Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — February 22, 2013

BlueCross BlueShield of WNY Names Catholic Health Hospitals Blue Distinction

Designation Recognizes High Performing Hospitals for Quality and Efficiency

ALBANY—BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York today announced that all Buffalo area Catholic Health hospitals have been named Blue Distinction Centers+. Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, and Sisters of Charity Hospital, Main Street Campus, were all recognized for excellence in Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement. Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus was recognized for quality in Knee and Hip Replacement. These hospitals are the only local facilities to receive designations for these services.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program recognizes hospitals across the country that have a proven track record for delivering better results – including fewer complications and readmissions – than hospitals without these recognitions. Blue Distinction Centers+ meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers, but are further recognized for their expertise and efficiency in delivering high quality care that is more affordable for patients.

“This recognition represents the hard work and clinical expertise of our doctors, nurses, and the medical and surgical teams that support our spine surgery and knee and hip replacement programs,” said Brian D'Arcy, senior vice president of Medical Affairs for Catholic Health. “As a high performing health system, we are working every day to transform health care in our community by delivering the highest quality care as well as the best value. We are grateful to BlueCross BlueShield for recognizing these efforts with the Blue Distinction Centers+ designation.”

The Blue Distinction Center program was developed with input from the medical community and evaluates hospitals on their ability to deliver high quality and safe specialty care based on criteria that directly impact patient results – e.g., surgical team expertise and a history of better outcomes for patients. Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are twenty percent more cost efficient than other hospitals.

“Our Blue Distinction program recognizes area hospitals that demonstrate high quality care and cost efficiency, as well as improved patient health and safety,” said Dr. Raghu Ram, Chief Medical Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.“ BlueCross BlueShield is working to transform our health care system so that we reward quality care, improve health outcomes, and reduce costs. All of Catholic Health's hospitals have proven their commitment to this transformation.”

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 Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was recently expanded to include new cost efficiency measures, as well as more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety.

The Catholic Health hospitals are the only Buffalo area hospitals to receive recognition for these services and among only eight in New York State to receive the Spine Surgery designation and twenty-one to receive the Knee and Hip Replacement distinction statewide.

Catholic Health Blue Distinction Center+ Hospitals

Spine Surgery

Knee and Hip Replacement

Kenmore Mercy Hospital


Mercy Hospital of Buffalo


Sisters of Charity Hospital (Main Street Campus)


Sisters of Charity Hospital – St. Joseph Campus




For more information about the Blue Distinction Program and to see a list of Blue Distinction
Centers in your area, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About BlueCross BlueShield of WNY
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., one of New York's leading health care companies that provides access to quality health care and solutions for members throughout Upstate New York. Since 1936, BlueCross BlueShield has helped millions of people gain access to health care. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the company is an independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. As the region's leading health plan, serving over 800,000 members, BlueCross BlueShield believes in taking small steps towards healthier living because - Healthy Changes Everything?.

About Catholic Health
One of the largest providers of health care in Western New York, Catholic Health's healing ministry dates back more than 160 years. Catholic Health integrates advanced technology in a tradition of medical excellence and compassionate care in its mission to reveal the healing love of Jesus to those in need. Among others, its facilities are known for excellence in cardiac care, stroke care, women's services, cancer services, bariatric surgery, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, rehabilitation and orthopedic services. For more information on Catholic Health, please visit http://www.chsbuffalo.org or call (716) 447-6205.