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February 22, 2018

DES MOINES, IA – In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announces 18 Iowa hospitals have received the Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care 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, and cesarean sections are the most common operating room procedures, according to National Centers for Health Statistics and the Agency for Health care Research & Quality. Reducing early elective delivery is an area of focus for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 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.

The 18 Iowa hospitals designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care include:

Provider/Health System
City
Designation
Mary Greeley Medical Center
Ames
Blue Distinction Center+
Trinity Bettendorf
Bettendorf
Blue Distinction Center+
Mercy Medical Center
Cedar Rapids
Blue Distinction Center+
Mercy Medical Center
Clinton
Blue Distinction Center+
CHI Mercy Council Bluffs
Council Bluffs
Blue Distinction Center+
Genesis Medical Center
Davenport
Blue Distinction Center+
Iowa Methodist Medical Center
Des Moines
Blue Distinction Center+
Mercy Medical Center
Des Moines
Blue Distinction Center+
Finley Hospital
Dubuque
Blue Distinction Center+
Mercy Medical Center
Dubuque
Blue Distinction Center+
Fort Madison Community Hospital
Fort Madison
Blue Distinction Center+
Mercy Hospital
Iowa City
Blue Distinction Center+
Mercy Medical Center North Iowa
Mason City
Blue Distinction Center+
Mahaska Health Partnership
Oskaloosa
Blue Distinction Center+
Pella Regional Health Center
Pella
Blue Distinction Center+
Covenant Medical Center
Waterloo
Blue Distinction Center+
Great River Medical Center
West Burlington
Blue Distinction Center+
Methodist West Hospital
West Des Moines
Blue Distinction Center+

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 1,000 hospitals as 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.

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction External Site.