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Allegheny Health Network Hospitals earn 17 Blue Distinction Center designations for High Quality Care

Monday, April 15, 2019

Pittsburgh, Pa - Seven Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospitals and one affiliated institute have been recognized by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Blue Distinction Specialty Care program for meeting the highest quality standards in multiple advanced service lines, including knee and hip replacement, spine surgery, transplants, bariatric care, maternity care, cardiac care, and cancer care.

The Blue Distinction Center program includes two types of designations: Blue Distinction Centers, which are health care facilities and providers recognized for demonstrating high quality care, clinical expertise and better overall patient outcomes, and Blue Distinction Centers+, which are health care facilities and providers recognized for their efficiency in delivering care in addition high quality, clinical expertise, and better overall outcomes.

Among AHN’s hospitals and institutes which have earned Blue Distinction Center designations include the following:

  • AHN Cancer Institute
  • Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) for adult heart and liver transplant

Among AHN’s hospitals which have earned Blue Distinction Center+ designations include the following:

  • AGH for knee and hip replacement, spine surgery, and cardiac care
  • Allegheny Valley Hospital for knee and hip replacement
  • Canonsburg Hospital for knee and hip replacement
  • Forbes Hospital for cardiac care and knee and hip replacement
  • Jefferson Hospital for knee and hip replacement
  • Saint Vincent Hospital for cardiac care, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, and spine surgery
  • West Penn Hospital for bariatric care, cardiac care, and maternity care

“Blue Distinction Center designations are further evidence of our network’s commitment to providing high-quality, patient-centered care across the communities we serve,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, president and CEO, Allegheny Health Network. “Outstanding caregivers are at the heart of this important achievement for our organization, and I could not be prouder of those who come to work at AHN every day and make such a tremendous difference in the lives of so many.” 

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in their communities while also encouraging health care professionals to raise their standards of care.  Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers provide better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared to peer institutions, including lower complication rates and fewer readmissions.

“The Blue Distinction program gives Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield members the ability to choose their providers based upon reliable quality and safety information,” said Dr. Charles DeShazer, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Highmark. “It is also a pathway for exceptional providers to demonstrate their value, and delivers the kind of transparency necessary for members to make informed, value-driven health care decisions. We congratulate AHN and all of our Blue Distinction Specialty Care providers on their outstanding performance.”

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


About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Highmark Inc., doing business as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, serves approximately 2.5 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional individuals through the BlueCard® program. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is the market leader in commercial market share, and through its affiliated Blue companies, has strong Medicare Advantage market share as well. Through its affiliated Blue companies, Highmark is the largest and highest-rated Medicare Advantage program in Pennsylvania, and all Medicare Advantage plans have received a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services STARS quality rating of 4+ out of 5.0 STARS. In western Pennsylvania, its unaided brand awareness, brand preference and overall brand rating are significantly higher than its closest competitor. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield employs more than 4,100 people in western, north central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Index. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.

About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.