Straub Medical Center Earns Blue Distinction Center+ Designation for Cardiac Care and Bone & Joint Care


Straub Medical Center has been designated by HMSA as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Cardiac Care and Knee and Hip Replacement Surgeries, both of which are part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.

To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care designation, a hospital must demonstrate its expertise in delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) episodes of care. A hospital must also have earned national accreditation at the facility level. In addition to meeting established quality thresholds, these hospitals must also demonstrate better cost-efficiency compared to their peers.

Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Knee and Hip Replacement demonstrate expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation. In addition to meeting these quality thresholds, hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care compared to other hospitals.

Only those facilities that first meet nationally established quality measures for Blue Distinction Centers are considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

“Our Straub Heart Center and Bone & Joint Center teams are among the best in these specialty areas, bringing together clinical expertise with cutting-edge technology to ensure Hawaii residents have access to the latest advancements in cardiac and orthopedic care,” said Art Gladstone, CEO of Straub Medical Center and Pali Momi Medical Center. “We are very proud to be recognized for our commitment to providing quality care for our patients with this designation from HMSA on behalf of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.”

“It’s extremely important to us that our members know they have access to the very best medical facilities when they need care,” said Dr. Mark Mugiishi, HMSA’s senior vice president and chief medical officer. “In addition to earning two Blue Distinction Center+ designations, Straub Medical Center was rated as a 5-star hospital by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, further demonstrating its commitment to quality care.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 610,000 lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control1. By 2030, 40.5 percent of the U.S. population is projected to have some form of cardiovascular disease, and the cost of cardiac care is expected to reach $818 billion by 2030, an increase of almost 300 percent from 2010, according to the Association. The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this burden by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care.

Knee and hip replacement procedures are among the fastest growing medical treatments in the U.S., according to studies published in the June 2014 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery2 and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons3. In 2010, the estimated cost of hip replacements averaged $17,500 and the estimated cost of knee replacements averaged $16,000, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) 4.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers.

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


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program: Accessed on Feb 3, 2015.

2 J Bone Joint Surg Am, The Role of Overweight and Obesity in Relation to the More Rapid Growth of Total Knee Arthroplasty Volume Compared with Total Hip Arthroplasty Volume, 2014 Jun 04; 96 (11): 922 -928.

3 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Annual Incidents of Common Musculoskeletal Procedures and Treatment, 2014 March;

4 HCUP Projections: Mobility/Orthopedic Procedures 2013 to 2012. HCUP Projections Report #2012-03. ONLINE  September 20, 2012, U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Available:

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