RPCI Earns National Distinction For Bone Marrow Transplants

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BUFFALO, NY — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell Park) has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Transplants® by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York for demonstrating better overall quality of care and patient results in bone marrow/stem cell (autologous and allogeneic) procedures. Approximately 100 Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants have been designated in the US, with only three facilities in New York State designated for adult bone marrow/stem cell transplants.

Blue Distinction® is a national designation awarded by BlueCross BlueShield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery or transplants.

To earn this designation, Roswell Park was evaluated based on objective, evidence-based selection criteria established with input from expert physicians and medical organizations. The goal of Blue Distinction is to identify medical facilities that deliver better overall quality and medical outcomes for a specific area of specialty care, helping patients and doctors to make more informed hospital choices.

The Roswell Park Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant program, established in 1991, is certified by the National Marrow Donor Program as a Transplant, Collection and Apheresis Center.

“We’re highly gratified by this recognition for our transplant program, because it’s further evidence that the practices we’ve put in place to optimize care are helping cancer patients to survive and thrive,” said Philip McCarthy Jr., MD, Director of the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Roswell Park. “We perform transplants for more than a hundred patients per year, but what’s really encouraging is that we’re seeing continuous improvement in outcomes for higher-risk patients.”

“Our Blue Distinction program recognizes hospitals that demonstrate higher levels of performance in providing better specialty care for patients,” said Cynthia A. Ambres, M.D., M.S., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. “Improving quality of care is integral to transforming the healthcare system. Facilities like Roswell Park are helping Western New York achieve this by offering patients safe specialty care. At Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, care coordination through medical teams lightens the load for both the patient and their family. We applaud them.”

Blue Distinction selection criteria cover a broad range of quality measures. Roswell Park has demonstrated:

  • An established program, performing required annual volumes for certain procedures
  • Appropriate experience of its care team
  • Full facility accreditation by a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-deemed national accreditation organization
  • Adherence to evidence-based clinical care measures and guidelines
  • A comprehensive quality management program

The Blue Distinction program is part of The Blues® efforts to collaborate with physicians and medical facilities to improve the overall quality and safety of specialty care. The additional Blue Distinction Centers for Transplant designation brings the nation’s number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600 — and this number is expected to increase in the coming years. To learn more about the Blue Distinction designation, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York:

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York is a division of HealthNow New York Inc., one of New York’s leading health care companies that provides access to quality health care and innovative solutions for members throughout upstate New York. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the company is an independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Visit www.bcbswny.com for more information.

About Roswell Park:

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit Roswell Park’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email AskRoswell@Roswellpark.org.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org