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Wellmark congratulates local hospitals on receiving Blue Distinction® Center designation for quality and efficiency

Blue Distinction designation helps consumers to identify high-performing hospitals

February 22, 2013

Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®  congratulates 13 Iowa hospitals and two South Dakota hospitals for being recognized by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program in the areas of Spine Surgery and Knee and Hip Replacement.

 

Since 2006, consumers, medical providers and employers have relied on the Blue Distinction program to identify hospitals delivering quality care in Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Care, Complex and Rare Cancers, Knee and Hip Replacements, Spine Surgery, and Transplants.

 

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was recently expanded to include new cost-efficiency measures, as well as more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety. Three facilities in Iowa and South Dakota are being recognized as Blue Distinction Centers for their expertise in delivering quality specialty care in Spine Surgery or Knee and Hip Replacement, and 10 are being recognized as Blue Distinction Centers+ (Plus) for their expertise in quality and cost efficiency in delivering specialty care. Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures are considered to receive the additional Blue Distinction Centers+ designation.  

 

"The Blue Distinction Center designation places a high value on research and evidence-based health outcomes,” said Timothy Gutshall, M.D., Wellmark Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “It also celebrates and affirms the excellence and commitment of the physicians and staff of these health systems in combining state-of-the-art surgery with state-of-the-art care.”

Research confirms that the newly designated Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications and readmissions than their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ are also more than 20 percent more cost-efficient. The program provides consumers with tools to help them make better informed healthcare decisions. These results enable employers, working with their local Blue Plan, to tailor benefits to meet their individual quality objectives.

 

Hospitals that received Blue Distinction Center and Blue Distinction Centers+ designations in Iowa and South Dakota include:

  

Iowa

 

Provider/Health System City Spine Surgery Knee/Hip Replacement

Alegent Health Mercy Hospital

Council Bluffs

N/A

Blue Distinction Center+

Covenant Medical Center

Waterloo

Blue Distinction Center+

N/A

Genesis Medical Center

Davenport

Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Distinction Center+

Iowa Lutheran Hospital

Des Moines

N/A

Blue Distinction Center+

Iowa Methodist Medical Center

Des Moines

Blue Distinction Center+

N/A

Mary Greeley Medical Center

Ames

Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Distinction Center+

Mercy Hospital

Iowa City

Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Distinction Center+

Mercy Medical Center

Cedar Rapids

Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Distinction Center+

Mercy Medical Center

Des Moines

Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Distinction Center+

Mercy Medical Center

Dubuque

N/A

Blue Distinction Center+

Methodist West Hospital

West Des Moines

Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Distinction Center+

Mercy Medical Center

Sioux City

Blue Distinction Center+

N/A

St. Lukes Methodist Hospital

Cedar Rapids

Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Distinction Center+

The Finley Hospital

Dubuque

N/A

Blue Distinction Center+

Trinity Bettendorf

Bettendorf

N/A

Blue Distinction Center+

 

South Dakota

 

Provider/Health System City Spine Surgery Knee/Hip Replacement

Avera McKennan Hospital

Sioux Falls

Blue Distinction Center

Blue Distinction Center

Sanford Medical Center

Sioux Falls

Blue Distinction Center

Blue Distinction Center+

 

For more information about the Blue Distinction Program and to see a list of Blue Distinction Centers in your area, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

                                      

About Blue Distinction® Centers

Blue Distinction Centers met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+ also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria is displayed on www.bcbs.com.  A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area.  To find out which services and providers (including hospital based physicians) are covered under your policy, or to learn about Local Blue Plan Criteria, contact your Local Blue Plan; and contact your provider before making an appointment to verify its current Network and Blue Distinction Centers status. Each hospital’s Cost Index is calculated separately, based on data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in portions of CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in areas served by two Local Blue Plans, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether all hospitals in these areas must meet Blue Distinction Centers+ national criteria for one or both Cost Index figures. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages, losses, or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.  To find out more, contact your Local Blue Plan.

 

About Wellmark

Wellmark, Inc. (www.wellmark.com ) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

 

Contact Wellmark Media Relations

Traci McBee
Phone: 515-376-4338
mcbeet@wellmark.com

 

Teresa Roof
Phone: 515-376-5869
rooft@wellmark.com

 

1331 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2901

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