News Release

Enloe receives Blue Distinction Center+ Designation for quality, efficiency

Designation aids consumers and employers in choosing high-performing hospitals

CHICO, Calif., March 26, 2013 – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California have named Enloe Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center+ in Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care. The criteria for designation recently expanded to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety, as well as new cost-efficiency measures.


Since 2006, consumers, medical providers and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering quality care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants, according to Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community and include general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics. Enloe Medical Center is proud to have met the rigorous selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program. The medical center is one of 31 in California to date to receive the Blue Distinction Center+ designation for Knee and Hip Replacement and one of 21 to receive it for Spine Surgery.

“The Total Joint Replacement Program is fortunate to have several orthopedists who have shown they provide quality, volume and cost-efficient care,” said Orthopedic Surgeon Brock Cummings, MD, Medical Director of the Total Joint Replacement Program. “We will only be more cohesive and collaborative as we continue to develop and fine-tune this program.”

“The program in turn helps the surgeons and the Enloe program to continually improve,” said Neuro Surgeon Bill Whitlatch, MD. Along with measuring and tracking quality outcomes on an ongoing basis, the nurses help patients understand what to expect before and after surgery. “The more you educate the patient and the better communication you have, the better they tend to do.”

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are more than 20 percent more cost-efficient. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed health care decisions. These results will also enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality and cost objectives.

Fine detail on the designation: Blue Distinction® Centers met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction® Centers+ also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. To find out which services and providers (including hospital-based physicians) are covered under your policy, or to learn about Local Blue Plan Criteria, contact your Local Blue Plan; and contact your provider before making an appointment to verify its current Network and Blue Distinction Centers status. Each hospital’s Cost Index is calculated separately, based on data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in portions of CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in areas served by two Local Blue Plans, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether all hospitals in these areas must meet Blue Distinction Centers+ national criteria for one or both Cost Index figures. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages, losses, or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.  To find out more, contact your Local Blue Plan.

About Anthem Blue Cross – Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross name and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company is available at Also, follow us on Twitter at, on Facebook at, or visit our YouTube channel at

About Blue Shield of California – Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan with 3.3 million members, 5,000 employees and $10 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California provideshealth, life, dental, vision, and Medicare insurance and health care service plans in California. Blue Shield of California was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2012 and 2013.Since 2005, the company has contributed more than $200 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation, one of BusinessWeek's most generous corporate foundations. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit

About Enloe Medical Center’s Total Joint Replacement Program – The Total Joint Replacement Program is committed to restoring function and mobility, minimizing pain and facilitating a return to a patient’s normal lifestyle. The program offers the most current surgical techniques to benefit those who suffer from severe joint pain or dysfunction. Less-invasive surgical techniques enable a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery and rehabilitation. Learn more about Enloe’s Total Joint Replacement Program at

Media Contact:

Christina Chavira, Communications Specialist
530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell

# # #

Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif.  95926.

Find a Doctor