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Published on October 22, 2020

For Immediate Release

Maryanne Boster
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
tel: 703.558.6581

Virginia Hospital Center Earns Blue Distinction® Center+ Designations for Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Spine and Bariatric Surgeries


Arlington, VA: October 22, 2020 – CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) has selected Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, as a Blue Distinction Center+ for both Spine and Bariatric Surgeries, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. 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. 

“Our physicians are continuously applying the most innovative methods to protect the safety of our patients and provide positive outcomes,” said Kevin Hoak, Associate Vice President, Perioperative Services of Virginia Hospital Center. “Designations like these continue to assure our community that the medical care they receive at VHC is top quality and that patient care is our number one priority.” 

Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Spine Surgery demonstrate expertise in cervical and lumbar fusion, cervical laminectomy and lumbar laminectomy/discectomy procedures. Blue Distinction Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery provide a full range of bariatric surgery care, including surgical care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education. These Centers have lower complication rates and fewer readmissions when compared with other hospitals. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation. 

Only those facilities that first meet nationally established, objective quality measures are considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+. In addition to meeting these quality thresholds, facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient in an episode of care when compared to other hospitals.

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