Fletcher Allen Health Care Earns Blue Distinction Center Recognition

August 17, 2011

Michael Carrese
Marketing  and Communications
802-847-2886

Berlin, VT –Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is proud to announce that Fletcher Allen Health Care, recently earned two Blue Distinction Center recognitions—one for knee and hip replacement, and another for spine surgery. Fletcher Allen is the only northern Vermont hospital and one of two state facilities to earn this designation.

Blue Distinction is a title awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that demonstrate expertise in delivering quality health care. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based, objective selection criteria established with input from expert physicians and medical organizations. Its goal is to help consumers find quality specialty care on a consistent basis, while enabling and encouraging health care professionals to improve the overall quality and delivery of care nationwide.

“Fletcher Allen Health Care continues to demonstrate its commitment to excellence in knee and hip replacement care, as well as spine surgery care, with these Blue Distinction Center recognitions,” says BCBSVT’s CEO Don George.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is more than proud to partner with such an excellent medical center,” George adds.

Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement have demonstrated a commitment to quality care and comprehensive inpatient knee and hip replacement services, including total knee replacement, total hip replacement and hip resurfacing. Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery provide comprehensive inpatient spine surgery services, including discectomy, fusion and decompression procedures.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association determines Blue Center Distinctions through a number of demanding criteria, including: the hospital must be fully accredited; physicians and surgeons must be Board Certified, and; the hospital must perform a high volume of appropriate procedures, such as knee and hip replacement and spine surgery.

“I’m pleased that Fletcher Allen has been recognized by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Distinction Centers program. Their evidence-based selection criteria provides the public with independent assurance that Fletcher Allen delivers exceptionally high-quality care in spine surgery and in knee and hip replacements. This designation recognizes the expertise of our orthopedic and neurosurgical providers and underscores the commitment to excellence they demonstrate every day,” said John Brumsted, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland was also recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement. Two other hospitals in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont network also previously earned Blue Distinction Center recognition; Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers and Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital is a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, as well as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. Both facilities are located in Lebanon, N.H.

For more information on the Blue Distinction Centers, visit http://www.bcbs.com/innovations/bluedistinction/.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s only Vermont-based health insurer and is the largest private health plan in Vermont. The non-profit company employs more than 340 people and provides health care benefits for more than 150,000 Vermonters. The company offers benefits and services to virtually all Vermont populations through its array of products and through its partner companies, The Vermont Health Plan (TVHP) and Comprehensive Benefits Administrators. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.