of neurological surgery at University of Wisconsin, Madison.  "Using a multidisciplinary approach and tracking patient outcomes allows for effective and individualized patient care.  The selection criteria used for the Blue Distinction program designation represent distinguished quality, and participating centers should be commended for their efforts at improving patient care."

The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from a panel of expert physicians and medical organizations.**  To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement or a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, the following types of criteria were evaluated.  More information on selection criteria is available on

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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