Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Hospital for Special Surgery Forge New Long-Term Contract to Expand HMO Network

New York, NY—October 17, 2011 

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Empire BlueCross BlueShield have agreed to a new five-year contract which will expand Empire’s HMO network and establishes a long-term relationship to benefit consumers.

The contract brings HSS into Empire’s HMO, POS, Child Health Plus and Healthy New York networks. In addition, it brings many formerly non-participating physicians, and all anesthesiologists and pathologists in network.

“Demand is growing for highly skilled treatment of orthopedic and rheumatological conditions, arthritis and sports-related injuries,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO, Hospital for Special Surgery. “Therefore our participation in the leading health plan networks such as Empire BlueCross BlueShield’s offers significant benefits to those who want their care at HSS.”

“Empire is very pleased to have entered into this agreement with Hospital for Special Surgery, a world leader in orthopedics and rheumatology, and as a result, expanded access to the hospital and its physicians to benefit our members,” said John Caby, VP, Provider Engagement and Contracting, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “In addition, by increasing participation of the surgeons as well as the hospital based physicians such as anesthesia and pathology, it demonstrates our partnership and commitment to providing affordable care and improving the health outcomes of the members we serve.”

Areas of expertise at HSS include joint replacement, spine surgery, sports medicine, orthopedic trauma, limb lengthening, hand surgery, foot and ankle surgery, pediatric orthopedics, osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease, in addition to rheumatology. HSS physicians with subspecialty training in the field of spine surgery focus on patients who suffer from congenital or acute spinal disorders as well as from chronic back pain. In addition, orthopedic surgeons at HSS perform more knee replacements and hip surgeries than any other hospital in the country.

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Serving New Yorkers for over 75 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting nearly six million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Services provided by Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc. and/or Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available online. Also, follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or visit our YouTube channel.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 2 in rheumatology, No. 19 in neurology, and No. 16 in geriatrics by U.S.News & World Report (2011-12), and has received Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. From 2007 to 2011, HSS has been a recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award. A member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS provides orthopedic and rheumatologic patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. All Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are on the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at www.hss.edu.

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