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February 23, 2022

DES MOINES, IA – Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has recognized the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics with a Blue Distinction Center for Transplants designation for Pediatric Kidney transplant. Additionally, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has earned a transplants designation for Adult Liver. With these new transplant designations, Wellmark members living with kidney or liver failure will be able to find designated facilities in their area that provide accessible, higher quality transplant services.

To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants 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 within 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).

Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants facilities 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 program to represent a total of more than 365 transplant programs — that meet its evidence-based selection criteria.

Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated providers 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 and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery, and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Based on data-driven analysis of Blue Distinction Centers, designated facilities, compared to other hospitals and facilities, 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 and facilities.

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