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August 8, 2013
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate University Hospital recognized for quality in cardiac care

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Upstate University Hospital has received designation as a Blue Distinction Center for quality cardiac care by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield as part of its Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications for certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of health care associated infections, compared with their peers. They also meet cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care.

“This distinction demonstrates the commitment of our medical team to provide a full continuum of quality cardiac care, and better overall outcomes for our cardiology patients–from those who receive care on an outpatient basis to our inpatients who require more advanced, complex care,” said Upstate University Hospital CEO John McCabe, M.D.

To quality for the designation, Upstate University Hospital met general quality and safety criteria, such as preventing hospital-acquired infections and cardiac-specific quality measures for cardiac surgical and non-surgical procedures, such as cardiac stent placement.

“Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information,” said Arthur Vercillo, M.D., regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “We are proud to recognize Upstate University Hospital for meeting the rigorous cardiac care selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, 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 US 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 is the second designation that Upstate University Hospital has received as a Blue Distinction Center for quality cardiac care—the first was received in 2010. Also, in July, Upstate University Hospital received designation as Blue Distinction Centers for expertise for its spine surgery programs and for its knee and hip replacement programs.

Caption: Cardiologist Luna Bhatta, M.D., at the controls of Upstate’s Stereotaxis system in the Heart and Vascular Center. The system makes treatment of cardiac arrhythmias safer and more effective. Upstate’s cardiac program has been honored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

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