Marin General Hospital Named Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement® and Spine Surgery

Marin General Hospital Named Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement® and Spine Surgery

GREENBRAE, CA — Blue Shield of California has named Marin General Hospital as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement® and as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery®. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program, launched in 2006, is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care in Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Care, Complex and Rare Cancers, Knee and Hip Replacements, Spine Surgery and Transplants. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better-informed healthcare decisions, and also enables employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality objectives. 

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. The program was recently expanded to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety. 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.  

“This national designation shows that our investment in quality and collaboration is paying off,” says Lee Domanico, CEO of Marin General Hospital. “It recognizes that the orthopedic team, from the surgeons, anesthesiologists and support teams to nursing and rehabilitative staff are committed to ensuring that patients receive a safe, positive, quality experience.” 

“Blue Distinction Centers set themselves apart by adhering to best practices in patient safety and surgical care and producing consistently strong outcomes with fewer complications,” says Marcus Thygeson, MD, senior vice president and chief health officer for health care services at Blue Shield. “Blue Shield of California is pleased to recognize the high-quality care delivered by Marin General Hospital and the physicians who practice there.” 

Marin General Hospital offers full-service orthopedic and spine care, from pre-surgical evaluation to surgery and rehabilitation. The board-certified orthopedic surgeons perform an average of 30 joint replacement surgeries monthly and 20 spine surgeries, and have received specialized and/or fellowship training in specific procedures. 

The hospital’s joint replacement outcomes exceed national averages, with patients going home after 2.7 to 3.2 days, compared to the national average of 3.0 to 3.7. The program offers full and partial knee replacement, both posterior and anterior hip replacement, shoulder replacement, orthopedic spine surgery, trauma-related orthopedic surgery, and minimally invasive procedures. The hospital has two dedicated joint-replacement operating rooms. 

Marin General Hospital’s Spine & Brain Institute, a special collaboration between the hospital, Mt. Tam Spine Center, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Neurosurgery, offers world-class, comprehensive spine and brain care. All spine surgeons are fellowship-trained in spinal surgery and exclusively treat disorders of the spine, including complex cervical spine surgery and scoliosis of the spine. Through this collaboration with the UCSF Department of Neurosurgery patients also benefit from the resources of a renowned teaching hospital with access to certain clinical trials while enjoying personalized care in an intimate neighborhood setting. 

To learn more about the Blue Distinction designation, visit

Blue Distinction® Centers met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction® Centers+ also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. To find out which services and providers (including hospital based physicians) are covered under your policy, or to learn about Local Blue Plan Criteria, contact your Local Blue Plan; and contact your provider before making an appointment to verify its current Network and Blue Distinction Centers status. Each hospital’s Cost Index is calculated separately, based on data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in portions of CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in areas served by two Local Blue Plans, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether all hospitals in these areas must meet Blue Distinction Centers+ national criteria for one or both Cost Index figures. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages, losses, or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers. To find out more, contact your Local Blue Plan. 

About Marin General Hospital
Marin General Hospital, located in Greenbrae, CA, is the only full-service, acute care hospital in Marin County. 

For more information or a physician referral, please visit or call the Marin General Health Line at 1-888-99-MY-MGH (1-888-996-9644).