Saratoga Hospital Named Blue Distinction® Center for Quality in Spine Surgery, Knee and Hip Replacement

N E W S   R E L E A S E


April  11, 2016

Saratoga Hospital Named Blue Distinction® Center for Quality in Spine Surgery,
and Knee and Hip Replacement

Hospital is only Capital Region facility to earn designation for spine surgery

Blue-Distinction-Knee-Hip                                 BlueDistinctionSpine

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, April 11, 2016 – BlueShield of Northeastern New York has once again named Saratoga Hospital a Blue Distinction Center for three surgical specialties—spine surgery and knee and hip replacement—as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Saratoga Hospital is the only Capital Region facility to be recognized as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery for meeting both quality and cost-effectiveness measures.

Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.

“As an objective indicator of quality, Blue Distinction gives our patients yet another reason to choose Saratoga Hospital,” said Mary Jo LaPosta, senior vice president of patient care and organizational excellence and chief nursing officer. “Blue Distinction affirms our commitment to provide the highest quality care and achieve the best possible outcomes—and that means a great deal to our patients and the Saratoga community.”

To earn Blue Distinction designation for a particular specialty, hospitals must demonstrate expertise that results in fewer patient complications and readmissions compared to other hospitals. Designated hospitals also must maintain national accreditation. Those recognized as Blue Distinction+ Centers meet national quality thresholds andare on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other hospitals.

“We are pleased that Saratoga Hospital has been recognized for their quality spine surgery and knee and hip replacement surgery,” said Dr. Kirk Panneton, vice president, regional executive and medical director, BlueShield of Northeastern New York. “As part of the BlueShield network, they are a valued provider of quality care for our members.”

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit


About Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider. The only acute-care facility in Saratoga County, the hospital has a medical staff of over 450 physicians and other credentialed providers, offering care in a broad range of medical specialties. In keeping with its emphasis on quality, Saratoga Hospital was the first in the Capital Region to earn Magnet Designation for nursing excellence. Hospital facilities include: Saratoga Hospital, Saratoga Hospital Nursing Home, Wilton Medical Arts, Saratoga Surgery Center, Milton Health Center, Saratoga Community Health Center and the Mollie Wilmot Radiation Oncology Center. The hospital’s physician practice, Saratoga Regional Medical Group, includes physicians in the following specialties: cardiology, dentistry, endocrinology, family medicine, hematology/oncology, internal medicine, nephrology, neurology, occupational medicine, oncology, pain management, physiatry, podiatry, primary care, psychiatry, pulmonary medicine, surgery and urology. For more information, go to

About BlueShield of Northeastern New York: BlueShield of Northeastern New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., an independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Since 1946, BlueShield has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. BlueShield offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as life and disability coverage, dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, BlueShield contributes significantly to organizations that promote physical health, community health and our region’s health. For up-to-date news, facts, and information about the company, leadership, and industry, please visit the BlueShield News Center at or follow us on Twitter.

About Blue Distinction Centers: 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 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.



Peter Hopper
Director of Marketing and Communications

11 Apr 2016