Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Announces Rush Foundation Hospital as Blue Distinction+ Center of Excellence for Knee & Hip Replacement

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is proud to announce Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian as a Blue Distinction+ Center of Excellence for knee & hip replacement.

“The Blue Distinction Centers of Excellence program recognizes those Network Hospitals and their physicians that demonstrate high levels of performance in delivering quality specialty care to their patients safely, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner,” said Dr. Thomas Fenter, Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi. “The Centers of Excellence program highlights the commitment and overall results of these hospitals and surgeons.”

Centers of Excellence are Network Providers that specialize in certain illness and/or treatments. Centers of Excellence must first be designated as Blue Distinction Centers by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, based on national criteria around quality, cost and total value, and then meet additional criteria as defined by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

By providing access to quality, cost effective Network Providers, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi encourages Mississippians to take ownership of their health and make educated healthcare choices. The health and wellness company has developed meaningful and proven provider quality benchmarks that are being used to evaluate the quality and cost of care of its Network Providers.  Quality benchmarks are designed to advance quality process improvements, reduce variation in care and enhance the patient experience within the hospital and clinic settings.  By implementing programs that progressively raise the bar on provider quality, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is providing Mississippians access to quality Network Providers who practice evidence-based medicine, with the overall goal of healthier Mississippians. 

“We are extremely proud of our orthopedic surgeons, the surgical teams working alongside them and all the Rush caregivers who are a part of the Rush Joint Replacement Program for achieving the Blue Distinction Center of Excellence designation,” said Larkin Kennedy, President of Hospital Operations for Rush Health Systems.  

“They were all instrumental in, and dedicated to meeting the rigorous selection criteria set forth by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.  This prestigious recognition is confirmation that knee and hip replacement patients who receive care at Rush Foundation Hospital are receiving medical care that meets high quality standards, with improved patient outcomes and lower rates of complications and readmissions.  We appreciate the leadership demonstrated by our orthopedic surgeons: Dr. Irv Martin,

Dr. David Pomierski, Dr. Sonny Rush and Dr. Jimmy Watson. We feel very fortunate to have surgeons with their skills and experience working alongside highly trained surgical teams and clinicians to provide our patients with care that is worthy of recognition as a Blue Distinction+ Center of Excellence.”

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi recognizes that collaboration with its Network Providers is critical in ensuring that providers and healthcare companies share the same goals of improving care for patients.  By focusing on quality, the aim is to reduce unnecessary complications and admissions, thereby, the cost of unnecessary healthcare can be avoided and overall wellness is a priority. “While each Network Provider’s approach to quality may be different, we value the work that all of our Network Hospitals and Network Physicians are doing when it comes to overall quality healthcare improvement and will continue to recognize those sharing our goals of a healthier Mississippi,” said Dr. Fenter.

Rush Foundation Hospital, the only hospital in its region to hold this distinction, joins Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Singing River Health Systems-Ocean Springs Hospital in Ocean Springs and Singing River Health Systems-Pascagoula Hospital in Pascagoula in carrying this distinction.

The Blue Distinction Center of Excellence designation is one component of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi’s quality of care partnership with its Network Providers, and illustrates that quality and cost-effective healthcare choices for improved health are what the “Value of Blue” represents to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi members. For more information on Blue Distinction Centers+, please visit