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Aspirus orthopedic program recognized for quality

Jan 19, 2010

WAUSAU, Wis. – Aspirus Wausau Hospital recently was recognized by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), which designated Aspirus’ orthopedic program as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement.

The BCBSA awards this designation to medical facilities that offer comprehensive inpatient knee and hip replacement services, and demonstrate a commitment to quality care that results in better overall outcomes for patients.

“This recognition is a testament to quality of our orthopedic program, as well as the positive experience patients can expect when they choose Aspirus,” said Kathy Drengler, Vice President of Clinical Services at Aspirus.

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, facilities must perform at least 100 total knee and total hip replacement surgeries per year. In the last 12 months, Aspirus Wausau Hospital has performed 367 total knee replacement procedures and 254 total hip replacement procedures.

Patients at Blue Distinction facilities spend less time in the hospital following surgery, and also experience much lower re-admission rates. These facilities also have:

  • Earned Magnet designation for nursing excellence.

  • An inpatient unit dedicated to the care of orthopedic patients.

  • A multi-disciplinary orthopedic program to address the full continuum of care across inpatient and outpatient settings.

  • Dedicated orthopedic surgeons.

Blue Distinction® is a designation awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based, objective selection criteria established in collaboration with the recommendations of expert physicians and medical organizations.

BCBSA recognizes facilities for distinguished clinical care and processes in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, transplants, spine surgery and knee and hip replacement. The goal of the program is to help consumers find quality specialty care on a consistent basis, while enabling and encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the overall quality and delivery of care nationwide.

For a detailed summary of the criteria for becoming a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, visit

Contact: Greg Aune, 715.847.0479