Cone Health Earns Blue Distinction Center+ Designation for Knee and Hip Replacement and Spine Surgery
The designation reflects the quality and cost of care
Cone Health has been named a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement and a Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). It is part of the insurer’s Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes. This is based on objective measures developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.
“We work hard to be among the top hospitals in the country when it comes to the quality of care we deliver,” says Cone Health Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Bruce Swords, MD. “We have always believed that high-quality care is more affordable care and this designation shows that.”
Knee and hip replacements are among the fastest growing medical treatments in the U.S., according to studies published in the June 2014 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In 2010, hip replacements averaged $17,500 and 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. In addition, hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient than other hospitals.
Spinal surgeries are among the most common and expensive elective surgeries in the U.S., according to the AHQR. There were more than 465,000 spinal fusion operations in the U.S. in 2011. Hospital costs for a fusion procedure averaged $27,568 according to AHRQ.
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. Facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient compared to other hospitals.
“We’re doing the homework for our customers by putting a spotlight on hospitals and facilities that offer high-quality services at a fair price.” said Brian Caveney, MD, chief medical officer of BCBSNC. “With health care costs continuing to rise, patients want to know how much value they are getting for their health care dollar. Identifying which providers meet or exceed industry standards is an important part of that equation.”