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Houston Northwest Medical Center Has Been Designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has designated Houston Northwest Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

Houston, TX (Vocus) February 22, 2010 -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has designated Houston Northwest Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery are part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s expansion of its Blue Distinction® designation.

“This designation reflects the hospital’s commitment to providing quality surgical treatment and innovative technology that is necessary to stay at the forefront of spine treatment,” says Kevin Moran, M.D., orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Houston Northwest Medical Center. “It is an honor to be recognized for providing quality health care that has made Houston Northwest Medical Center the hospital of choice for our community.”

Houston Northwest Medical Center offers comprehensive spine surgery, including kyphoplasty, laminectomy/discectomy, microdiscectomy, spinal fusion, percutaneous surgical techniques, scoliosis deformity correction, spinal cord stimulator, treatment of spine trauma and spinal cord injury, radiofrequency lesioning and vertebroplasty.

“Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the state to identify leading institutions that deliver better overall outcomes in patient care,” says Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, vice president and chief medical officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. “With the number of patients undergoing surgeries and hospitalizations for spine, knee and hip conditions growing dramatically, it becomes increasingly important to help these patients and their physicians identify facilities that have experience in comprehensive care with the best outcomes in these areas, including post operative rehabilitation.”

The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from a panel of expert physicians. To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, the following types of criteria were evaluated:

  • Established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care, and a full range of patient support services with full accreditation by a CMS-deemed national accreditation organization
  • Experience and training of program surgeons, including case volume
  • Quality management programs, including surgical checklists as well as tracking and evaluation of clinical outcomes and process of care
  • Multi-disciplinary clinical pathways and teams to coordinate and streamline care, including transitions of care
  • Shared decision making and preoperative patient education

More information on selection criteria is available at

“This recognition highlights the hospital’s success in combining skill, expertise and technology to offer patients a range of treatment options for back or neck pain,” says J. Michael Graham, M.D., orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Houston Northwest Medical Center. “The collaborative, multidisciplinary efforts of the neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pain management specialists, nurses and physical therapists set Houston Northwest Medical Center apart and ensure that patients have a positive experience.”

The Blue Distinction designation is awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery and transplants. The program is part of The Blues® efforts to collaborate with physicians and medical facilities to improve the overall quality and safety of specialty care.

The additional Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery designations will bring the nation’s number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600 – and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.

For more information about the Center for Spine Care at Houston Northwest Medical Center, visit or call 281-580-0000.

About Houston Northwest Medical Center
Houston Northwest Medical Center is located at 710 F.M. 1960 West in Houston. The hospital has been serving the north Houston community for more than 35 years, providing a wide range of medical services that includes cardiology, maternity care, neonatal intensive unit, pediatrics, bariatrics and neurology. Houston Northwest Medical Center is the only hospital in Houston designated a Cycle III Accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers and is among an elite group of hospitals nationwide – and only two in Texas – named by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as a Mentor Hospital for heart attack. The hospital is also recognized by the American Heart Association with the Get With The Guidelines–Gold Performance Achievement Awards for Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Failure. Houston Northwest Medical Center is the only hospital in Texas to be recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™ by the National Consortium of Breast Centers. The hospital is also designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. To learn more about Houston Northwest Medical Center, a facility accredited by The Joint Commission, visit

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas -- the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas – is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve over 4.5 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. HCSC is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities’ overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians’ and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.

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Source: PRWeb
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