In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality maternity care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont announced that Rutland Regional Medical Center is 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.
Nearly four 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. 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 agree to support evidence-based practices of care. The hospitals also host 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.
Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, recognizes hospitals for delivering quality specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.
“This designation is a direct result of the efforts of all the dedicated and caring employees and medical staff at Rutland Regional who make the delivery of quality care for women possible,” said Tom Huebner, President and Chief Executive Officer Rutland Regional Medical Center. “We are honored to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield for our efforts to continually improve on our high standards of care.”
“We are pleased to recognize Rutland Regional Medical Center for earning designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care,” said Dr. Robert Wheeler, Vice President and Chief Medical Office for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. “Rutland Regional’s dedication to excellent clinical care and effectively connecting with community resources helps improve health outcomes.” Wheeler also noted the rigorous standards that Rutland Regional had to meet in order to receive this recognition. “Designation as a Blue Distinction Center requires meeting or exceeding national quality standards over a significant number of cases. Evidence-based measures include minimizing early elective deliveries and achieving high patient satisfaction, for example. This award is based on Rutland Regional’s consistent, objectively measured excellence in Maternity Care, with a track record of delivering better results than many peer facilities across the country.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation recognized more than 280 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care. The program assesses hospitals 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.
For more information about the program, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About Rutland Regional Medical Center
Rutland Regional Medical Center is the second largest healthcare facility in Vermont with a national reputation for outstanding patient care, nursing excellence and innovation. US News & World Report has recognized Rutland Regional as one of America’s Best Hospitals to receive common care, and Healthgrades® named Rutland Regional among the top 10% in the Nation for Outstanding Patient Experience and Patient Safety, along with “high performing” designations for its clinical performance in Pacemaker Procedures, Prostate Surgery and Total Knee Replacement. Recently designated for a second time, Rutland Regional is a Magnet® hospital, providing the highest level of recognition for quality nursing care.
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.
About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) 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+ (BDC+) 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 CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA 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 evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.
Media Contact: Bernadette C. Robin, 802.772.2843 or firstname.lastname@example.org