DANVILLE, Pa. – Highmark Blue Shield recognized Geisinger‘s women’s health services for providing excellence in maternity care by naming several of the health system’s childbirth units, including Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, Geisinger Medical Center and Geisinger Wyoming Valley, as Blue Distinction Centers. 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.
Geisinger Medical Center and Geisinger Wyoming Valley each received a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation; Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital was recognized with a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation as part of 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, and cesarean sections the most common operating room procedures, according to National Centers for Health Statistics and the Agency for Health Care 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 vaginal and cesarean delivery. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, as Geisinger Bloomsburg did, a hospital must also demonstrate cost-efficiency.
“This recognition confirms Geisinger’s commitment to high-level care throughout our system,” said Sandra Culbertson, M.D., chair of Geisinger’s women’s health. “Our team – which includes providers, midwives, nurses and support staff – is privileged to be a part of such a special moment in the lives of the families we care for each day.”
“The Blue Distinction program gives Highmark Blue Shield members the ability to choose their providers based upon reliable quality and safety information. It also provides a pathway for exceptional providers to demonstrate their value, and delivers the kind of transparency necessary for members to make informed value-driven healthcare decisions. We congratulate our Blue Distinction Specialty Care Providers on their accomplishment and thank our members for choosing Highmark BS”, said Dr. Charles DeShazer, Vice President and Executive Medical Director, Clinical Services, Medical Policy & Quality.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 1,000 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care and 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.
About Highmark Blue Shield
Highmark Inc. doing business as Highmark Blue Shield serves approximately 1.2 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. It employs nearly 2,300 people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and 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 Index. 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 for patient safety and outcomes, 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 health care. 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 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.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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