MUMC Designated as Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement

(April 5, 2010) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) has designated Memorial Health University Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip ReplacementSM.

Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement demonstrate their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for knee and hip replacement surgery patients. Memorial Health University Medical Center meets evidence-based clinical criteria, developed in collaboration with expert physicians and medical organizations, and is subject to periodic re-evaluation as criteria continue to evolve. These facilities have also demonstrated experience in offering comprehensive inpatient knee and hip replacement services, including total knee replacement and total hip replacement.

"As a member of the joint replacement team at Memorial Health University Medical Center, I am very pleased with this distinction. It highlights our continued commitment to providing comprehensive care that is outcomes-driven and evidence-based," said Dow Hoffman, M.D., board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Chatham Orthopaedics.

"We are honored that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has recognized our efforts to provide outstanding quality for our hip and knee replacement patients. Memorial's Team Members, medical staff, and Board of Directors are all proud to be designated a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement," said Memorial Health President and CEO Phillip Schaengold, J.D., MBA. "This recognition is further evidence of our commitment to world-class quality."

"Blue Distinction will assist members in choosing a facility or physician that best meets their medical needs," said Bob McCormack, M.D., medical director, BCBSGA. "This program provides easy access to evidence-based health information about physicians and institutions that meet clinically validated, quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care - giving members the confidence needed to make important decisions surrounding their health."

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery, Memorial Health University Medical Center met the selection criteria posted at www.BCBS.com, which includes:

  • An established knee and hip replacement program, performing required annual volumes for certain procedures each year, with a minimum of 25 each for total hip and total knee replacements
  • An experienced knee and hip replacement surgery team, including surgeons with board certification subspecialty fellowship training and case volumes meeting specified requirements
  • Pre-operative patient education
  • Multi-disciplinary teams and clinical pathways to coordinate and streamline care
  • Use of an internal registry or database to track patient outcomes over time
  • Participation in the Surgical care Improvement Project with greater than or equal to 90 percent performance on process measures

The full list of Blue Distinction selection criteria is available to the public at www.BCBS.com/bluedistinction. Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations' recommendations. Today, more than 1,000 Blue Distinction Center designations have been awarded to facilities nationwide, providing consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, transplants, and now spine surgery and knee and hip replacement.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association®. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com.

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 your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.