Saint Anne’s Hospital earns recognition as a “Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement” from Blue Cross Blue Shield

Feb 17, 2016

Orthopedic recognition demonstrates clinical expertise plus cost efficiency in providing knee and hip replacement care

Fall River, MA – Saint Anne’s Hospital has announced that it has earned designation as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement® from Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The national Blue Distinction Center® program helps patients identify hospitals that have demonstrated a commitment to providing quality care and better outcomes for specialized care. Blue Distinction Centers+ also have met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare.

Saint Anne’s Hospital is one of 24 hospitals in Massachusetts to earn recognition as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement, including primary and revision surgeries.

Saint Anne’s was the area’s first hospital to earn Blue Distinction recognition for knee and hip replacement by Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2011.  It also earned the first national Gold Seal of Approval® certification by The Joint Commission for knee and hip replacement in Bristol County in 2015.

What does Blue Distinction+ mean for Saint Anne’s patients and their referring physicians?

The goal of the Blue Distinction program is to identify medical facilities that deliver better overall quality and medical outcomes for a specific area of specialty care, helping patients and doctors to make more informed hospital choices.  BCBS collaborates with expert physicians and medical organizations to determine the selection criteria for all Blue Distinction programs.

Saint Anne’s Hospital President Craig Jesiolowski said that Saint Anne’s Blue Distinction+ designation reflects the high level of expertise required for an outstanding orthopedic program, plus the hospital’s ability to provide services cost-effectively.

“Our physicians and surgical teams collaborate continuously to create high-quality, patient-focused care,” he said.  “Not only does our Center for Orthopedic Excellence offer a wide range of joint replacement procedures, including the first-in-Massachusetts robotic-assisted MAKOplasty.  We’re also privileged to have some of the region’s most qualified and committed surgical professionals, including general and specialty surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and technologists, who collaborate on achieving excellent care coordination and patient outcomes.”

Jerald Katz, MD, chair of orthopedics at Saint Anne’s Hospital, also noted that the hospital’s designation as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement is an honor that is well earned.

“Saint Anne’s Center of Orthopedic Excellence is the result of ongoing collaboration between the orthopedic team and hospital leaders to develop facilities, staffing and high surgical standards for patients of all ages,” he said.  “Research shows that patients who get specialty treatment at Blue Distinction Centers have shown better results, including fewer medical complications, fewer readmissions and better patient outcomes.  Saint Anne’s ‘plus’ designation also demonstrates that this is achievable while meeting strict cost-of-care criteria.  As a surgeon, it’s gratifying to work in a facility that has demonstrated expertise in areas that matter most to patients: quality care, treatment expertise, and patient outcomes.”

About Saint Anne’s Hospital Center for Orthopedic Excellence

Saint Anne’s Center for Orthopedic Excellence offers advanced joint replacement care.  In addition to providing the state’s first MAKOplasty robotic-assisted technology for partial knee resurfacing and total hip replacement, Saint Anne’s offers a spectrum of surgical options, including total knee replacement, traditional total hip replacement, and direct anterior approach for total hip replacement.  For certain qualified patients, procedures such as total knee, partial knee and total hip replacement also are available on an outpatient basis.  In-hospital rehabilitation begins as early as the first day, with follow-up rehabilitation provided through discharge to home or skilled nursing facilities.

The orthopedic clinical team includes board-certified surgeons and anesthesiologists, registered nurses specializing in orthopedics, and physical and occupational therapists with advanced training.  Patients and families participate in a pre-surgical education class to prepare for their surgical experience and are guided through the surgical planning and rehabilitation process by an orthopedic nurse navigator dedicated to assisting joint replacement patients.  Prospective patients also have access to a team of “orthopedic patient ambassadors,” experienced joint-replacement patients who are available to share their hospital experience, recovery and rehabilitation.

In addition to knee and hip replacement, Saint Anne’s Center for Orthopedic Excellence includes arthroscopic surgery, hand surgery, surgical and non-surgical sports medicine, orthopedic trauma, pediatric orthopedics, arm and shoulder surgery, concussion management, and general orthopedics.  More than 30 orthopedic surgeons perform more than 5,000 orthopedic procedures annually at the hospital’s surgical facilities in Fall River, Dartmouth and Attleboro.

To learn more

  • For more information about Blue Distinction Centers, including selection criteria for Blue Distinction for Knee and Hip Replacement and a Blue Distinction Center Finder, visit Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  • For more information about Saint Anne's Hospital orthopedic services, including MAKOplasty® for the treatment of early to mid-stage osteoarthritis, visit www.SaintAnnesHospital.org/orthopedics.

About Saint Anne’s Hospital: Saint Anne’s Hospital is a community hospital with comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, and emergency care services, serving adults and children from southeastern Massachusetts and nearby Rhode Island at its main campus in Fall River and its community outpatient satellites in Attleboro, Swansea, North Dartmouth, New Bedford, and Stoughton.  Founded in 1906 by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation, Saint Anne's Hospital is a member of Steward Health Care System LLC, the largest fully integrated community care organization and community hospital network in New England.  Saint Anne’s has been recognized time and again for quality, safety and service by such organizations as The Joint Commission, Healthgrades, The Leapfrog Group, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Required Disclaimer
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 are displayed on www.bcbs.com. 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.