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In the self-insured world, “centers of excellence” is a term that is beginning to be used for a specific hospital that has been selected by a large employer for bundled pricing of high-ticket, higher-volume surgeries like knee replacement. The label alone heightens expectations of vastly superior health care. Consumers want to believe they will experience care that is off the charts in all respects; from advanced techniques, expedited treatment and length of stay, pain management and overall patient satisfaction. The name implies that centers of excellence (COEs) are somewhat immune to the inherent dangers of hospitalization. This expectation persists, despite a recent study estimating that a quarter of a million deaths are caused by medical errors each year

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