Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona today recognized University of Arizona Medical Center—University Campus (UAMC) with a Blue Distinction Center® designation for delivering quality transplant care as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program. Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community.
In 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed to help patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs while encouraging health-care professionals to improve the care they deliver. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants® designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety criteria as well as transplant-specific quality measures (including survival metrics).
“UAMC is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for transplants set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program,” said Deborah Maurer, UAMC associate vice president of transplant services. “BDCT designation is an important quality indicator for patients, employers and insurers, and a validation that our efforts to strengthen our transplant programs are succeeding.”
The number of transplants – including heart, lung, liver, pancreas and bone marrow/stem cell – in the United States have increased in recent years. There were 28,954 transplant procedures performed in 2013, compared to 28,052 in 2012. Today, more than 123,000 people are awaiting organ donations for transplants, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Additionally, the department estimates more than 20,000 people each year may benefit from a bone marrow/stem cell transplant as their best treatment option. These transplant procedures cost the nation more than $20 billion annually at an average of approximately $500,000 each, according to the Milliman Research Report, “2011 U.S. Organ and Tissue Transplant Cost Estimates and Discussion.”
“BCBSAZ congratulates UMAC on this recognition, along with their commitment to quality care while helping members better manage their care through the Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program,” said Vishu Jhaveri, MD, BCBSAZ chief medical officer.
Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients with higher survival rates, compared with their peers.
The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program identifies hospitals delivering quality care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants. These specialty areas comprise approximately 30 percent of inpatient hospital expenditures. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About the University of Arizona Medical Center
The University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson is the primary teaching hospital of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, as well as the UA Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy. The 487-bed hospital is Southern Arizona’s only provider of heart, kidney, liver, pancreas, lung and bone marrow transplantation. The mission of the UA Medical Center is “Advancing Health and Welllness through Research, Education and Patient Care.” For more information, please visit www.uahealth.com.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ), an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest Arizona-based health insurance company. The not-for-profit company was founded in 1939 and provides health insurance products, services or networks to 1.3 million individuals. With offices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson and the East Valley, the company employs more than 1,300 Arizonans. Follow BCBSAZ at www.facebook.com/bcbsaz or on Twitter at @bcbsaz to get information on health and wellness, as well as a knowledgeable perspective on health insurance reform, and to become a part of what we’re doing in your community.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health-care coverage for more than 100 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.
Blue Distinction Centers® (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+SM (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on www.bcbs.com. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. For details on Local Blue Plan criteria, a provider’s in-network status, or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan. Each hospital’s cost index is calculated with data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in California, Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two cost index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost index figures must meet BDC+ national criteria. Neither Blue Cross Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.