The Blue Distinction® Designation Aids Consumers and Employers in Choosing High-Performing Hospitals
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota has named St. Alexius Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center+ in both Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care – which expanded recently to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety, as well as new cost-efficiency measures.
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 selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community and include general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics. St. Alexius Medical Center is proud to have met the rigorous selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.
Gary P. Miller, president and CEO of St. Alexius Medical Center, said, “This designation is a tribute to the nurses, physicians, physical therapists and support staff, who collaborate to provide our patients with the most advanced orthopedic program available.”
“Improving quality of care is so important as we move from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement model to a quality outcome-based model,” said Jacquelyn Walsh, vice president of Clinical Excellence and Quality in Health Network Innovation at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. "Facilities like St. Alexius Medical Center help ensure that patients receive the safest, most effective specialty care. As a Blue Distinction Center, St. Alexius Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to its patients as well as its expertise in providing specialty care. As more and more patients undergo surgeries and hospitalizations for spine, knee and hip conditions, it’s important for patients to be able to identify Blue Distinction Centers for their care.”
Research confirms that the 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 healthcare decisions. These results will also enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality and cost objectives.
St. Alexius Medical Center is a 306-bed, full-service healthcare system offering a comprehensive line of inpatient and outpatient medical services, including: a Level II Emergency and Trauma Center, primary and specialty physician clinics, durable medical equipment services and ancillary services throughout western and central North Dakota. Since its founding in 1885, St. Alexius has been recognized with numerous accreditations and awards including: The Joint Commission, Blue Cross Blue Shield Centers of Excellence Awards and “100 Greatest Hospitals to Know” by Becker’s Hospital Review. In 2012, St. Alexius proudly became a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, one of a group of organizations that share, with Mayo Clinic, a common commitment to improving the delivery of health care.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
BCBSND is a member-owned, not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. As North Dakota's largest provider of health care coverage, BCBSND is taking BOLD steps to collaborate with doctors, hospitals, clinics and members to ensure affordable access to quality health care in the state. Learn more about BCBSND. 
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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 health care 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 BCBSND . 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.
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 BCBSND . 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.