National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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BCBSA and NCCN Announce Strategic Collaboration

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa., March 13, 2008 — This week, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced that the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is a strategic collaborator in oncology.

For the last 23 months, the two organizations have worked together to develop Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare CancersSM, a designation that focuses on multidisciplinary treatment planning and complex, major surgical treatments for 13 specific types of cancer. Blue Distinction® Centers meet rigorous, objective, evidence-based criteria for clinical quality, established in collaboration with leading medical specialists and professional organizations. Blue Distinction Centers for complex and rare cancers, cardiac care, bariatric surgery, and transplants are all part of the Blues’ongoing efforts to improve the overall quality of healthcare for all Americans.

“The NCCN is pleased to work with such a prominent organization as BCBSA in our mutual efforts to improve the overall quality of cancer care rendered to so many people afflicted with this disease,” said William T. McGivney, PhD, NCCN CEO.

“The expansion of the Blue Distinction designation to include complex and rare cancers will help a very specific patient population in need of identifying skilled and dedicated facilities that treat these very complicated cancers,” said Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and CEO.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital