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BlueCross BlueShield of WNY names Gates Vascular Institute/Buffalo General and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo Blue Distinction Centers+

by jmaloni

Press release

Thu, Jul 18th 2013 05:30 pm

Designation recognizes high-quality cardiac care

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has announced that the Gates Vascular Institute/Buffalo General Medical Center and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo have been named Blue Distinction Centers+. They were recognized for excellence in cardiac care and are the only local hospitals to receive this designation. 

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program recognizes hospitals across the country that have a proven track record for delivering better results - including fewer complications and readmissions - than hospitals without these recognitions. Blue Distinction Centers+ meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers, but are further recognized for their expertise and efficiency in delivering high-quality care that is more affordable for patients. 

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year. Cardiac procedures, including bypass and cardiac stent placement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the U.S. health care system, with more than 1 million procedures performed annually. These cardiac-related procedures cost the nation more than $28 billion annually.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this burden by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs. 

"This recognition represents the collective effort of all the teams that support our cardiac programs," said Dr. Richard J. Ruh, senior vice president, service lines at Catholic Health. "As a high-performing health system, we are working every day to transform health care in our community by delivering the highest quality care as well as the best value. We are grateful to BlueCross BlueShield for recognizing these efforts with the Blue Distinction Centers+ designation."

The Blue Distinction Center program was developed with input from the medical community and evaluates hospitals on their ability to deliver high-quality and safe-specialty care based on criteria that directly impact patient results - e.g., surgical team expertise and a history of better outcomes for patients.

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are 20 percent more cost efficient than other hospitals. 

"The staffs at Gates Vascular Institute and Buffalo General Medical Center are committed to providing the finest cardiac care to our patients," commented L. Nelson Hopkins, III, MD, president, Gates Vascular Institute. "We have consistently provided the best health care services to the Western New York area and our continuing goal is to maintain this standard of excellence. We are proud to be named a BlueCross BlueShield Blue Distinction Center+ facility."

Since 2006, consumers, medical providers, and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering quality care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was recently expanded to include new cost efficiency measures, as well as more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety. 

"Our Blue Distinction program recognizes area hospitals that demonstrate the highest quality of cardiac care," said Dr. Raghu Ram, chief medical officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. "BlueCross BlueShield is dedicated to rewarding facilities that provide quality care, improve health outcomes, and reduce costs. Both Buffalo General Medical Center and Mercy Hospital have proven their commitment to meeting these standards of excellence."

For more information about the Blue Distinction Program and to see a list of Blue Distinction Centers, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

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