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Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale and West Valley Hospital in Goodyear have been designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip ReplacementSM

3/27/2010 1:00:00 AM


PHOENIX (March 29, 2010) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona has designated Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale and West Valley Hospital in Goodyear as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement. Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement are part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s expansion of its Blue Distinction® designation.

“We are honored to receive this designation which highlights our commitment to continually designing and implementing specialized orthopedic care,” said Tyna Williams, regional vice president and chief quality officer, Abrazo Health Care. ”Our focus remains on providing quality care and improved outcomes for our patients.”

Both Arrowhead and West Valley Hospitals are equipped with the latest in state-of-the-art computer-guided navigation surgical suites, which is the equivalent of GPS for surgery and is a much more accurate method than using a metal ruler. The specially equipped suites are used for knee and hip replacement surgeries as well as a variety of endoscopic and arthroscopic procedures. Sensors are incorporated into the operating room lights, and the system is voice activated for functions such as recording procedures to a CD. Flat panel TVs enable the surgeons to see a digital representation of the area being operated on, or surgeries can be broadcast through closed-circuit TV for teaching purposes.
“Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information,” said Allan Korn, MD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Chief Medical Officer. “Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care.”

The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from a panel of expert physicians. To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, the following types of criteria were evaluated. More information on selection criteria is available on

• Established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care, and a full range of patient support services with full accreditation by a CMS-deemed national accreditation organization
• Experience and training of program surgeons, including case volume
• Quality management programs, including surgical checklists as well as tracking and evaluation of clinical outcomes and process of care
• Multi-disciplinary clinical pathways and teams to coordinate and streamline care, including transitions of care
• Shared decision making and preoperative patient education

The Blue Distinction designation is awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery and transplants. The program is part of The Blues® efforts to collaborate with physicians and medical facilities to improve the overall quality and safety of specialty care.

The additional Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement designations will bring the nation’s number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600—and this number is expected to increase in the coming years. 

About Abrazo Health Care
As the second largest health care delivery system in Arizona, Abrazo Health Care is committed to providing excellent medical care to the residents of Maricopa County. The Abrazo system includes five acute care hospitals: Arrowhead Hospital, Maryvale Hospital, Paradise Valley Hospital, Phoenix Baptist Hospital and West Valley Hospital; and has 968 licensed beds. In addition the system consists of two health plans: Phoenix Health Plan, and Abrazo Advantage, serving nine counties in the state; Abrazo Advanced Imaging Centers with five locations; School-Based Health Centers; and Abrazo Medical Group with 70 employed physicians in 19 Valley locations. Visit for more information.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ), an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest Arizona-based health insurance company. The not-for-profit company was founded in 1939 and provides health insurance products, services or networks to more than 1.3 million individuals. With offices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tempe and Tucson, the company employs more than 1,500 Arizonans. For information about BCBSAZ and its HealthyBlue program, an integrated program of tools, resources and services that can help Arizonans live a healthier lifestyle, visit


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.

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