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BCNEPA Recognizes Regional Hospital of Scranton with Blue Distinction Center+ Award

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
July 9, 2013
Pictured with Blue Distinction Center signage at Regional Hospital of Scranton are, left to right: Gordon Travis, Director of Surgical Services, Regional Hospital of Scranton; Cheryl Hashagen, Provider Relations Health System Consultant, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania; Nina M. Taggart, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania; Theodore Tomaszewski, M.D., Professional Orthopaedics Associates; Brooks Turkel, Chief Executive Officer, Regional Hospital of Scranton; and Fran Zurn, Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant, Regional Hospital of Scranton.

Local Hospital EarnsNational Recognition for Knee and Hip Replacement

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) announced today that Regional Hospital of Scranton has been named a Blue DistinctionCenter+ for Knee and Hip Replacement®, becoming the only hospital in Northeastern Pennsylvania to hold the Blue DistinctionCenter+designation.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities such as Regional Hospital of Scranton that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care. The program expanded recently to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety, as well as new cost-efficiency measures.

To earn BCNEPA’s Blue DistinctionCenter+ designation, Regional Hospital of Scranton was evaluated based on an objective, evidence-based selection criteria established with input from expert physicians and medical organizations.

“Our goal with the Blue Distinction program is to identify local medical facilities that deliver higher overall quality and positive patient outcomes for a specific area of specialty care, such as knee and hip replacement,” said Nina M. Taggart, MD, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer for BCNEPA.  “This helps our members, and all local residents, make more informed healthcare decisions.”

Regional Hospital of Scranton CEO Brooks Turkel calls the designation a great honor, saying it is a tribute to the physicians, nurses, technicians and therapists who helped develop Regional Hospital’s comprehensive programs in orthopedics. 

“Our physicians, clinicians and staff of our orthopaedic team should rightly be proud of this designation,” said Mr. Turkel.  “Their clinical expertise in this area of specialty care has resulted in better overall results for our patients.”

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.

“We are honored to be identified by BCNEPA as a facility that demonstrates expertise in knee and hip replacement,” said John Doherty, MD, Regional Hospital’s Chief of Orthopaedics. “Meeting BCNEPA’s quality standards is certainly an accomplishment that makes our team proud.  Our physicians consider this unique partnership to be an integral part of our mission to always deliver quality patient 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 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.

Regional Hospital of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, affiliates of Commonwealth Health, have also achieved Blue Distinction designations for Cardiac Care.

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves. 

About Regional Hospital of Scranton
An affiliate of Commonwealth Health, Regional Hospital of Scranton has served the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania for nearly 100 years. Regional Hospital is Joint Commission-accredited 198-bed hospital beds, with a network of more than 400 physicians representing a wide spectrum of specialties. The hospital has been recognized nationally for quality and in 2012 was named one of America’s Top 50 Hospitals by HealthGrades, a national accrediting organization. This is the sixth consecutive year Regional has received this award. In addition, Regional received recognition in twelve specialty areas. In 2012 Regional was named Best Hospital in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Area by U.S. News and World Reports magazine and to Becker’s Hospital Review list of the leading 100 hospitals in the United States. 

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Anthony Matrisciano
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