NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital Receives Blue Distinction Center+ Designation for Quality and Efficiency

April 22, 2013

WILMINGTON – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has named New Hanover Regional Medical Center Orthopedic Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center+ in Knee and Hip Replacements. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans to medical facilities that have proven success in delivering quality care in key treatment areas. The program recently expanded to include enhanced quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety, as well as new cost-efficiency measures.

“This distinction is a testament to the quality and value our orthopedic program offers our patients,” said David Oehler, site administrator at the NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital. “Our team of physicians, nurses and staff is continuously working to find new ways to improve patient care and I am proud of their collaborative efforts.”

Newly designated Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are more than 20 percent more cost-efficient. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed health care decisions. These results will also enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality and cost objectives.

“Our goal is to help customers access the best quality health care and understand that high quality care does not have to cost more,” states Lisa Cade, vice president network management for BCBSNC. “We are pleased to recognize those hospitals that show they share these goals.”

Since 2006, consumers, medical providers and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering quality care in a range of specialty programs. 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 measures. NHRMC’s Orthopedic Hospital is proud to have met the strict selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

About New Hanover Regional Medical Center:

With a dedicated team of more than 5,000 employees, 550 physicians and 750 volunteers, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is one of the largest public, not-for-profit healthcare organizations in the Carolinas. A multi-campus healthcare system, NHRMC includes the main 17th Street campus, the NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital on Wrightsville Avenue, and the management of Pender Memorial Hospital in Burgaw. With a team-based approach to healthcare, NHRMC offers a variety of healthcare services, technologies and treatments for patients of all ages. New Hanover Regional Medical Center Orthopedic Hospital has been ranked among the nation's top ten percent of orthopedic programs. The hospital has 25 board-certified or board-eligible surgeons, many of whom are fellowship trained, and perform more than 1,800 joint replacement procedures each year.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.74 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For generations, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012 and 2013. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at www.bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About BCBSA:

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 or connect on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or 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.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 5,000 jobs directly and another 6,000 jobs indirectly. ###