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Arrowhead Hospital Recognized for Quality in Cardiac Care

9/10/2013 1:00:00 AM

Hospital among first to receive new designation for delivering quality and cost‐efficient 
cardiac procedures

Glendale, AZ ( September 9, 2013) - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ), an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, has recognized Arrowhead Hospital as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction Center+SM designation in the area of cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program. Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community. This year, the national program has added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost-efficient specialty care.

In 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed to help patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac CareSM designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria (such as preventing hospital-acquired infections) and cardiac-specific quality measures (related to lower rates of complications and death following cardiac surgery; and non-surgical procedures, such as cardiac stent placement) and, additionally, must show better cost efficiency relative to their peers. Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+. Arrowhead Hospital is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona for meeting the rigorous cardiac care selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

"With heart disease claiming more than 600,000 lives annually, it's imperative that Arrowhead Hospital remain a leader in cardiac services within the Northwest Valley," said Frank Molinaro, CEO, Arrowhead Hospital. "And being one of the first hospitals in Arizona to earn the distinction of a Blue Distinction Center+, Arrowhead continues to enhance its quality of care and demonstrates its commitment to a higher standard of patient care to our community." 

Cardiac procedures, including bypass and cardiac stent placement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the US health care system, with more than 1 million procedures performed annually. These cardiac-related procedures cost the nation more than $28 billion annually. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this burden, by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs.

“We’re pleased to congratulate Arrowhead Hospital on receiving a Blue Distinction Center+ designation, noted Dr. Vishu Jhaveri, chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “Recognizing Arrowhead Hospital for delivering quality specialty care is another example of BCBSAZ’s commitment to helping members better manage care through innovative initiatives aimed at improving quality of life while saving costs.”

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of health care-associated infections, compared with their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient for those same procedures. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program identifies hospitals delivering quality 
care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants. These specialty areas comprise approximately 30 percent of inpatient hospital expenditures. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit

About Arrowhead Hospital

Arrowhead Hospital, an affiliate of Abrazo Health, is conveniently located in the Northwest Valley, south of Loop 101 at 67th Avenue and Union Hills. Arrowhead is proud to have earned a Hospital Safety ScoreSM of 'A” by The Leapfrog Group two years in a row (2013 & 2012); have been named a 2012 Arizona Performance Excellence Award in Category 4 - Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; have earned a Midas+ Platinum Quality Award; and named a U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital’s - Metro Phoenix Area in 2011. Arrowhead is also designated as a Cardiac Arrest Center w/PCI and a Primary Stroke Center by Joint Commission. The full-service, acute care hospital offers such specialized services as a diagnostic and interventional cardiovascular program including open-heart surgery; comprehensive orthopedic services; 24-hour emergency care; obstetrics; inpatient and outpatient surgery; and women’s health care.

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers® (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+SM (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. For details on Local Blue Plan Criteria, a provider’s in-network status, or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan. Each hospital’s Cost Index is calculated with data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both Cost Index figures must meet BDC+ national criteria. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

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