Iredell News

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Iredell Memorial Hospital Designated Blue Distinction® Center + for Maternity Care

03/03/2016

Soon-to-be parents have a new way to identify hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) recently announced that Iredell Memorial Hospital has been designated as one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation, a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

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.

Nearly 4 million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. This new Blue Distinction Centers+ 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 “10 Steps of Mother Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.

Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction® Specialty Care program, are hospitals recognized for delivering quality, affordable specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must also meet requirements for cost efficiency.

“We are very proud to be recognized for the exceptionally safe, quality care that our staff and physicians provide for our maternity patients,” said Becky Quate, Vice President of Nursing for Iredell Health System. “This designation validates that the care provided at Iredell is cost effective, supports evidenced-based practices such as our breastfeeding initiatives, and our patients validate our care through our high patient satisfaction scores. We are very honored to be recognized by BCBS to receive the Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation.”

“We’re doing the homework for our customers by putting a spotlight on hospitals and facilities that offer high quality services at a fair price.” said Dr. Brian Caveney, chief medical officer of BCBSNC. “With health care costs continuing to rise, patients want to know how much value they are getting for their health care dollar. Identifying which providers meet or exceed industry standards is an important part of that equation.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized 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.

For more information, please contact Meagan Kowalski at 704.878.7447 or through the website contact us form.

Categories: General News