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Ned Schano
UPMC Health Plan

UPMC Health Plan Announces New Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Centers of Excellence

Nine providers have been designated as part of this new program

PITTSBURGH (Aug. 7, 2019) – UPMC Health Plan has established a Center of Excellence program for elective hip and knee joint replacement surgery to promote high-quality outcomes for members.

The UPMC Health Plan Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Surgery Center of Excellence program recognizes surgical facilities and orthopedic surgeons that demonstrate high quality outcomes, low complication rates, and the best patient experience for UPMC Health Plan members in need of joint replacement surgery.

Orthopedic surgeons and hospitals who are awarded the Center of Excellence designation have passed a rigorous credentialing process proven by established patient-centric and evidence-based best practices that result in excellent outcomes. They also must demonstrate the finest patient experience throughout the entire care process, from presurgical consultation to postsurgical recovery and return to a functional lifestyle.

“Hip and knee joint replacement surgeries are among the most frequently performed orthopedic surgeries in the U.S. and it’s important that UPMC Health Plan developed this program to ensure our members receive the highest quality of care,” said Amy Helwig MD, MS, chief quality officer at UPMC Health Plan. “The goal of the Center of Excellence program is to help members make an informed decision about their care, so they can get back to doing the activities they enjoy.” 

“This program is built on the foundation of knowledge and experience of our great surgeons and clinical and operational leaders across UPMC,” said MaCalus V. Hogan, MD, MBA, vice chair of orthopedic surgery and medical director for outcomes and registries at UPMC. “Our goal is to drive better quality and outcomes as we continue to innovate how health care is delivered now and beyond. The Centers of Excellence are essential to our path forward.”

The following are the initial group of providers and facilities to be awarded a UPMC Health Plan Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Surgery Center of Excellence designation:


As UPMC Health Plan accepts new applications in the coming months, additional providers are expected to be added to the list following completion of the credentialing process.

“Obtaining the Center of Excellence designation from UPMC Health Plan provides our patients with additional knowledge that they will receive the best care before, during, and after their joint replacement surgery,” said Elliot L. Smith, MD, chief clinical officer at Butler Health System. “Our orthopedic surgeons here at Butler Health System have successfully completed a rigorous credentialing program and we are honored to be recognized as a Center of Excellence.”

“Hip and knee replacement surgery is a serious decision,” said Dr. Helwig. “When UPMC Health Plan members choose a Center of Excellence, they gain peace of mind knowing that we’ve set high standards for these providers and facilities. Members can be confident that they will receive excellent care and achieve the best results, which helps to minimize the chance of additional issues or the need for another surgery.”

A member’s copayment, coinsurance, and/or deductible for these surgeries depends on their insurance plan. For questions, members are encouraged to call a health care concierge at the number listed on the back of their member ID card for more information.

Facilities and surgeons who are interested in applying for this designation are encouraged to visit upmchp.us/hip-knee-coe or call provider relations.


About UPMC Insurance Services Division

The UPMC Insurance Services Division is owned and operated by the UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. The UPMC Insurance Services Division—which includes UPMC Health Plan, WorkPartners, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, and Community Care Behavioral Health—offers a full range of Employer Group and Individual health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs, Children’s Health (CHIP), Medical Assistance, Behavioral Health, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Workers' Compensation, and Absence Management products and services to 3.5 million members. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.