DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA — March 21, 2016 — In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, cost-efficient maternity care, Independence Blue Cross announced that Doylestown Hospital has been designated 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.
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, among other conditions. 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 agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated 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, are hospitals recognized for delivering quality, cost-effective 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.
"We are committed to offering the safest maternity and newborn care for new families in our community," said Kathy Donahue, RNC-OB, MSN, IBCLC, RLC, Doylestown Health's Director of Maternal-Child Services. "Many hospitals in the Philadelphia area have closed their maternity units, which means women have to travel long distances to receive care. It is important to us to keep new families together. We are able to care for a sick or premature baby here so parents do not have to travel to another hospital to visit their child. We offer the convenience of being close to home, yet provide the quality patient care our families expect."
"We're pleased to recognize Doylestown Hospital for their proven expertise in providing high-quality, safe, and cost effective care to new and expectant mothers and their children," said Richard L. Snyder, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer at Independence Blue Cross. "Together, we're working towards improving the health and wellness of our members and the community."
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 650 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers+ (Blue Distinction 280 Hospitals) for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed 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. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities.
For more information about the program, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve nearly 9 million people in 32 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in the region. For nearly 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.
About Doylestown Health's VIA Maternity Center
Doylestown Health's VIA Maternity Center is rated among the best in the region for maternity care with services available for every stage of pregnancy through the birth experience. The VIA Maternity Center features a 32-bed maternity unit that includes 9 labor, delivery & recovery rooms, 22 private post-partum rooms, and a Level II NICU staffed by CHOP neonatologists.