MAYWOOD, IL – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has selected Loyola University Medical Center as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for cardiac care, maternity care, knee and hip replacement and spine surgery.
“We are honored to receive this prestigious recognition for our high quality, cost-effective care,” said Larry M. Goldberg, president and CEO, Loyola University Health System. “Patients are at the center of all that we do, and our reputation for quality underscores this focus.”
Blue Distinction Centers+ are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures developed with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community.
Research has shown that facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients compared with their peers. Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are on average 20 percent more cost-efficient per episode of care.
Quality is key: Only those facilities that first meet nationally established quality measures for Blue Distinction Centers+ were considered for designation as Blue Distinction Centers+.
To be designated a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care, a hospital must demonstrate its expertise in delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on cardiac valve surgery, heart bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions such as angioplasties. A hospital also must have earned national accreditation at the facility level. In addition to meeting established quality thresholds, hospitals must demonstrate better cost-efficiency compared with their peers.
The Blue Distinction Center+ designation for Maternity Care evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns categorized as 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.
Hospitals receiving the maternity care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, and to initiate 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.
Loyola and Gottlieb were shown to demonstrate expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, resulting in fewer complications and hospital readmissions. The hospitals also maintain national accreditation.
Hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for spine surgery demonstrate expertise in cervical and lumbar fusion, cervical laminectomy and lumbar laminectomy/discectomy procedures, resulting in fewer patient complications and hospital readmissions compared with other hospitals. Designated hospitals must also maintain national accreditation.
“I want to congratulate Loyola University Medical Center and Gottlieb Memorial Hospital for their commitment to quality, and helping members better manage their care through the Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program,” said Opella Ernest, MD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois chief medical officer and divisional senior vice president of Network Management. “This patient-centered approach provides attention to patients across the healthcare spectrum – from helping our members who are the sickest utilize medical services more efficiently, to finding ways that enable healthy people to stay that way.”