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Trinity Awarded 'Blue Distinction' for Knee/Hip Replacement

Date:  March 12th, 2010

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
Phone: (701)857-5116
Fax: (701)857-5683

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

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(MINOT, ND)—The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in conjunction with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota has designated Trinity Hospital a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, a new designation launched this year.

Blue Distinction recognizes facilities that meet objective, evidence-based thresholds for clinical quality that are developed in collaboration with expert physicians and medical organizations. This designation is awarded to facilities that have demonstrated an objective commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for patients who undergo knee and hip replacement procedures.

“We're very pleased that Trinity's joint replacement program has been recognized for its excellence,” Trinity Vice President Julie Waldera declared. “Our joint team has worked hard to create a program that's patient-focused and provides the tools, support and education to achieve a faster, better outcome.”

Drs. David Uthus, Alexander Kindy, E. Dexter Scott and Ravindra Joshi - all orthopedic surgeons with Trinity Medical Group - extolled the team effort that has built Trinity's joint program around the patient experience. “In all of my years of practice this is one of the most progressive programs I've encountered,” Dr. Kindy emphasized. “It's truly patient centered; it focuses on creating a pleasant experience for patients.”

“This is where healthcare is headed,” Dr. Uthus noted. “Establishing added value for patients gives them a firmer basis upon which to choose a provider.” Dr. Joshi added, “I see this as a challenge that can spur us toward even greater parameters of improvement.”

BCBSA collaborates with expert physicians and medical organizations to determine the selection criteria for all Blue Distinction programs. Candidates for Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement must submit clinical data to establish that they meet the selection criteria, which include:

An established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care and a full range of patient support services:
  • Full accreditation by a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-deemed national accreditation organization
  • A comprehensive quality management program
  • An established knee and hip replacement program, performing required annual volumes for certain procedures (e.g., at least 100 total hip and total knee joint replacement surgeries [primary and revision] per year, with a minimum of 25 each 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 that meet the selection criteria for knee and hip replacement procedures
  • Pre-operative patient education
  • Processes that support transitions of care
  • 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 (SCIP) with ≥ 90% performance on process measures
  • Clinical outcomes that meet objective thresholds, such as complication rates and length of stay, for specific procedures

    • 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. SPACE index.php