University of Louisville Hospital and Brown Cancer Center has been designated a Blue Distinction Center+ for Transplants for Adult Bone Marrow/Stem Cell by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, an independent licensee of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.

In 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program was launched to help patients find quality health care facilities 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) in one or more of the following transplant types: adult heart, adult lung, adult deceased donor liver, adult living donor liver, adult pancreas, pediatric heart, or pediatric liver, or either adult or pediatric autologous/allogeneic bone marrow/stem cell transplant.

Quality is key. Only those hospitals that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally-established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

University of Louisville Hospital and Brown Cancer Center are proud to be recognized for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center+ quality and cost selection criteria for transplant centers set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

"Cellular therapy and transplant are rapidly changing fields with many new innovations every year," Mohamed Hegazi, M.D., division chief for the program at Brown Cancer Center, said. "Patients who undergo therapy in such programs need assurance that their therapy has been up to the most rigorous standards. Accreditation by the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy Programs (FACT) and achievement of Blue Distinction is clear evidence of our commitment to these highest standards. Our entire team is reviewing these quality goals in the standard operating procedures we use every day and the results are clear from our quality reports compiled by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR)."

Although rare, the number of transplants – including heart, lung, liver, pancreas and bone marrow/stem cell – have increased in recent years. There have been over 26,000 organ transplant procedures performed in the U.S. so far in 2017, and more than 116,000 people are awaiting organ donations for transplants, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. In 2017, the average cost for a single organ/tissue transplant was about $748,890 per transplant and $1,730,533 per transplant for a multiple organ transplant, according to Milliman Research Report, “2017 U.S. Organ and Tissue Transplant Cost Estimates and Discussion.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 130 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Transplants. Hospitals recognized with this designation are assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, maternity care, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other hospitals, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated hospitals.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit

About our program

The Blood Cancers, Cellular Therapeutics and Transplant Program at UofL Hospital and UofL Brown Cancer Center started in 1988 and cares for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other disorders. The program was one of the first in Kentucky and even the surrounding states. The program is fully accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), and participates in the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).

The mission of the hematologic malignancies/blood and marrow transplantation division is to provide the unparalleled quality of services to our patients that match their values and belief through compassionate care and innovative sciences.

About Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers 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 healthcare. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers 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 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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