Southcoast Health’s St. Luke’s Hospital earns Blue Distinction Center Designation for Quality in Spine Surgery
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has selected St. Luke’s Hospital, a part of Southcoast Health, as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. 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 by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.
Spinal surgeries are one of the most frequent types of elective surgeries in the U.S. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there were more than 465,000 spinal fusion operations in the U.S. in 2011, a procedure commonly done in the lumbar region of the lower back to treat back pain.
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 to be designated.
St. Luke’s Hospital is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for spine surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
“I am very proud of Southcoast Health’s Brain and Spine Program. In Brain and Spine we are able to weave cutting edge technology into a patient centric experience. There is synergy in this approach to patient care. Our Brain and Spine Program is a great example of what can be accomplished at Southcoast Health when bold physician leaders work with their administrative counterparts to execute on a high-quality clinical program. I appreciate Blue Cross and Blue Shield recognizing the clinical value our Brain and Spine Program presents to our patients and community.”
In addition, Charlton Memorial Hospital was selected as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.
For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are the trusted health plan for more than 30,000 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation’s best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 105 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.
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.