A doctor at a Centers of Excellence-approved facility listens to her patient's heartbeat with a stethoscope.
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McKesson Centers of Excellence (COE) Program

When planning a surgery or experiencing a serious medical condition, peace of mind is important. Knowing in advance that the hospital has a high success rate and promotes excellent care provides peace of mind and contributes to good healing. McKesson partners with hospitals and physicians that have a high success rate of delivering quality care and improved patient outcomes for hip and/or knee replacements. The Centers of Excellence program is available to you and your family members at little or no cost, including travel for both you and a caregiver. For specific questions about what is covered, call Health Design Plus at 800.656.1064.

About COE

The Centers of Excellence program covers the cost of your hip or knee replacement surgery and all eligible procedure-related expenses, including consultations, hospital stays, travel lodging, and daily living expenses for you and your caregiver, if you are enrolled in the HRA Core Plan. If you are enrolled in the HSA Plan or HSA Plus Plan, you’ll receive the same coverage after meeting your annual deductible.

What are COE hospitals?

The Centers of Excellence hospitals are facilities chosen to provide certain services because they provide the highest quality care with improved outcomes, reducing the risk of complications and costly follow-up procedures. Travel, lodging, and an expense allowance will be provided for you and your caregiver during your stay at the COE hospital. During this time you’ll receive the necessary related services, such as physical therapy and patient education.

What services are COE-eligible?

Hip and knee replacements:

  • Total knee replacement
  • Partial knee replacement
  • Total hip replacement
  • Partial hip replacement

There are four facilities under the Centers of Excellence program. You’ll be assigned to a facility based on the type of procedure you’re having, where you live, and the shortest travel times to and from the facility:

  • Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center; Irvine, CA
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center; Baltimore, MD
  • Mercy Hospital Springfield; Springfield, MO
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center; Seattle, WA

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enroll in the COE benefit?
If your physician recommends either hip or knee replacement surgery, call Health Design Plus to find out if you qualify for the COE program. Health Design Plus will work with the COE provider to obtain eligibility and make all of the arrangements for your procedure.

Is there a waiting period before the COE program is available to me?
No. If you are enrolled in the HRA Core Plan, the HSA Plan, or HSA Plus Plan, you are immediately eligible to use the Centers of Excellence benefit.

Does the COE program cover additional costs like travel and lodging?
Yes. This program includes travel and lodging for you and your caregiver.

Does the COE program cover only my procedure or visit?
No. All procedure-related expenses performed at a Centers of Excellence facility are covered under the program. For specific questions about what is covered, call Health Design Plus at 800.656.1064.

What happens if my doctor recommends surgery and the COE doctor does not?
If a COE doctor recommends against surgery, and you decide to follow your own doctor’s treatment plan, you may have to pre-certify the surgery with your medical claims administrator, and your surgery will be subject to regular coverage limits under your medical plan. It’s important to remember that the Centers of Excellence facilities are established and accredited programs for hip and knee replacements.

If I have a condition eligible for surgery at a COE facility, how do I get recommended to receive care through the program?
If your physician indicates that you need a hip or knee replacement, contact Health Design Plus to start the eligibility and consultation process.

How were the participating hospitals chosen?
The COE program uses an evaluation process that qualifies both the hospitals and surgeons before selecting program partners.

Why is going to a COE facility a good financial decision?
When you decide to obtain care at a Centers of Excellence facility, you can be sure you’re getting the most from your healthcare benefits. Not only are Centers of Excellence facilities pre-screened for your procedure or service, they’re also covered at little or no cost to you.


Call Health Design Plus at (800) 656-1064 before you schedule your surgery to make sure your selected surgeon and hospital are covered under the McKesson Centers of Excellence benefit. Learn more about hip replacement surgery in Castlight >>

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