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St. Joseph’s Recognized for Quality in Cardiac Care


Hospital among first to receive new designation for delivering quality and cost-efficient cardiac procedures

SYRACUSEExcellus BlueCross BlueShield has recognized St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction Center+ designation in the area of cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program.  This comes just after Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recognized St. Joseph’s as a Blue Distinction Center+ in the specialties of spine surgery and knee and hip replacement.

Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community.  This year, the national program has added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost-efficient specialty care.

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 Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program expanded recently to include new cost-efficiency measures, as well as more robust quality measures focused on improved patient safety and outcomes.

St. Joseph’s is recognized as a Blue Distinction Center+ for its expertise in quality and cost efficiency in delivering specialty care. Quality is key: Only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures are considered for designation as Blue Distinction Centers+.

“Local hospitals continue to prove that they can offer high-quality care at an affordable price,” said Arthur Vercillo, MD, regional president, Excellus BCBS. “The Blue Distinction+ recognition acknowledges that we collaborate with health care institutions in Syracuse to jointly tackle such issues as improving quality of care and reducing readmissions and hospital-acquired infections.”

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, and have lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ are also more than 20 percent more cost-efficient. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed health care decisions.

For more information about the Blue Distinction Program and to see a list of Blue Distinction Centers in the area, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center is a non-profit, 431-bed hospital and health care system in Syracuse, New York, providing services to patients in 16 counties in Central New York State. Through prevention programs and the latest diagnostic treatment procedures, St. Joseph's works with patients to achieve optimum long-term health. A 14-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award, St. Joseph’s is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to about 1.9 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit excellusbcbs.com.

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Blue Distinction Centers® (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+SM (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on www.bcbs.com. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. For details on Local Blue Plan Criteria, a provider’s in-network status, or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan. Each hospital’s Cost Index is calculated with data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both Cost Index figures must meet BDC+ national criteria. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.