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Hospital named to transplant network

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida announced that Tampa General Hospital has been selected for a special nationwide network of institutions performing heart transplants established by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield national organization. Sixty-three facilities have been chosen for the national networks of institutions that perform heart, liver or bone marrow transplants.

Each met criteria developed in consultation with transplant experts. Criteria included benchmarks on the number of procedures performed, survival rates, transplant team experience, duration of the program and evidence that the institution provides comprehensive transplant services and long-term follow-up.

"Quality was the basis of the institutional selection," said Dr. Robert Lufrano, vice president of Medical Affairs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida.

The networks also will allow Blue Cross and Blue Shield customers to benefit from any payment arrangements negotiated by the local Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan with the institution specializing in these types of procedures, said Douglas Peters, senior vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The transplant network will not change how organ transplants are covered under Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida contracts.