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Maine Medical Center awarded Blue Distinction Center of Excellence
for Spine Surgery, Knee and Hip ReplacementSM

Portland, ME (May 24, 2010)  Citing clinical expertise and quality of care, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine has designated Maine Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip ReplacementSM. 

Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate an expertise and reliability in quality special care on a consistent basis, resulting in better overall outcomes for patients.

This designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with expert physician and medical organization recommendations. 

Each year, more than 2,300 spine surgeries are performed at the Neuroscience Institute at Maine Medical Center and more than 1,390 knee and hip replacements are performed at the Joint Replacement Center at Maine Medical Center. As leaders in spine and joint replacement surgeries in the state, both centers pride themselves in the quality care provided to patients.

"This recognition is a tribute to the extraordinary capabilities and expertise of our entire staff," said Peter Bates, Chief Medical Officer at Maine Medical Center (MMC). "We strive to provide the highest level of quality and advanced treatments to those needing spine surgery or knee and hip replacement. We are honored to be named a Blue Distinction Center of Excellence."

The Neuroscience Institute is the only comprehensive program in the State of Maine treating adults and children with spinal cord and back injuries.

"Our center integrates the latest technology, rehabilitation and education with compassionate care to advance the well-being of patients with spine pain," said Rajiv Desai, MD, medical director of the Neuroscience Institute at Maine Medical Center.  "Being named a Blue Distinction Center is a testament to the leading edge services we provide."

The success of the Joint Replacement Center is due in part to efforts that begin long before surgery takes place, from in-depth patient education to rehabilitation in the center's own therapy gym in the weeks following surgery.

"We are extremely proud of this achievement," said Brian McGrory, MD, medical director of the Joint Replacement Center at Maine Medical Center. "Our program is built on quality. The expertise and collaborative efforts of our entire medical team supports our commitment to returning patients to their lives."

"We are always working in partnership with all Maine hospitals and physicians to help improve the quality of care delivered to our members," said Jeffrey Holmstrom, D.O., Medical Director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. "We're sharing this designation with our members so that those whose benefits plans include coverage for these services have the information they need to make important health care decisions for themselves or their family members."

"Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information," said Daniel Corcoran, President and General Manager, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine. "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."

To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement, Maine Medical Center was evaluated on specific criteria and ultimately was awarded the distinction. The criteria are as follows: 

  • 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.

Additional information about the selection criteria is available at

About Maine Medical Center
Maine Medical Center (MMC) is a complete health care resource for the people of Greater Portland and the entire state, as well as northern New England. Incorporated in 1864, MMC is the state's largest medical center, licensed for 637 beds and employing more than 6,000 people. MMC's unique role as both a community hospital and a referral center requires an unparalleled depth and breadth of services, including an active educational program and a world-class biomedical research center. As a nonprofit institution, Maine Medical Center provides nearly 23 percent of all the charity care delivered in Maine. MMC is a member of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in southern, central, and western Maine.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and 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 Maine is available at

About Blue Distinction Centers
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.


Media Contacts:
Chris Dugan (207) 822-8454 (Anthem)

Tiffany Nelson (207) 662-5032 (MMC)


Maine Medical Center | 22 Bramhall Street | Portland, Maine 04102-3175 | (207) 662-0111