Now Available - ER Video and Scheduled In-Person Visits
Kaleida Health logo

News & Media

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Names Gates Vascular Institute/Buffalo General Medical Center Blue Distinction Centers+

Updated: 7/24/2013

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has named the Gates Vascular Institute/Buffalo General Medical Center a Blue Distinction Center+ for excellence in cardiac care.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program recognizes hospitals across the country that have a proven track record for delivering better results – including fewer complications and readmissions – than hospitals without these recognitions. Blue Distinction Centers+ meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers, but are further recognized for their expertise and efficiency in delivering high quality care that is more affordable for patients.

"The staff at the Gates Vascular Institute and Buffalo General Medical Center are committed to providing the finest cardiac care to our patients,” commented L. Nelson Hopkins III, MD, president of the Gates Vascular Institute. “We have consistently provided the best health care services to the Western New York area and our continuing goal is to maintain this standard of excellence. We are proud to be named a BlueCross BlueShield Blue Distinction Center+ facility.”

The Blue Distinction Centers program was developed with input from the medical community and evaluates hospitals on their ability to deliver high quality and safe specialty care based on criteria that directly impact patient results – e.g., surgical team expertise and a history of better outcomes for patients. Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ also are twenty percent more cost efficient than other hospitals.

"Our Blue Distinction program recognizes area hospitals that demonstrate the highest quality of cardiac care,” said Dr. Raghu Ram, chief medical officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. “BlueCross BlueShield is dedicated to rewarding facilities that provide quality care, improve health outcomes, and reduce costs.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year. Cardiac procedures, including bypass and cardiac stent placement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the U.S. health care system, with more than one million procedures performed annually. These cardiac-related procedures cost the nation more than $28 billion annually. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this burden by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs.

For more information about the Blue Distinction Program and to see a list of Blue Distinction Centers, please visit