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McLaren Bay Region Earns Blue Distinction® Center+ Designation for Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries

Published on Monday, April 04, 2016

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has selected McLaren Bay Region 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.

Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, are hospitals recognized for delivering quality, affordable specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must also meet requirements for cost efficiency.

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+. McLaren Bay Region is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for meeting the robust selection criteria for knee and hip replacements set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“Hip and Knee surgeries continue to be two of our major services we provide to our community and the outreach communities,” said Sandy Garzell MA, BSN, RN, OCN, CPHQ, Director, Quality/Patient Care Services, McLaren Bay Region. “The advancement of our recent MAKO™ technology has been very successful. McLaren Bay Region continues to provide quality care with positive outcomes.”

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.

“The Blue Distinction Center+ designation lets our members know where they can go in Michigan to receive high-quality, cost-effective care that meets robust clinical standards,” says David Share, MD, MPH, senior vice president at Blue Cross. “Congratulations to all of the hospitals earning this designation for knee and hip replacement.”

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

1 J Bone Joint Surg Am, The Role of Overweight and Obesity in Relation to the More Rapid Growth of Total Knee Arthroplasty Volume Compared with Total Hip Arthroplasty Volume, 2014 Jun 04; 96 (11): 922 -928.

2 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Annual Incidents of Common Musculoskeletal Procedures and Treatment, 2014 March; "

3HCUP Projections: Mobility/Orthopedic Procedures 2013 to 2012. HCUP Projections Report #2012-03. ONLINE September 20, 2012, U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Available:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for nearly 105 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit 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.

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

About McLaren Health Care

McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Flint, Michigan, is a fully integrated health network committed to quality evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 12 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, the state’s only proton therapy center, an employed primary care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 260,000 lives, home health and hospice providers, retail medical equipment showrooms, pharmacy services, and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 45 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive centers in the U.S. McLaren has 21,000 employees and more than 25,000 network providers. Its operations are housed in more than 300 facilities serving a 54-county market and 75 percent of Michigan’s population. Learn more at