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Published on March 28, 2016

Mercy-Cedar Rapids Earns Blue Distinction® Center+ Designations for Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries as well as Spinal Surgeries

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has selected Mercy Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries as well as Spinal Surgeries, part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield with input from the medical community.

Mercy is the only Cedar Rapids hospital recognized by Wellmark for its quality and cost efficiency in both knee and hip replacement surgeries and spinal surgeries.

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 readmission compared to other hospitals.

Likewise, 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.

Designated hospitals in both categories must also maintain national accreditation. In addition to meeting these quality thresholds, hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other hospitals.

Earlier this year, Mercy was also named one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.