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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

More than 800 facilities to receive the new designations as part of The Blues(R) nationwide initiative to improve healthcare quality and safety

CHICAGO, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) today announced the expansion of its Blue Distinction designation program to include Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery(SM) and Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement(SM).  Blue Distinction designations are awarded to facilities that have demonstrated a commitment to quality care by meeting objective, evidence-based thresholds for clinical quality and safety developed with input from expert clinicians and leading professional organizations.

"The number of patients undergoing surgeries and hospitalizations for spine, knee and hip conditions is growing dramatically," said Allan Korn, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, BCBSA.  "These new designations will help provide patients and their physicians with a credible means of selecting facilities that meet their individual healthcare needs, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the overall quality and safety of care."

Procedures including knee reconstruction or replacement, total and partial hip replacement, and spinal fusion, increased by nearly 25 percent between 1997 and 2005.(1) "Numerous studies have shown that hip and knee replacement programs that incorporate evidence-based clinical care pathways have better outcomes and fewer postoperative complications in their patients," said Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA*, associate professor and vice chair of orthopaedic surgery at University of California, San Francisco.  "The selection criteria that were used to designate Blue Distinction Centers emphasize im
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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