MUMC Designated as Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery

(April 5, 2010) - Memorial Health University Medical Center Has Been Designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine SurgerySM.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) has designated Memorial Health University Medical Center (MHUMC) as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.

Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery demonstrate their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for spine surgery patients. Memorial Health University Medical Center meets evidence-based clinical criteria, developed in collaboration with expert physicians and medical organizations, and is subject to periodic re-evaluation as criteria continue to evolve.

"This distinction is especially important to us because it is based on patient outcomes and quality indicators. This is further proof that for world-class spine surgery yielding quality outcomes, Memorial is the place to go," said James Lindley, M.D., neurosurgeon at the Neurological Institute and a physician leader for the Center of Excellence for Spine Surgery at MHUMC.

"We have always been committed to providing the highest levels of surgical care. That's what our patients expect and deserve. We're proud of this recognition and will continue to bring the very best services to our community," said Phillip Schaengold, J.D., MBA, president and CEO of Memorial Health.

"Blue Distinction will assist members in choosing a facility or physician that best meets their medical needs," said Bob McCormack, M.D., medical director, BCBSGA. "This program provides easy access to evidence-based health information about physicians and institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care - giving members the confidence needed to make important decisions surrounding their health."

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, MHUMC met the selection criteria posted at www.BCBS.com, which includes:

  • An established spine surgery program, performing required annual volumes for certain procedures
  • An experienced spine surgery team, including spine surgeons with board certification and case volumes meeting specified requirements
  • Maintaining full accreditation by a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-deemed national accreditation organization
  • Processes for patient selection and appropriateness of surgery
  • Participation in the Surgical Care Improvement Project with greater than or equal to 90 percent performance on process measures

The full list of Blue Distinction selection criteria is available to the public at www.BCBS.com/bluedistinction. Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physicians' and medical organizations' recommendations. Today, more than 1,000 Blue Distinction Center designations have been awarded to facilities nationwide, providing consumers with a framework for making informed decisions on where to go for specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, transplants, and now spine surgery and knee and hip replacement.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association®. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com.

Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities' overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading professional organizations' recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center.