Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) has again been designated by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery. Peninsula Regional is one of just four hospitals in Maryland to hold the distinction in 2020 and the only on the Eastern Shore.

PRMC announced earlier this year that it had also earned the same distinction for Hip and Knee Replacement surgery. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, a sister facility to PRMC in the Peninsula Regional Health System, was also named a Blue Distinction Center+ for Hip and Knee Replacement surgery in 2020.

Peninsula Regional is one of only two hospitals in Maryland to be designated as a Blue Distinction Center+ in both Hip and Knee Replacement and Spine Surgery in this latest reporting cycle, and is the only Delmarva Peninsula hospital to earn both honors.

The Salisbury, Maryland based hospital has held Blue Distinction Center designations for both Hip and Knee Replacement and Spine Surgery continuously since 2009.

"Peninsula Regional Medical Center's Orthopedic and Neuroscience division is committed to focusing on the core elements of excellence," stated Warner Crumb, Executive Director of Orthopedics and Neurosciences. "Through collaboration among surgeons, administration, and nursing, we are continuing a culture of performance improvement that leads to an exceptional patient experience and exceptional patient outcomes. We're proud to have met the rigorous selection criteria that have been set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program, and believe these designations will serve as a catalyst, driving strong programs like ours to become even better."

PRMC was selected as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.

Spinal surgeries are among the most common and expensive elective surgeries in the U.S., according to the (AHRQ), which creates a significant opportunity to improve quality and value within the healthcare system. For example, there were more than 465,000 spinal fusion operations in the U.S. in 2011, and hospital costs for a fusion procedure average $27,5681 according to AHRQ.

Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Spine Surgery demonstrate expertise in cervical and lumbar fusion, cervical laminectomy and lumbar laminectomy/discectomy procedures, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions compared to other hospitals. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation. In addition to meeting these quality thresholds, facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other hospitals.

Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction