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Media Contact:
Lauren Jones, Media Relations
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
734-712-4033
joneslae@trinity-health.org

Title
Hospitals Earn Blue Distinction® Designations from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Start Date
06/01/2010
Article
Four Saint Joseph Mercy Health System hospitals have been recognized with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network Blue Distinction® designations.

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Livingston, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and St. Mary Mercy Livonia are all named Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip ReplacementSM; Additionally, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland are named Blue Distinction Centers for Spine SurgerySM.

The hospitals of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System offer comprehensive spine surgery and knee and hip replacement programs including total joint, hip, knee, shoulder, foot, ankle, hand and more.

"This designation underscores the comprehensive, quality nature of our orthopedics program throughout our health system,” said John Boyd, director of orthopedic services at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston hospitals. “It is representative of hard work and dedication of the entire team and in the end, it's our patients who benefit from this high quality care."

Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery and Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement are part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s expansion of its Blue Distinction designation.

"Earning this distinction really speaks to the quality, continuity and comprehensiveness of the care delivered through our programs. From start to finish the coordination of care is streamlined - starting with the program director, to the team in the operating room, the physical therapists and the nurses and technicians on the surgical units - this is truly a reflection of the work that they do," said Greg Sears, administrator for surgical services at St. Mary Mercy Livonia.

The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from a panel of expert physicians. To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, the following types of criteria were evaluated. More information on selection criteria is available on bcbs.com:

· Established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care, and a full range of patient support services with full accreditation by a CMS-deemed national accreditation organization
· Experience and training of program surgeons, including case volume
· Quality management programs, including surgical checklists as well as tracking and evaluation of clinical outcomes and process of care
· Multi-disciplinary clinical pathways and teams to coordinate and streamline care, including transitions of care
· Shared decision-making and preoperative patient education

“Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information,” said Allan Korn, M.D., Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Chief Medical Officer. “Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care.”

“This designation recognizes that we are a center of excellence in joint replacement and orthopedics,” said Jack Weiner, president and CEO of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland. “It is a testimony to our commitment to patient safety, quality outcomes and performance excellence.”

The Blue Distinction designation is awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery and transplants. The program is part of The Blues® efforts to collaborate with physicians and medical facilities to improve the overall quality and safety of specialty care.

The additional Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery and Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement designations will bring the nation’s number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600 — and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.

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Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities’ overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians’ and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call the customer service number on the back of your Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield identification card or call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.
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