Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) has recognized Newton Medical Center (NMC) with a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care designation as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.
Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization, and cesarean sections the most common operating room procedures, according to National Centers for Health Statistics and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ). Reducing early elective delivery is an area of focus for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). According to Health Affairs, elective inductions result in more cesarean deliveries and a longer maternal hospitalization.
The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on quality measures for both types of delivery. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must also demonstrate cost-efficiency.
“NMC is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center+ quality and cost selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program,” said Heather Porter, NMC chief clinical officer. “This designation demonstrates our commitment, through partnership with Associates in Women’s Health, Cottonwood Pediatrics, Axtell Clinic and Health Ministries Clinic, to provide the very best in maternity and newborn care.”
“Today there is much talk about ‘quality’ in health care and the role quality plays in overall outcomes, patient experience and costs,” said Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO. “Newton Medical Center is doing more than talking about quality. They are putting quality into action by meeting rigorous quality metrics in all phases of their maternity care program and, in doing so, deliver better care for our members. That is why we are proud to recognize Newton Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 1,000 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized with this designation are assessed using a combination of quality information supplied by hospitals and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, maternity care, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other hospitals, 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 hospitals.
For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.