News & Events

Backus Receives Blue Distinction Center+ Designation for Quality and Efficiency

March 19, 2013

The Blue Distinction® Designation Aids Consumers and Employers in Choosing High-Performing Hospitals

NORWICH, CT – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has named Backus Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center+ in Knee and Hip Replacement. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care – which expanded recently to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety, as well as new cost-efficiency measures.

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 selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community and include general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics.  Backus Hospital is proud to have met the rigorous selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

To view a video on Backus receiving the Blue Distinction Center Plus designation, click here.


Work on the Blue Distinction is a reflection of good collaboration between the hospital and the medical staff,” said Jim O’Dea, PhD, MBA, Backus Vice President of Clinical Service Line Development.  “Earning this designation required physician leadership, integration with multiple surgeons and we had to incorporate our quality improvement specialists who gathered relevant data and performance metrics as part of the application.  Our high quality outcomes, delivered in a cost-effective manner demonstrate again how Backus, working together with our medical staff can deliver the best possible care, close to home.”

“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield congratulates Backus Hospital on being recognized as a Blue Distinction Center,” said Dr. Peter Bowers, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Chief Medical Officer. “They have demonstrated an expertise and a commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for patients of comprehensive inpatient knee and hip replacement services.”

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are more than 20 percent more cost-efficient. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed healthcare decisions.  These results will also enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality and cost objectives.