Published on July 20, 2020

Pella Regional Health Center earns Blue Distinction® Center+ designation for demonstrating quality care in knee and hip replacement surgeries


PELLA, Iowa (July 20, 2020) — Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has recognized Pella Regional Health Center with a Blue Distinction Center+ designation for Knee and Hip Replacement, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers® are nationally designated providers who show expertise in delivering high-quality patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

“Earning this distinction recognizes our commitment to quality care and the best possible outcomes for our patients,” said Bob Kroese, CEO Pella Regional Health Center. “Patients can be confident they will receive exceptional care and will get back to their best health when they choose to have joint replacement surgery here at Pella Regional Health Center.”

Facilities 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 readmissions. 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 compared to their peers.

“In order to be considered for the Wellmark Blue Distinction Center+, there is an immense set of criteria to meet.  Pella Regional Health Center, and the entire joint replacement surgical team, goes to great lengths to live those values and ensure high quality outcomes for our patients.  We are grateful and honored to be recognized for this achievement.”  Chris Vincent, M.D., Medical Director – Orthopedics.

Knee and hip replacement procedures remain some of the most commonly performed, elective surgical procedures in the U.S., according to a 2018 study released by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. In 2014, there were 370,770 total hip replacements and 680,150 total knee replacements1. 

“For those of us on the joint replacement team at Pella Regional Health Center, it is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to our patients and their surgical outcomes,” said orthopedic surgeon Mark Matthes, MD. 

“Being named a Wellmark Blue Distinction Center+ highlights the trust and confidence our patients have in the joint replacement program we have developed at Pella Regional Health Center,” stated Ben Beecher, MD, orthopedic surgeon. 

Pella Regional Health Center is proud to be recognized by Wellmark for meeting the robust selection criteria for knee and hip replacements set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program remains a trusted and valuable source for patients seeking quality care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery and transplants. Pella Regional Health Center has also been recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for maternity care. 

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


1 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Changing Demographics in Primary and Revision Total Joint Arthroplasty, 2000-2014 Matthew Sloan, Neil P Sheth, March 06, 2018.    


Knee Surgery