PROVIDENCE — The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has named several area hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for five areas of specialty care 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 developed with input from the medical community. The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program designates Blue Centers for several specialties, including maternity, cancer, cardiac, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery, and transplants.
Five local hospitals were named Blue Distinction Centers for maternity care. Southcoast Health’s Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River and St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, as well as Kent County Memorial Hospital in Rhode Island, South County Hospital in Wakefield, and Women & Infants Hospital in Providence were among more than 1,000 hospitals named as Blue Distinction Centers for maternity care.
South County Hospital was further designated as a Blue Distinction + Center, which recognizes hospitals with cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare, according to BCBSMA. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan.
“We are very proud of the care our providers give our patients and thankful for this recognition,” said Dr. Michael Pepi, chief of obstetrics & gynecology at Southcoast Health.
About 4 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 Health Care Research & Quality.
“We are pleased to see both Care New England hospitals that provide maternity care – Kent and Women & Infants – achieve this important distinction from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts,” said Dr. Maureen G. Phipps, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Care New England. “This designation is a tribute to our commitment to ensuring that every woman who delivers a baby at Women & Infants and Kent hospitals is offered the care, resources, and support needed to help her and her baby get the best, healthiest start in life.”
Reducing early elective delivery is an area of focus for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 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 vaginal and cesarean delivery.
Two local hospitals were designated Blue Centers for cardiac care: Charlton Memorial Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital.
Seven local hospitals were designated Blue Centers for knee and hip replacement care: St. Anne’s Hospital, Charlton Memorial, Our Lady of Fatima, Rhode Island Hospital, Roger Williams Medical Center, South County Hospital, and The Miriam Hospital.
Five local hospitals were designated Blue Centers for spine surgery: Charlton Memorial, St. Luke’s Hospital, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, and Roger Williams Medical Center.
Massachusetts hospitals were designated by Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts while Rhode Island hospitals were designated by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Borkowski@PBN.com.