Tampa General Hospital Transplant Institute Awarded Distinction Status

Published: Jul 20, 2022

TGH’s Transplant Institute is awarded distinction status among Florida’s top commercial payors, based on program quality and patient outcomes data.


Tampa, FL (July 20, 2022) – The Transplant Institute at Tampa General Hospital is a national leader in lifesaving organ transplants and one of the top transplant programs in Florida. Now it is being recognized for patient quality by five of the top commercial payors in the state: Aetna, Florida Blue, Cigna, Humana and United/Optum. To earn distinction status with these top commercial payors, adult and pediatric organ transplant programs must meet quality criteria and have a history of positive patient outcomes. 


Additionally, Tampa General’s Dr. Kiran Dhanireddy was recently chosen to join the leadership of the Legislative and Regulatory Committee of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. Dhanireddy is the TGH Transplant Institute’s vice president and surgical director of liver transplantation.


“This is a huge honor to serve as a leader within the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. I am humbled to join other world-class physicians who share the same passion in lifesaving transplant programs across the country,” said Dhanireddy.


Since it began in 1974, the TGH Transplant Institute has performed more than 12,000 transplant surgeries. In early 2022, TGH reached a milestone with its 1,500th adult heart transplant and leads all Florida hospitals in the number of such operations and has performed more than 7,000 kidney transplants since its first kidney transplant in 1974.


Aetna’s Institutes of Excellence Transplant Hospitals meet certain criteria including volume, success rates, cost-effective care and rates of complications. Tampa General Hospital is the only transplant program in West Central Florida to meet these criteria for both adult and pediatric transplants. Surgeries at Tampa General that were recognized by Aetna’s Institute of Excellence include heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, pancreas after kidney and simultaneous pancreas kidney. Kidney transplant surgeries were recognized for pediatrics.


Florida Blue recognizes transplant programs in two different levels: Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) and Blue Distinction Centers + (BDC+). BDCs are health care facilities and providers recognized for their expertise in delivering specialty care. BDCs meet overall quality measures developed with input from the medical community. Programs that achieve BDC+ recognition must also meet cost measures that address consumers’ needs for affordable health care. For Adult Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeries, Tampa General Hospital was the only health care facility in West Central Florida to achieve BDC+ status. TGH was recognized as a BDC for adult kidney transplant surgery (deceased and living donor), adult liver transplant surgery and pediatric kidney transplant.


Cigna’s LifeSOURCE Transplant Network Designated Programs must meet or exceed the LifeSOURCE Performance Guidelines for Quality Inclusion. They must also maintain hospital accreditation, meet volume guidelines and be in the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Network. A VAD is a mechanical pump that can help a damaged heart push blood through the body. A VAD can support the heart as it recovers from surgery, or it can be implanted in patients awaiting a heart transplant. Tampa General Hospital’s VAD program is the only one in West Central Florida to be recognized by Cigna LifeSOURCE. Tampa General’s adult lung, liver, pancreas and kidney/pancreas surgeries were also recognized as were both the adult and pediatric kidney (deceased and living donors) surgery programs.


Humana’s National Transplant Network is a system of stem cell and organ transplant facilities across the United States. The six Tampa General adult transplant programs included in this network are heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver and pancreas/kidney.


United/Optum’s Commercial Adult Transplant Centers of Excellence Network recognize eight  transplant surgical specialties at Tampa General, the most of any health system in West Central Florida. Specialty surgeries include heart, heart/lung, kidney, kidney/liver, kidney/pancreas, liver, lung and pancreas.


“The dedicated professionals at the TGH Transplant Institute are the reason we can claim these types of distinctions,” said Dhanireddy. “It is our privilege to improve, extend, and save the lives of the sickest members of our community.”


Nearly 107,000 Americans currently are waiting for a lifesaving organ. Every 10 minutes, a person is added to the national list, and more than 7,000 people die each year because organs are not available in time, according to Donate Life America, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Virginia. A single organ, eye and tissue donor can save and heal 75 lives, the group notes on its website. To become an organ donor, Florida residents can visit Donate Life Florida.

To learn more, please visit the Tampa General Transplant Institute.



Tampa General Hospital, a 1,041-bed, not-for-profit, academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 Best Hospitals, and one of the top four hospitals in Florida, with five specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious 2021 Forbes magazine rankings – America’s Best Employers by State, third out of 100 Florida companies and first among health care and social organizations, and 13th nationally in America’s Best Employers for Women. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2020, provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health, and 21 TGH Imaging powered by Tower outpatient radiology centers throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.