Horizon Transplant Programs
Organ and tissue donation offers transplant patients the possibility of having a normal, healthy life. To support donors, recipients and their families, we’ve developed the Horizon Transplant Programs. Our goal is to help you find quality specialty care while enabling health professionals to improve the overall quality and delivery of health care nationwide.
Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants® are designated by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care under objective selection criteria. The distinct designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established by leading medical specialists and societies. Choosing one of our Centers of Excellence will provide you and your family the best in specialty care. To date, more than 70 Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants have been designated, representing more than 250 specific transplant programs across the country.
Please note: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that Medicare and Medicare Advantage members must receive all transplant-related services only at Medicare-approved transplant facilities.
Blue Distinction Centers for Transplants provide a range of services for nine transplant types:
- Lung (deceased and living donor)
- Combination heart bilateral lung
- Liver (deceased and living donor)
- Simultaneous pancreas kidney (SPK)
- Pancreas (PAK/PTA)
- Combination liver kidney
- Kidney-only in conjunction with SPK/PAK
- Bone marrow/stem cell (autologous and allogeneic)
Case Management Program
If you’ve elected to be an organ and/or tissue donor or transplant recipient, you are eligible for our Case Management Program which will help you get the education, care and services you need throughout the transplant process. Most participants enrolled in the program are referred by their physician or health care professional. However, you may also request case management services. This voluntary program is available to members at no additional cost. Please call 1-888-621-5894, ext. 46404, for information about participating transplant facilities, to request educational materials or to seek help from a case manager.
Your physician may prescribe new medications before and after transplant surgery. Unfortunately, medication schedules and dosing can be confusing. Your physician may need to change medications or adjust dosages to find a combination that provides maximum benefit with minimal side effects.
It’s important to select a pharmacy you’re comfortable with and a knowledgeable pharmacist to help you understand the medications and manage your medication schedule. A good pharmacist can help explain side effects and recommend tools to organize and track medications.
Donors may also need a medication schedule and should choose a pharmacy you are comfortable with.
Reducing your transplant risk
The best way to reduce your risk of needing a transplant? Choosing a healthy lifestyle that keeps your organs and tissue healthy and helps you avoid disease.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Quit smoking.
- Minimize your stress.
There are many risk factors relevant to organ failure, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best defense against risks to organ and tissue health. Talk with your physician to determine your individual risk factors and develop a personal health plan.
Minority health issues
There are several health issues that are of particular concern to minorities. The findings of a recent report indicate that there are continuing racial/ethnic disparities in the prevalence of hypertension and in the percentages of those with high blood pressure who are aware of, being treated for and in control of their condition. Other diseases are prevalent within certain ethnic groups.
African Americans are nearly four times more likely than Caucasians to develop kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. The burden of diabetes, too, is much greater for minority populations. For example, 10.8 percent of non-Hispanic blacks, 10.6 percent of Mexican Americans and 9.0 percent of American Indians have diabetes, compared with 6.2 percent of whites. Certain minorities also have much higher rates of diabetes-related complications and death, in some instances by as much as 50 percent more than the total population.
Religious views on donation may vary. Most religions support organ and tissue donation as a charitable act of love and giving and see it as a contribution to the well being of humanity and the sacrificial love for a neighbor in need. Some religions have no formal position on donation, but do not oppose it. They leave the decision to the individual and his or her family.