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Regional West Medical Center earns Blue Distinction Center Designation for Quality in Spine Surgery


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska has selected Regional West Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Regional West Medical Center is one of four hospitals in Nebraska to receive the distinction and the only one in Western Nebraska. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.

Spinal surgeries are one of the most frequent types of elective surgeries in the U.S. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there were more than 465,000 spinal fusion operations in the U.S. in 2011, a procedure commonly done in the lumbar region of the lower back to treat back pain.

Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery demonstrate expertise in cervical and lumbar fusion, cervical laminectomy and lumbar laminectomy/discectomy procedures, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions compared to other hospitals. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation to be designated.

Regional West Medical Center is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for spine surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“Neurosurgery and spine surgery is a vital component to the continuum of care provided at Regional West. It is because of experts like our neurosurgeons that we are able to provide excellent neurosurgical services to our patients,” said John Mentgen, Regional West President and CEO.

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.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is pleased to announce that Regional West Medical Center has been designated a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. This facility consistently delivers high quality outcomes for our members needing specialized spine procedures, and we’re happy to have them in our provider network,” Deb Esser, MD, Quality Medical Director said.

“We believe in using a team approach to provide the best care. Regional West Physicians Clinic offers the expertise of specialists in Rehabilitation Medicine, Pain Medicine, Psychiatry  and Behavioral Health services, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery and other allied services working together, all under one roof, to provide excellent care,” said Omar Jimenez, MD, Regional West Physicians Clinic-Neurosurgery & Spine Center.

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


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