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Hospitals in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware Receive Highmark’s Blue Distinction® Designation for Knee and Hip Replacement, Spinal Surgery

Highmark Inc.

PITTSBURGH (March 17, 2016) — Patients in need of knee or hip replacement or spine surgery now have help in choosing where to have their procedure.

Highmark has designated select hospitals in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware with the Blue Distinction® Center or Blue Distinction® Center+ designation in the categories of Spinal Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.

"As our population ages, knee and hip replacement procedures are among the fastest growing medical treatments in the U.S.," said Marylou Buyse, M.D., M.S., senior medical director for Highmark.  "In addition, spinal surgeries are among the most common and expensive elective surgeries in the U.S. Through the Blue Distinction program, however, we can help empower consumers to select the highest quality care at the most affordable price for the best outcomes."

In 2010, the estimated cost of hip replacements averaged $17,500 and the estimated cost of knee replacements averaged $16,000, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement demonstrate expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation. In addition to meeting these quality thresholds, hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other hospitals.

Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery demonstrate expertise in cervical and lumbar fusion, cervical laminectomy and lumbar laminectomy/discectomy procedures, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions compared to other hospitals. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation. In addition to meeting these quality thresholds, facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other hospitals.

Hospitals currently designated as a Blue Distinction Center in western Pennsylvania include:
  • Allegheny General Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement , Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery )
  • Allegheny Valley Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Canonsburg General Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Charles Cole Memorial Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery )
  • Excela Latrobe Area Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Excela Westmoreland Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Forbes Regional Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Heritage Valley, Beaver (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Heritage Valley, Sewickley (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Indiana Regional Medical Center (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Meadville Medical Center (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Monongahela Valley Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Ohio Valley General Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement
  • Penn Highlands Dubois (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Saint Vincent Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
  • Saint Clair Memorial Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
  • Uniontown Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
Hospitals currently designated as a Blue Distinction Center in central Pennsylvania include:
  • Chambersburg Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Easton Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Ephrata Community Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Geisinger Medical Center (Blue Distinction® Center, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Gettysburg Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Hanover Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Holy Spirit Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center, Spine Surgery)
  • Lancaster General Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Lancaster Regional Medical Center (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital – Muhlenberg (Blue Distinction® Center, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
  • Pinnaclehealth Hospitals – Harrisburg Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
  • Pinnaclehealth Hospitals – Community General Osteopathic (Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
  • Reading Hospital and Medical Center (Blue Distinction® Center, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center, Spine Surgery)
  • York Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center, Spine Surgery)
Hospitals currently designated as a Blue Distinction Center in northeastern Pennsylvania include:
  • Regional Hospital of Scranton (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Williamsport Regional Medical Center (Blue Distinction® Center, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
Hospitals currently designated as a Blue Distinction Center in West Virginia include:
  • Cabell Huntington Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
  • Camden Clark Memorial Hospital Corp (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Monongalia General Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Ohio Valley Medical Center (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Saint Francis Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • Saint Mary’s Medical Center (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
  • Thomas Memorial Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Knee/Hip Replacement)
  • West Virginia University Hospital (Blue Distinction® Center +, Spine Surgery)
Hospitals currently designated as a Blue Distinction Center in Delaware include:
  • Christiana Care Health Services (Blue Distinction® Center, Spine Surgery)

 

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc. is among the ten largest health insurers in the United States and is the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.3 million members. Its diversified health businesses serve group customer and individual health needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related health businesses. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
Wendy Morphew
Highmark Health
412-544-3616
wendy.morphew@highmarkhealth.org