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Two Beacon hospitals recognized for higher quality in maternity care

A maternity room at Elkhart General Hospital

ELKHART and SOUTH BEND, Indiana – Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend have been recognized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield with a Blue Distinction® Centers Plus (BDC+) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend are excited to be recognized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield for meeting the rigorous BDC+ quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“Beacon is proud to honor everyone involved in our maternity care programs across the system,” said Beacon Health System Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Sam El-Dalati. “This designation is recognition of the expertise and tireless work of our maternity care teams and leaders. We can’t thank them enough for delivering quality, safe, effective care for mothers in our community.”

Racial and ethnic disparities are persistent and widespread across maternal healthcare, primarily driven by socioeconomic status, geographic location, and implicit provider bias. Compared to similarly developed countries such as Canada, Germany, and Australia, the United State has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR), at approximately 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, with the MMR steadily increasing since 2000. According to the CDC, non-Hispanic Black women are two to three times more likely to die from preventable or treatable pregnancy-related complications compared to white women.

To help address these gaps in care and to help ensure the better health of mothers, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association enhanced its quality evaluation for the Maternity Care program to address key factors driving the United States’ maternal health crisis such as preventable or treatable pregnancy-related conditions, high utilization of Caesarean sections, and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal healthcare.

In 2018, facilities that received designations under the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program cared for more than 40% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured women giving birth across the country.

In 2020, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care Program was expanded beyond traditional outcome measures to include assessments of internal quality improvement, data collection and dissemination, and internal protocols that better address clinical quality and equity issues in maternity care.

A maternity room at Memorial Hospital of South Bend

New in the evaluation cycle, facilities must collect race ethnicity data, have a maternal quality improvement program, commence drills and simulations for adverse events, and have dedicated protocols and procedures for the management of hypertension and hemorrhage. In addition, they must meet clinical outcome metrics at a higher standard than required previously. Specifically, the rate for low risk first time cesarean sections (NTSV c-section rate, PC-02) has been aligned with the revised Healthy People 2020 goals. Facilities eligible for the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity care show statistically significant differences in key clinical outcomes compared to their peers.

“With programs like Blue Distinction, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is helping our members make informed decisions about their healthcare,” said Beth Keyser, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. “We are committed to providing access to quality care that will lead to better health outcomes for the people we serve. We appreciate the partnership with Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend and the care they provide to Anthem members.”

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, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery, and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.

All companies and trademarks listed above are the property of their respective owners and used for identification purposes only,  and are in no way associated or affiliated with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Use of these trademarks does not imply endorsement. The Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® names and symbols and Blue Distinction® are registered trademarks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.  Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter @AnthemBCBS_News and @AnthemBCBS or find us on Facebook.

About the 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 one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health IndexSM. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.

About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers 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 healthcare. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers 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 www.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 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 Benjamin Dashley