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Employers Centers of Excellence Network

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By evaluating and selecting Centers of Excellence (CoEs) and negotiating bundled payments, the Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN) assists Members and other self-insured employers who want to provide their employees with high quality surgical care for certain high cost procedures.

Since January 1, 2014, the ECEN has offered four hip and knee replacements CoEs and as of April 1, 2015, three CoEs for spine procedures. In 2015, the ECEN will expand to provide greater geographical reach. Participating employers include Walmart, Lowe’s, McKesson and JetBlue.

Even when factoring in travel expenses and waived co-pays, negotiated bundled payments for surgical procedures performed by CoEs cost considerably less, on average, than what Members currently pay for these services. The cost equation improves even further since these high quality procedures produce quality outcomes that can mitigate costly revisions and infections. Much of the cost reduction comes from avoiding unnecessary procedures, with top-performing surgeons using evidence-based medicine to determine surgical appropriateness.

PBGH established the ECEN in 2014 after having been inspired by several pioneering employers -- Walmart, Lowe’s, and McKesson -- who wanted to provide employees access to high quality surgical care.  Since its launch, the ECEN has received very positive reviews from employers and patients alike, with 98 percent of patients recommending the program.


Olivia Ross MPH, MBA
Associate Director
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