Lahey Clinic Named a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers

Release Date: 03/19/2008

Margie Coloian
Communications & Marketing
Phone: (781) 744-3859

Lahey Clinic Named a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers

BURLINGTON, MA—Lahey Clinic has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers (SM) by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Lahey's Sophia Gordon Cancer Center is among only four programs in the state to receive this distinction.

“We are proud to be recognized as a Blue Distinction Center,” said Keith Stuart, MD, chair of the Hematology and Oncology Departments at Lahey. “This honor reflects our commitment to providing patients with the highest quality care possible through advanced treatments, clinical trials and a multidisciplinary, team approach.”

Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers are facilities within participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield network service areas that offer comprehensive inpatient cancer care programs for adults, delivered by multidisciplinary teams with subspecialty training and distinguished clinical expertise in treating the following complex and rare subtypes of cancer:
acute leukemia (inpatient/non-surgical)*; bone cancer; esophageal cancer*; head and neck cancers; ocular melanoma; rectal cancer* ; thyroid cancer-medullary or anaplastic; bladder cancer* ; brain cancer –primary*; gastric cancer*; liver cancer* ; pancreatic cancer* ; and soft tissue sarcomas.

All Blue Distinction Centers must also meet the following criteria:

  • have multidisciplinary team input, including sub-specialty trained teams for complex and rare cancers and demonstrated depth of expertise across cancer disciplines in medicine, surgery, radiation oncology, pathology and radiology
  • demonstrate ongoing quality management and improvement programs for cancer care
  • demonstrate an ongoing commitment to using clinical data registries and providing access to appropriate clinical research for complex and rare cancers
  • demonstrate sufficient volume of experience in treating this group of rare and complex cancers (exceeds surgical volume thresholds for 5 or more of the *-marked cancers)

The goal of the Blue Distinction program is to help consumers identify quality specialty care, while encouraging improvement in the overall quality and delivery of health care in the United States. Complex and Rare Cancers is a new designation that joins the other Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care including Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Care and Transplants ( Lahey's Heart and Vascular Center is also a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care.

Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers were developed in strategic collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network* (NCCN) and input from a panel of leading clinicians and professional organizations. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with leading clinicians, medical societies and professional organizations.

Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means that these facilities' overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading medical societies' recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at these or any other facilities, please call your local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield company ("Blue Plan").

About Lahey Clinic
Lahey Clinic, a physician-led, nonprofit group practice, is world-renowned for innovative technology, pioneering medical treatment, and leading-edge research. A teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine, the Clinic provides quality health care in virtually every specialty and subspecialty, from primary care to cancer diagnosis and treatment to kidney and liver transplantation.