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

April 08 2013

Lincoln, Neb. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska has named Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center+ in Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program awards medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care.

“This designation is a tribute to the dedicated team of physicians, nurses, technicians and therapists who provide the highest level of quality and efficiency in our knee, hip and spine programs,” said Brenda Stutzman, director, orthopaedics. “Their dedication to the care of our patients resulted in Saint Elizabeth receiving this distinction.”

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Center+ -- the highest Blue Distinction recognition – demonstrates better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. A Blue Distinction Center+ is also more than 20 percent more cost-efficient.

Since 2006, consumers, medical providers and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering high-quality specialty care. The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community, and includes general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics.

James Gallentine, MD, orthopaedic surgeon adds, “the Blue Distinction Center+ award demonstrates the commitment of the staff at Saint Elizabeth to meet the high standards and rigorous criteria set by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska.” 

The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed health care decisions. These results will also enable employers, working with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality objectives.


About Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center
Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, founded more than 120 years ago, is a full-service, 264-bed, nonprofit regional medical center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Since 2004, Saint Elizabeth has been recognized as a Magnet hospital for excellence in nursing. Saint Elizabeth is guided by its core values of reverence, integrity, compassion and excellence to devote funding and resources to programs and services that benefit their patients as well as the health of the greater community. Saint Elizabeth is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). For more information, visit

About Catholic Health Initiatives
Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health system with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 18 states and includes 80 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; two accredited nursing colleges; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2012, CHI provided more than $715 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With total annual revenues of more than $10.7 billion and approximately 83,700 employees, CHI ranks as the nation’s second-largest faith-based health system. For more information, visit

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) is a member-owned health insurance company serving nearly 700,000 people. Since 1939, BCBSNE has been committed to protecting Nebraska families and delivering the health and wellness solutions Nebraskans value most. Recent awards include: Platinum Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Councils of America and Best Places to Work in Omaha. BCBSNE is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.