Sky Ridge Medical Center
March 19, 2010

Sky Ridge Has Been Designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, Knee and Hip Replacement

Lone Tree, CO — Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado has designated Sky Ridge Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, which are part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s expansion of its Blue Distinction® designation.

“We are pleased to earn this designation for quality and exceptional care on behalf of our patients and the community,” said Maureen Tarrant, CEO of Sky Ridge Medical Center. “This is a testament to the extraordinary physicians, nurses and healthcare providers who have made our Spine & Total Joint Center a best in class facility.”

Sky Ridge Medical Center offers comprehensive spine surgery and knee and hip replacement services, including a dedicated Spine & Total Joint Center with seven state-of-the-art operating suites, a separate entrance and waiting room, private classroom for pre and post-op education, a dedicated spine and orthopedics floor with rehab gym and a world-class team of surgeons and healthcare providers. In fact, Sky Ridge performs more spine surgeries than any other hospital in Colorado.

“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 and a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, the following types of criteria were evaluated. More information on selection criteria is available at

  • 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 designation is awarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical 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 and Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement designations will bring the nation’s number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600—and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.

Sky Ridge Medical Center, a full-service acute care hospital, is a member of the HealthONE system of excellence, which includes seven hospitals; three surgery centers; more than 30 occupational medicine/rehabilitation, Broncos Sports Medicine and specialty clinics; and AIRLIFE, which provides critical care air and ground transportation for the HealthONE system.

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 Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and 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.