(HYANNIS, MA – January 23, 2020) – Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Massachusetts has awarded Cape Cod Hospital with a Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery, as part of the BCBS Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers® are nationally designated healthcare facilities that show a commitment to delivering high-quality patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations. “The Blue Distinction Center program is one way Blue Cross Blue Shield Association plans across the country recognize health care facilities that share our commitment to quality and affordability,” said Bruce Nash, MD, Chief Physician Officer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “By meeting quality, safety and outcomes measures developed collaboratively by the health care community, organizations that earn this designation in general provide better care, better results and a better patient experience for our members.” Spinal surgeries are among the most common and expensive elective surgeries in the U.S., according to the government based Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which creates a significant opportunity to improve quality and value. For example, there were more than 463,000 spinal fusion operations in the U.S. in 2014, and hospital costs for a fusion procedure average $28,9001, according to AHRQ. Facilities 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 readmissions compared to other facilities. Designated facilities include hospitals (with and without an onsite Intensive Care Unit) and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC). All designated facilities must 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 facilities. “Care quality, safety and patient access are at the forefront of all we do at Cape Cod Healthcare. We appreciate this recognition of our commitment to providing the highest quality specialty care services to our patients on Cape Cod,” said Michael Lauf, Cape Cod Healthcare president and CEO. The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery, and transplants. Research for many of these programs shows that, compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of designated facilities, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction. Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 5,700 employees and 790 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare has two acute care hospitals, the Cape’s leading provider of homecare and hospice services (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility, four urgent care centers and numerous health programs. For more information, visit Cape Cod Healthcare’s web site at www.capecodhealth.org. Cape Cod Healthcare. Visit our health news site www.capecodhealthnews.com for the latest in relevant and credible healthcare news. https://hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb233-Operating-Room-Procedures-United-States-2014.pdf The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Indexsm. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube and follow us on Twitter. Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.