Total Joint Replacement Program Recognized

March 31, 2016

Highmark BCBS has selected The Total Joint Replacement Program, a service of The Rehabilitation Center at Penn Highlands DuBois, as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement, 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 that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.

Knee and hip 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 Surgery1 and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons2.

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 (AHRQ)3.
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.

Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

PH DuBois is proud to be recognized by Highmark BCBS for meeting the robust selection criteria for knee and hip replacements set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“We are extremely proud in gaining this distinction,” Marty Maloney, director of PH DuBois Orthopedic and Inpatient Rehabilitation units and PH DuBois and Penn Highlands Brookville Therapies and Athletic Trainers, said. “This award is a result of the hard work of our doctors and many different departments to provide the most current evidence based care so that our patients gain the best outcomes and satisfaction possible.”
“We are grateful for all that our staff does to make this award possible,” Dr. Gary DuGan, chief medical officer for Penn Highlands Healthcare, said. “These awards would not be possible if the staff did not put their patients’ care first.”

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.

“Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield extends its sincere congratulations to Penn Highlands DuBois for their dedication to quality, patient safety, and transparency that is required to achieve this great distinction. With consumer driven healthcare programs like Blue Distinction, and the significant effort of our partner practitioners and facilities, Highmark can now enable our members the opportunity to make wise, value-driven healthcare decisions”, said Dr. Mark Piasio, Medical Director, Clinical Services, Highmark Inc.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit