Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has selected Indiana Regional Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement, part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities that deliver high-quality patient safety and better health outcomes.

Facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers® for Knee and Hip Replacement are experts in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, as there are fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions, such as hospitals (with and without an onsite Intensive Care Unit) and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC).

All designated facilities have to maintain national accreditation and ASCs are also required to have an advanced orthopedic certification. 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 facilities.

According to a 2018 study released by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, knee and hip replacement procedures remain some of the most commonly performed, elective surgical procedures in the U.S. In 2014 there were 370,770 total hip replacements and 680,150 total knee replacements.

Indiana Regional Medical Center is recognized by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) for meeting the robust selection criteria for knee and hip replacements set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“This designation is a tribute to the dedicated team of physicians, nurses, technicians and therapists that are part of Indiana Regional Medical Center’s comprehensive program in hip and knee replacement surgery, “ says Stephen Wolfe, President and CEO of Indiana Regional Medical Center. “Our patients and the community benefit immensely from the clinical expertise in this area of specialty care. This designation puts us in the same class with many top hospitals in major metropolitan areas across the country.”

“The Blue Distinction program gives Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield members the ability to choose their providers based upon reliable quality and safety information. It also provides a pathway for exceptional Providers to demonstrate their value, and delivers the kind of transparency necessary for members to make informed value-driven healthcare decisions. We congratulate our Blue Distinction Specialty Care Providers on their successful accomplishment and thank our members for choosing Highmark BCBS”, says Dr. Charles DeShazer, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Highmark Health Plan.

The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery and transplants. Research for many of these programs show that, compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.