When you need to make a physician referral, the hospital you select can have a direct impact on the care your patient receives and his or her outcome. To help you with these important decisions, Blue Cross Blue Shield developed the Blue Distinction Centers recognition program to identify hospitals with proven expertise in delivering specialty care.
Research confirms that Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are more than 20 percent more cost efficient.
Nebraska Medicine is proud to have six programs representing 21 specialties recognized by this program. Three programs have been recognized as Blue Distinctions Centers+ — Blue Cross’s highest recognition. These are cardiac care, knee and hip replacement and spine surgery. Bariatric surgery, complex and rare cancers and transplant were recognized as Blue Distinction Centers and include these specialty areas: liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, primary brain cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, head and neck cancer, acute leukemia, primary bone cancer, bladder cancer, rectal cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, thyroid cancer, adult pancreas transplant, pediatric autologous and allogeneic bone transplants, pediatric liver transplant, adult autologous and allogeneic bone marrow and stem cell transplant and adult heart care.
Michael Moulton, MD
The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities was developed with input from the medical community and includes general quality and safety metrics, program specific metrics, the know-how and expertise of the medical team, the number of times the hospital has performed the procedure and the hospital’s track record for procedure results.
“This recognition is a significant marker of our experience and expertise and reflects our excellent outcomes in cardiac care as well as our ability to provide quality outcomes at a reasonable cost,” says Michael Moulton, MD, chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). “We are a very busy heart center that provides outstanding care and participates in ongoing clinical trials and education. These are the types of things that attract top physicians and caregivers to our program and help us excel.”
“To be recognized by a third party and one that has a vested interest is a true indicator of our success,” says William Lydiatt, MD, director of the Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Section at UNMC. “It is very rewarding to be recognized by our peers as having a valuable program. We see large volumes of patients in many specialty areas. This experience allows us to continually improve and provide the highest level of care. It’s also what enables us to treat some of the most complex cases and to do it well.”
“This recognition represents an objective assessment of our ability to provide high-quality and high-level spine care,” says Kenneth Follett, MD, PhD, professor and chief of Neurosurgery at UNMC. “We have a staff of physicians and other health care professionals with a high level of experience and training in dealing with spinal disorders. This includes health care specialists from multiple disciplines all in one location which allows us to provide a full spectrum of spine care from simple to complex in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”
“Receiving this recognition is a result of the experience, skills, depth of expertise and the commitment to high quality care that our staff provides to our patients,” says Kevin L. Garvin, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at UNMC. “Our clinical faculty are skilled in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, ranging from minor injuries to the most complex surgical procedures, including revision arthroplasty and osteotomies. Our team works diligently every day to make the proper diagnosis and prescribe an appropriate and comprehensive course of treatment.”
Validating this recognition, Nebraska Medicine has been ranked one of America’s best hospitals and the top hospital in the state by the U.S. New & World Report’s 2014-15 Best Hospitals list. The medical center is ranked 36th nationally for its cancer care, 29th for gastroenterology and GI surgery, 29th in nephrology, 31st in neurology and neurosurgery, 41st in pulmonology and 25th in urology. Nebraska Medicine was also high performing in six other specialties, including cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, ear, nose and throat, geriatrics, gynecology and orthopaedics.