Saint Luke's South Hospital receives Blue Distinction Center Designation for Quality

The Blue Distinction® designation aids consumers and employers in choosing high-performing hospitals

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) has named Saint Luke's South Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center in Knee and Hip Replacement. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care – which expanded recently to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety.

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 selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community, and include general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics. Saint Luke's South Hospital is proud to have met the rigorous selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program. 

"Our Hip & Knee Center is literally a 'hospital within the hospital,'" said Jani Johnson, President and CEO of Saint Luke's South Hospital. "Our joint replacement patients recover on a special wing away from sick patients. That, combined with our expert team of surgeons, nurses, and therapists, leads to outcomes that surpass national averages."

"I would like to congratulate Saint Luke's South Hospital for being named a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement," said David Gentile, Blue KC President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Blue Distinction program will improve the overall patient experience and provide better value to customers by offering the necessary tools to identify high-quality, cost-effective care."

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed healthcare decisions. These results will also enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality objectives.

About Saint Luke's South Hospital
Saint Luke's South Hospital is a member of Saint Luke's Health System, which consists of 11 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services.  Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area's leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health and wellness of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City aims to be the local expert, value-driven and trusted leader in Kansas City. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 38 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.  We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

Blue Distinction® Centers met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction® Centers+ also met cost measures that address consumers' need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria is displayed on www.bcbs.com.  A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area.  To find out which services and providers (including hospital based physicians) are covered under your policy, or to learn about Local Blue Plan Criteria, contact your Local Blue Plan; and contact your provider before making an appointment to verify its current Network and Blue Distinction Centers status. Each hospital's Cost Index is calculated separately, based on data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in portions of CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in areas served by two Local Blue Plans, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether all hospitals in these areas must meet Blue Distinction Centers+ national criteria for one or both Cost Index figures. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages, losses, or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.  To find out more, contact your Local Blue Plan.

SOURCE Saint Luke's South Hospital




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