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Cancer Center Awarded Blue Distinction in Complex and Rare Cancers from Blue Cross/Blue Shield

March 11, 2008

BCBS Distinction logoNorris Cotton Cancer Center is pleased to announce that we have been selected as one of the inaugural recipients of the Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers, and the only recipient in New Hampshire or Vermont. Blue Distinction is a designationawarded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established by leading medical specialists and societies. The goal of the Blue Distinction program is to help consumers find quality specialty care on a consistent basis, while enabling and encouraging improvement in the overall quality and delivery of healthcare nationwide.

This program identifies facilities that offer comprehensive inpatient cancer care programs delivered by multidisciplinary teams with subspecialty training and distinguished clinical expertise in treating complex and rare types of cancer. These centers are recognized for their focus on interdisciplinary treatment planning and coordination, inpatient treatment for acute leukemia, and complex, major surgical treatments for, among others:

  • bladder cancer
  • bone tumors
  • brain tumors
  • esophageal cancer
  • gastric cancer
  • head and neck cancers
  • liver cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • soft tissue sarcomas

The Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers program has been developed in collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) which has provided information and input. The selection criteria for determining Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers includes:

  • multidisciplinary treatment teams and surgical case volumes for key complex oncological procedures, focusing particularly on those procedures where there is evidence of a relationship between higher surgical volume and improved overall clinical outcomes
  • demonstrated ongoing commitment to quality improvement programs, including use of clinical data registries and providing access to clinical trials, when appropriate
  • aggregate clinical information, including aggregate results of selected clinical process and outcome measures