BlueCross BlueShield of WNY Names Catholic Health Hospitals Blue Distinction Centers+

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February 21, 2013

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York today announced that all Buffalo area Catholic Health hospitals have been named Blue Distinction Centers+.

Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, and Sisters of Charity Hospital, Main Street Campus, were all recognized for excellence in Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement. Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus was recognized for quality in Knee and Hip Replacement.

These hospitals are the only local facilities to receive designations for these services.

Proven Track Record of Delivering Better Results

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program recognizes hospitals across the country that have a proven track record for delivering better results – including fewer complications and readmissions – than hospitals without these recognitions. Blue Distinction Centers+ meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers, but are further recognized for their expertise and efficiency in delivering high quality care that is more affordable for patients.

Brian D’Arcy, M.D., Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs“This recognition represents the hard work and clinical expertise of our doctors, nurses, and the medical and surgical teams that support our spine surgery and knee and hip replacement programs,” said Brian D’Arcy, senior vice president of Medical Affairs for Catholic Health.

“As a high performing health system, we are working every day to transform health care in our community by delivering the highest quality care as well as the best value. We are grateful to BlueCross BlueShield for recognizing these efforts with the Blue Distinction Centers+ designation.”

Blue Distinction Centers Better Outcomes, More Cost Efficient

The Blue Distinction Center program was developed with input from the medical community and evaluates hospitals on their ability to deliver high quality and safe specialty care based on criteria that directly impact patient results – e.g., surgical team expertise and a history of better outcomes for patients.

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are twenty percent more cost efficient than other hospitals.

“Our Blue Distinction program recognizes area hospitals that demonstrate high quality care and cost efficiency, as well as improved patient health and safety,” said Dr. Raghu Ram, Chief Medical Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

“BlueCross BlueShield is working to transform our health care system so that we reward quality care, improve health outcomes, and reduce costs. All of Catholic Health’s hospitals have proven their commitment to this transformation.”

Since 2006, consumers, medical providers, and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering quality care in Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Care, Complex and Rare Cancers, Knee and Hip Replacements, Spine Surgery, and Transplants. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was recently expanded to include new cost efficiency measures, as well as more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety.

No Other Buffalo Area Hospitals Have Received This Recognition

The Catholic Health hospitals are the only Buffalo area hospitals to receive recognition for these services and among only eight in New York State to receive the Spine Surgery designation and twenty-one to receive the Knee and Hip Replacement distinction statewide.

Catholic Health Blue Distinction Center+ Hospitals Spine Surgery Knee and Hip Replacement
Kenmore Mercy Hospital X X
Mercy Hospital of Buffalo X X
Sisters of Charity Hospital (Main Street Campus) X X
Sisters of Charity Hospital – St. Joseph Campus X

For more information about the Blue Distinction Program and to see a list of Blue Distinction Centers in your area, please visit