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King's Daughters Medical Center, based in Ashland, Ky., has been named a Blue Distinction Center+ in both spine surgery and knee and hip replacement. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care. The program expanded recently to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety, as well as new cost-efficiency measures.

KDMC perform spine surgeons includine neurosurgeon Ondrej Choutka, M.D., along with orthopedic spine surgeon James Rice, M.D. Orthopedic surgeons performing knee and hip replacements at KDMC include George Aitken, M.D.; Michael Goodwin, M.D.; David Jenkinson, M.D.; Joseph Leith, M.D.; Laura Reese, D.O.; and James Rice, M.D. For a complete list of KDMC physicians, visit

Since 2006, consumers, medical providers and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering quality care in areas such as bariatric surgery, cardiac care, knee and hip replacements, and spine surgery. KDMC has been a Blue Distinction Center for bariatric surgery since 2008.

The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from the medical community and include general quality and safety metrics plus program specific metrics. KDMC is proud to have met the rigorous criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

"We are extremely proud of the quality care our Team provides, and we're excited to receive the Blue Distinction Center+ designation," said Mona Thompson, Chief Quality Officer at King's Daughters. "We think this affirms what our patients have known for a long time: patients will travel for the high-quality care available at KDMC."

“For 75 years Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky has been proud to salute healthcare facilities that provide outstanding healthcare value based on their commitment to delivering better patient outcomes,” said Deb Moessner, Anthem president. “We congratulate KDMC and appreciate the important role they play in providing quality medical services to Anthem’s members.”

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are more than 20 percent more cost-efficient. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed healthcare decisions. These results will also enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality and cost objectives.

About KDMC

King's Daughters Medical Center is a locally controlled, not-for-profit, 465-bed regional referral center, covering a 150-mile radius that includes southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia. KDMC offers comprehensive acute and outpatient services at its main campus in Ashland, Ky. KDMC also has more than 50 locations throughout Kentucky and Ohio, offering primary care and specialty services to patients in a 20-county area.

Established in 1899, KDMC currently ranks fourth in the state of Kentucky in terms of overall admissions. King’s Daughters also has one of the busiest emergency departments in the state of Kentucky.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky, 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 Blue Shield Association.  Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky is available at Also, follow us on Twitter at, on Facebook at, or visit our YouTube channel at

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 38 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

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