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United States Medical Centers of Excellence for Premiere Healthcare

Updated on June 22, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has spent 30 years working in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Medical Centers of Excellence are found across the USA.
Medical Centers of Excellence are found across the USA. | Source

What Is a Medical Center of Excellence? -- Multiple Systems, Public and Private

A United States government-designated and recognized Center of Excellence, beginning in the mid-1960s, is a facility or organization that creates healthcare value above the average found in a specific location. These facilities make up the best of the best in American healthcare in a particular region.

In the late 1990s, the US Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) began to examine and compare treatment outcomes among hospitals paid by Medicare. Other divisions of government, as well as the private sector, have developed their own systems for rating and/or developing Healthcare Centers of Excellence.

Examples of Excellent Healthcare Facilities

19th Century Civil War Healthcare

USS Red Rover, which sailed 1862-1865, illustrated by Theodore R. Davis. The picture is a ward on this early US hospital ship. Health related Centers of Excellence develop better healthcare practices for current and future needs.
USS Red Rover, which sailed 1862-1865, illustrated by Theodore R. Davis. The picture is a ward on this early US hospital ship. Health related Centers of Excellence develop better healthcare practices for current and future needs.

Healthy People Program

The United States Federal Government established national centers of excellence in health and medical care in the 1990s through their Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). At the same time, the Surgeon General's Office was conducting research for a foundation for setting goals for the Healthy People 2000 program.

Our national goal in health and medicine was to increase the human lifespan for as many health years as possible, and to offer the best of prevention and treatment coast to coast. By 2016, we have not as yet met all related goals, but healthcare has improved.

Since 1998, other new systems resulting in Centers of Excellence have emerged, including a system of

  • Medical centers under the supervision of the US Veterans Administration and a
  • Medical centers developed by insurance companies, specifically Cigna HealthCare, along with Prominence Health Plan (in four western states).

Other systems exist as well and the healthcare consumer is wise to investigate the history, development, and certification rationale for any medical or healthcare "center of excellence."

These centers are not all the same.

Some Medical Centers of Excellence Privatized, as Did Our Space Program

Cigna HealthCare

Cigna offers a brochure designed to help patients select the healthcare most appropriate and most affordable to themselves. It is named

CIGNA HealthCare Hospital Value Profile Tool and Centers of Excellence:



The Cigna selection process for "excellence" is based on a scoring system that looks at

  1. Positive patient outcomes and
  2. Cost efficiency in treatments offered in 19 separate healthcare categories in hospitals and medical centers.

The system also awards these healthcare institutions with an overall score.

Individuals insured with Cigna are granted access to check individual hospital scores per treatment category and the overall score at the CIGNA Hospital Value Profile Tool at the company website. Patients may then choose the Cigna Center of Excellence that feel is best for them or select a medical center or hospital that is not a Cigna Center for Excellence.

This all is a little like the AAA recommended (AAA Certified) auto repair shop program and can help healthcare consumers in a manner similar to the help given auto repair consumers.


US Veterans Administration

The impressive Veterans Administration system of Centers of Excellence (COE) is well organized and seems designed to provide and to further develop the most accurate, results-driven, up-to-date, and efficient healthcare solutions to American Veterans. This system is for US veterans.

Every one of the separate centers develops a unique research agenda. All are connected with a local VA Medical Center.

Each COE partners with local Schools of Public Health, Universities, and Medical Colleges.


Regional Resources

The US Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR & D) oversees the federal Centers of Excellence program connected with the Veterans Administration. A list of centers current in Summer 2016 follows, arranged according to national region.

Chronic Pain. Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care.
Chronic Pain. Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care. | Source

HSR&D Centers of Excellence


  • Bedford MA - Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research
  • Boston MA - Center for Organization, Leadership and Management Research
  • Pittsburgh/Philadelphia PA - Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion


  • Ann Arbor MI - Center for Clinical Management Research
  • Hines IL - Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care
  • Indianapolis IN - Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-Based Practice
  • Minneapolis MN - Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research


  • Atlanta, Georgia: Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital's (EUOSH) orthopedics program, certified in June 2016.
  • Durham NC - Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care - This is a most interesting center and program, lending additional impetus to the development of new products, services, and jobs arising from the large local Research Triangle of North Carolina. Telemedicine is one of the innovations under examination in 2010. Chronic conditions, communications, cultural influences, and healthcare system efficiency are all targeted topic in this COE.
  • Houston TX - Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies
  • Little Rock AR - Center for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research
  • Tampa FL - Maximizing Rehabilitation Outcomes


  • Palo Alto CA - Center for Health Care Evaluation
  • Seattle WA - Northwest Center for Outcomes Research in Older Adults
  • Sepulveda CA - Center for the Study of Healthcare Provider Behavior

Also see US VA CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE for information concerning US veterans.

A Veterans' parade.
A Veterans' parade. | Source

Minority Healthcare Centers Of Excellence

Flag of Haida Nation

A substantial number of Pacific Northwest Native Americans ar US veterans that are served by the Seattle Center of Excellence programs on aging (public domain image).
A substantial number of Pacific Northwest Native Americans ar US veterans that are served by the Seattle Center of Excellence programs on aging (public domain image).
Northwest Center for Outcomes Research in Older Adults, including Native Americans; Seattle WA
Northwest Center for Outcomes Research in Older Adults, including Native Americans; Seattle WA | Source

88 Minority Health Centers of Excellence: Cultural Competency

Minority Health COE facilities are a separate set of healthcare institutions recognized by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

These centers have been developed to aide in an American, Puerto Rican, and US Virgin Island initiative to find and fix healthcare delivery disparities that result because of patients' age, gender, race, ethnicity, and other demographics; and, to encourage wider spread cultural competency in delivering healthcare services.

Since 2002, the NCMHD has established 88 Centers of Excellence. The program initially had three categories: Resource Related Centers (discontinued), Exploratory Centers and Comprehensive Centers. The use of these three different funding mechanisms allowed NCMHD to help level the playing field among institutions with varying experience in biomedical research and to leverage the different skills and capabilities of the nation's geographically and culturally diverse institutions.

From 2002 to early 2010, the NCMHD/NIMHD developed 88 Centers of Excellence and partnerships with local higher education (inlcuding the traditionally Black and tribal) in 31 US States, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

In 2007, the COE program established 12 new exploratory and comprehensive COEs and continued support for 25 previously funded COEs.

NCMHD Centers of Excellence

National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health

  • Allegheny University of the Health Sciences in Philadelphia PA
  • Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh PA
  • The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus OH
  • University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia PA
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Yale University in New Haven CN

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury [DCoE]

  • Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center:
  • Deployment Health Clinical Center:
  • National Center for Telehealth and Technology:

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS

Comments and Experiences

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for the comment and your writing on US Healthcare.

    • dusy7969 profile image


      9 years ago from San Diego, California

      Wonderful hub.I like this hub very much.Firstly I interest in this profession but then I change the field.Now I am interested in computer field.So thanks a lot for this informative and interesting sharing and keep it up.

    • crystolite profile image


      9 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice article,thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice Hub! I especially like the links at the end so aspiring journalists have sources to look up specifics.

      As a working journalist I need to give myself constant reminders to write in the "newsey style."

      I like writing creatively too, in my spare time, and I'm always worrying that the long days of writing the news in such a strict and didactic style may be having a stifling approach on my other writing.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for all the comments!

      travel_man1971 - I have not seen SICKO, but plan to do so. I've a friend that has no health insurance, even though her husband does, because his small employer cannot afford the additional cost. She has 8-12 chrocnic conditions, cannot qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, and doctors here are beginning to refuse Medicare patients, anyway. The COE are a great idea, but if people don't qualify got treatment, then what?

      Hello, hello - anything like the COE in England? Thanks for posting!

      caretakeray - There are even more COE and I don't know from where the receive their designations. Some are self-labeled, I think.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Patty Inglish, MS:

      Thanx for a very comprehensive hub. As you may know, I am interested in our healthcare system. :)


    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very, very interesting hub. I enjoyed it because living in England it was very informative.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      10 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Again a very complete hub, Ms. Patty. Yes, really hub scores bounce up and down. If they have the best medical centers, how come there are medical personnels who are in the street protesting certain issues, about this and that. And the issue of health care...did you viewed the docu film of Michael Moore (entitle SICKO) about it?

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Interesting hub. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Another great hub.

    • artrush73 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great hub, very interesting .

      Thanks for Sharing Patty

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      dreamreachout - Thanks very much!Scores go up and down, really, and it gives readers a chance to see other Hubbers's articles as well, so it's all fine.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great informative hub .. but i am surprised that your score is down to 99 .. first time i have seen that!!!!!!! something bizzare about hub pages scoring when i consider you amongst the greatest hubber!! never mind .. you will be back to 100!!


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