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Employers Centers of Excellence Network

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The Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN) provides employees access to demonstrated high-quality care for elective surgeries at meticulously selected Centers of Excellence (CoE) across the United States. Through the ECEN, patients receive care at little or no cost to them and employers achieve cost predictability and downstream savings.

The ECEN was established based on and inspired by PBGH Members’ interest in supporting value-based purchasing and aligns with PBGH’s ongoing mission to be a change agent creating increased value in the healthcare system through purchaser collaboration, innovation, and action, and through the spread of best practices. In early 2013, a group of eight forward-thinking self-insured employers came together to help PBGH design the ECEN program with the aim of selecting hospitals and surgeons throughout the nation for hip and knee replacements. The ECEN has since expanded to offer spine and bariatric procedures and certain oncology services.

By encouraging employees to utilize carefully selected, high-quality hospitals and surgeons for these procedures, the ECEN reduces variation in quality and cost and increases the likelihood of optimal patient outcomes. Quality improvements and decreased costs result from improved professional care coordination, team attention to evidence-based guidelines, better discharge planning to avoid preventable readmissions, increased uniformity of practice, and measurement and feedback of patient outcomes.

Since its launch, the ECEN has received very positive reviews from employers and patients alike, with 98 percent of patients recommending the program.

Kelly Klaas, MPH
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