Fort Walton Beach, FL – Fort Walton Beach Medical Center has earned the Blue Distinction Center designation for Knee and Hip Replacement, from Florida Blue as part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s 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 that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.

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 Surgery1 and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons2.

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.

“We are proud to be recognized by Florida Blue for meeting the robust selection criteria for knee and hip replacements set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program”, stated Mitch Mongell, CEO of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. “This designation exemplifies our commitment to providing the best quality care to our patients. It also differentiates us from other facilities in the area and helps patients make better-informed decisions about where to seek quality specialty care.”

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.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.