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Capital BlueCross Network Hospitals Earn Blue Distinction 
Designations for High-Quality Care

HARRISBURG, PA (April 14, 2016) – Capital BlueCross announced today that 23 area hospitals have earned Blue Distinction specialty care designations, recognizing their high quality of patient care. To earn a Blue Distinction designation, hospitals must meet a number of requirements demonstrating their expertise in a specialty area of care.

“Quality of care is an important factor patients should consider when choosing where to receive care,” said Dr. Jennifer Chambers, Capital BlueCross senior vice president and chief medical officer. “The Blue Distinction designation helps people identify hospitals that have been recognized for providing high-quality patient care and for achieving better outcomes than similar facilities. Capital BlueCross congratulates these hospitals on earning this designation in their respective specialty areas. We are proud to have these local facilities as partners as we lead initiatives to improve the quality of health care for people throughout our region.”

The hospitals and their designations are:

  • Berwick Hospital Center - Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care
  • Chambersburg Hospital - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care, Knee and Hip Replacement
  • Easton Hospital - Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care and Cardiac Care
  • Ephrata Community Hospital - Blue Distinction Center+ Knee and Hip Replacement
  • Geisinger – Bloomsburg Hospital - Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care
  • Geisinger Medical Center - Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care and Cardiac Care
  • Gettysburg Hospital – Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care and Knee and Hip Replacement
  • Good Samaritan Hospital –  Blue Distinction Center+ Designation for Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Cardiac Care
  • Hanover Hospital - Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care, Blue Distinction Center+ Knee and Hip Replacement
  • Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care
  • Holy Spirit Hospital - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care, Cardiac Care, Knee and Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery
  • Lancaster Regional Medical Center - Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care, Blue Distinction Center+ Knee and Hip Replacement
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care, Cardiac Care, Knee and Hip Replacement and Spine Surgery
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital - Muhlenberg - Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care and Knee and Hip Replacement, Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery
  • Memorial Hospital - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care
  • Mount Nittany Medical Center  - Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care, Knee and Hip Replacement and Spine Surgery
  • PinnacleHealth Hospitals - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care and Spine Surgery
  • Sacred Heart Hospital - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care
  • Schuylkill Medical Center – South Jackson Street - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care
  • St. Joseph Medical Center - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care and Cardiac Care
  • St. Luke’s Hospital - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care and Cardiac Care
  • St. Luke’s Hospital – Allentown Campus - Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care
  • York Hospital – Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care 

The Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program helps patients find high-quality providers in cardiac care, maternity care, bariatric surgery, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants. Research shows that health care facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care designation, hospitals must demonstrate expertise in delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft, and percutaneous coronary interventions. A hospital must also have earned national accreditation at the facility level.

Hospitals that received a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation must be nationally accredited and meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care. They also initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA or the Mother-Friendly Hospital program by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others. 

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.

To become a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, hospitals must be nationally accredited and 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.

Facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ not only meet the qualifying standards in each area of specialty care, but also they are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other hospitals.

For more information about the Blue Distinction program, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About Capital BlueCross

Capital BlueCross, headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., is the leading health solutions and insurance company in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. A partner in the community’s health for more than 75 years, Capital BlueCross offers health insurance products, services and technology solutions that provide peace of mind to consumers and promote health and wellness for our customers.

More than a health insurer, the company delivers innovative solutions through a family of diversified businesses that is creating a healthier future and lowering health care costs. Among these solutions are patient-focused care models, leading-edge data analytics, and digital health technologies. Additionally, Capital BlueCross is growing a network of Capital Blue stores that provide in-person service and inspiration to help people reach their health goals. Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.

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 health care coverage for nearly 105 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross 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.