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Independence Blue Cross Announces Blue Distinction Centers(R) for Two New Specialties: Knee and Hip Replacement and Spine Surgery
Date:1/27/2010

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today announced that 19 area hospitals have achieved status as Blue Distinction Centers® for two new specialties: knee and hip replacement and spine surgery.

"It is a credit to the high caliber of medical care in our region that Philadelphia is home to so many facilities recognized as Blue Distinction Centers," said Joseph A. Frick, president and CEO at IBC.  "We are proud of our strong collaboration with physicians and hospitals through programs like Blue Distinction, our incentive-based provider reimbursement programs, and other joint efforts, like Patient Center Medical Home and Partnership for Patient Care, so that together we may improve the quality and affordability of care for everyone."

Blue Distinction is a nationwide program created by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to help members easily identify outstanding medical centers that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care. Previously established programs focus on cardiac care, bariatric surgery, transplants, and complex and rare cancers. In early 2010, the Blue Distinction program was expanded to include the Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement(SM), and the Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery(SM)  now bringing the nation's number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600 -- and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.  

IBC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard L. Snyder says the expansion of the Blue Distinction program in these two specialties is timely and appropriate. The nation's aging population and growing proportion of seniors, as well as rising rates of obesity indicate that the need for costly hip and knee
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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