Baptist Health area hospitals have been designated by Florida Blue 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.
Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, includes hospitals recognized for delivering high-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. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.
“Baptist Health is very fortunate to have received this recognition which speaks to the high-quality care and service we provide to the women and children within our community and abroad,” said Cicely Brooks, director of perinatal and pediatric services for Baptist Health. “We pride ourselves on providing the most comprehensive services to ensure maternal and fetal well-being.”
Nearly 4 million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. The 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.
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. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities.