NHRMC Recognized for Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Knee and Hip Replacement, Spine Surgeries

January 06, 2020
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has selected New Hanover Regional Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center+ for knee and hip replacement and spine surgery.

Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community. Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

“NHRMC is pleased to receive this recognition for our efforts to provide patients high-quality care for knee, hip and spinal surgery that is also cost-effective,” said Brandon Hill, Business Director of NHRMC Surgical Services. “We are grateful for the outstanding partnerships between our care teams and physicians who work together to offer these treatments.”

Hip and knee

Hip and knee replacement procedures are among the fastest growing medical treatments in the U.S., according to studies published in the June 2014 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

In 2010, the estimated cost of hip replacements averaged $17,500 and the estimated cost of knee replacements averaged $16,000, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  

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 readmissions. Designated hospitals 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.

Spinal Surgeries

Spinal surgeries are among the most common and expensive elective surgeries in the U.S., according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which creates a significant opportunity to improve quality and value within the healthcare system. For example, there were more than 465,000 spinal fusion operations in the U.S. in 2011, and hospital costs for a fusion procedure average $27,568, according to AHRQ.

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

For more information on surgical services available at NHRMC, visit www.nhrmc.org/surgery.