UNC Hospitals’ care earns Blue Distinction® Center+ Designation for Quality and Cost-Efficiency for Five Service Lines

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina ranked UNC Hospitals’ bariatric surgery, cardiac care, knee & hip replacement, spine surgery, maternity and complex & rare cancer service lines highly as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program

March 7, 2016

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) designated UNC Hospitals a Blue Distinction® Center+ in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, knee & hip replacement, spine surgery, and maternal health and a Blue Distinction Center® in complex & rare cancers. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.
 
Research shows that facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers. On average, facilities designated as a Blue Distinction Center+ are 20 percent more cost efficient in an episode of care compared to non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities.
 
“This distinction demonstrates our commitment to provide exemplary care to our patients,” said UNC Hospitals President Gary Park.
 
Quality is key. Only those facilities that first meet nationally established quality measures were considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+. UNC Hospitals is proud to be recognized by BCBSNC for meeting the rigorous selection criteria for each of its specialties set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
 
“We’re doing the homework for our customers by putting a spotlight on hospitals and facilities that offer high quality services at a fair price.” said Dr. Brian Caveney, chief medical officer of BCBSNC. “With health care costs continuing to rise, patients want to know how much value they are getting for their health care dollar. Identifying which providers meet or exceed industry standards is an important part of that equation.”
 
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, maternity care, spine surgery and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver.
 
For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About UNC Hospitals
UNC Hospitals is an 840-bed public, academic medical center operated by and for the people of North Carolina. The Hospitals' mission is to provide high quality patient care, to educate health care professionals, to advance research and to provide community service. UNC Hospitals includes North Carolina Cancer Hospital, North Carolina Children's Hospital, North Carolina Memorial Hospital, North Carolina Neurosciences Hospital, North Carolina Women's Hospital, and UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus. Each year UNC Hospitals cares for patients from all 100 counties in North Carolina and several surrounding states.
 
About BCBSNC
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.91 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. We have been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute every year since 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for nearly 105 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross 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.

About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

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