St. Anthony North Hospital Blue Distinction For Spine Surgery

Blue Distinction Centerfor Spine SurgerySM

Westminster (Feb. 25, 2010)- St. Anthony North Hospital is among the first in the country to receive designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery are part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations expansion of its Blue Distinction designation.

It is important that every spine patient receive quality care in a caring environment," said John Mitchell, president and CEO of St. Anthony North Hospital. We are honored to be recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, and are grateful to the physicians, nurses and staff who are here everyday providing excellent care."

The Orthopedic and Spine Institute at St. Anthony North Hospital is an inpatient unit dedicated to the care of spine surgery patients. The physicians, nurses, therapists and staff have received specialized training to provide comprehensive care to encourage the best outcomes. Pre-operative classes are available to patients and their loved ones as they prepare for surgery. Free community classes are also offered to anyone suffering from back and neck pain to explore surgical and non-surgical options for treatment.

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 Spine Surgery, 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 designationis awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies tomedical 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 Spine Surgery designations will bring the nations number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.

For more information about the Orthopedic and Spine Institute at St. Anthony North, go to

About St. Anthony North Hospital

St. Anthony North Hospital is a full-service, 196-bed acute care facility offering a full complement of emergency, medical and surgical services. St. Anthony North is part of Centura Health, Colorados largest hospital and health care network delivering advanced care to more than half a million people each year, across 12 hospitals, seven senior living communities, medical clinics, Flight For Life and home care and hospice services. St. Anthony Norths and Centura's strength lies in the ability to offer a team of connected networks and shared resources to deliver accessible, reliable and cost-effective health care across the state. For more information about St. Anthony North Hospital, visit

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information aboutAnthem Blue Crossand Blue Shield in Colorado is available at

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.