New Blue Distinction Center designations aid consumers in finding quality and value
PHILADELPHIA, PA — In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, cost efficient maternity care, Independence Blue Cross announced the first hospitals in southeastern Pennsylvania to receive the Blue Distinction® Center and Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designations under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
Blu Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, are hospitals recognized for delivering quality specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.
In southeastern Pennsylvania, 21 hospitals were recognized by the new maternity care designation for delivering quality care. Nine hospitals were further recognized for attaining cost efficiency of the high-quality care they provided.
“We’re pleased to recognize these hospitals for their proven expertise in providing high-quality, safe, and effective care to new and expectant mothers and their children,” said Richard L. Snyder, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer at Independence Blue Cross. “Together, we’re working towards improving the health and wellness of our members and the community.”
Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. The Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
In addition, hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA or the Mother-Friendly Hospital program by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.
To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers while also meeting requirements for cost efficiency.
Independence Blue Cross has designated 12 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers and 9 as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care in southeastern Pennsylvania. They are:
|Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care:
||Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 280 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers and more than 650 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants. Research shows that, compared to other facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities.
For more information about the Blue Distinction program and to see a list of Blue Distinction Centers in southeastern Pennsylvania, go to www.ibx.com/individuals/find_provider/blue_distinction.html. For a complete listing of Blue Distinction Centers nationwide, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for nearly 105 million members — one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.
About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A local Blue plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your local Blue plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its local Blue plan. Facilities in California, Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington may lie in two local Blue plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluations must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a health care provider’s innetwork status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your local Blue plan and ask your health care provider before making an appointment. Neither the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue plans are responsible for noncovered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve nearly 9 million people in 32 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in the region. For nearly 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.