Upstate University Hospital’s Downtown Campus recognized for higher quality in kidney transplant care
Upstate University Hospital’s Downtown Campus has been recognized by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield with a Blue Distinction® Centers for Transplants designation for kidney transplant.
Specifically, Upstate has earned a transplants designation for Adult Deceased Donor Kidney, Adult Living Donor Kidney, and Pediatric Kidney.
The new kidney transplants designations for Adult Deceased Donor Kidney, Adult Living Donor Kidney, and Pediatric Kidney are a result of expansion of the Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants program by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) to include higher quality kidney transplant services withinthe BCBS network.
To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for TransplantsTransplants designation for kidney transplants, a health care facility must demonstrate success in meeting nationally established, objective quality measures along with delivering higher quality transplant services in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) network. Quality measures used in the evaluation are publicly reported by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR). All Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants facilities must be fully accredited by a national accrediting organization, meet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) certification requirements, and adhere to transplant guidelines from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
“This recognition underscores the outstanding work of our transplant team and the quality of care our patients—transplant recipients and donors—receive at Upstate,” said Transplant Chief Reza F. Saidi, MD, FICS, FACS, associate professor of surgery. “We take great pride in being the only transplant center for the region and remain committed to providing the very best in transplantation for patients from throughout the region.”
Upstate performed just over 100 kidney transplants last year, up from 61 in 2020 when the Covid pandemic caused limited kidney transplantation.
Upstate’s transplant program has been nationally recognized for excellence in patient outcomes. In fact, the success rates for the Upstate transplant program is equal to, or in most cases exceeds, the national averages as reported by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR). The program maintains its record of successful outcomes despite treating some of the sickest and most challenging patients.
“To receive the Blue Distinction designation, an organization must meet a specific set of rigorous standards that represent a commitment to quality and helping members better manage their care,” said Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Regional President Mark Muthumbi. “We’re glad to recognize Upstate University Hospital’s Downtown Campus for their excellence in delivering safe and effective transplant care to their patients.”
Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants have demonstrated their commitment to quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for transplant patients. They offer a broad range of transplant services through a coordinated, streamlined transplant management program. To date, Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants has designated more than 149 facilities nationwide—with some facilities being designated for more than one transplant type to represent a total of more than 365 transplant programs—that meet its evidence-based selection criteria.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney diseases such as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are the ninth leading cause of death in America, impacting nearly 37 million Americans. With more than 23,000 kidney transplants performed in the United States, according to UNOS, kidney is the top transplant procedure for the year, highlighting the important role that the Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants for the kidney designation will play in providing patients with the knowledge and tools they desire along with the specialized care they need.