Tim Nelson, System Director, Communications and Media Relations
Eight AMITA Health Hospitals Recognized for Higher Quality and Cost Efficiency in Maternity Care
Apr. 20, 2021 (Chicago, Ill.) — Seven AMITA Health hospitals in Chicagoland have been recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ (BDC+) for Maternity Care designation as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
The AMITA Health hospitals recognized are:
- AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Bolingbrook
- AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center GlenOaks
- AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale
- AMITA Health Alexian Medical Center Elk Grove Village
- AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet
- AMITA Health Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center Chicago
- AMITA Health St. Alexius Medical Center Hoffman Estates
In addition, an eighth hospital, AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital Kankakee, was recognized as a Blue Distinction® Center (BDC).
BDCs are healthcare facilities and providers recognized for their expertise in delivering specialty care. BDCs+ are BDCs additionally recognized for efficiency in delivering care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), racial and ethnic disparities are persistent and widespread across maternal health care, primarily driven by socioeconomic status, geographic location and implicit provider bias. The CDC recognizes that, compared to similarly developed countries such as Canada, Germany and Australia, the United State has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR) of approximately 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, steadily increasing since 2000. The CDC finds that non-Hispanic Black women are two to three times more likely to die from preventable or treatable pregnancy-related complications compared to white women.
To help address these gaps in care and ensure the better health of mothers, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association enhanced its quality evaluation for the Maternity Care program to address key factors driving the United States’ maternal health crisis, such as preventable or treatable pregnancy related conditions, high utilization of Caesarean sections and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health care.
Overall, cost of care episodes for vaginal and cesarean births at BDC+ facilities are 20% less than those at non-Blue Distinction Centers+ facilities. The rates of episiotomies were 49% less at Blue Distinction Centers (BDC and BDC+) than those at non-Blue Distinction Centers (BDC and BDC+).
“We are incredibly proud to have so many of the hospitals where we care for the new mothers in our communities receive this important distinction,” said Mary Ann Palermo, vice president, patient safety and quality for AMITA Health. “Giving birth is a special experience for our new and expectant moms and we’re pleased to be recognized for the safe, high-quality care we provide.”
In 2020, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care Program was expanded beyond traditional outcome measures to include assessments of internal quality improvement, data collection and dissemination, and internal protocols that better address clinical quality and equity issues in maternity care. New in the evaluation cycle, facilities must collect race ethnicity data, have a maternal quality improvement program, commence drills and simulations for adverse events, and have dedicated protocols and procedures for the management of hypertension and hemorrhage. In addition, they must meet clinical outcome metrics at a higher standard than required previously. Specifically, the rate for low-risk first-time Cesarean sections (NTSV C-section rate, PC-02) has been aligned with the revised Healthy People 2020 goals. Facilities eligible for the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity care show statistically significant differences in key clinical outcomes compared to their peers.
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is committed to working with providers to help improve the care of mothers and their infant children and is proud to offer this important recognition,” said Derek Robinson, MD, MBA, FACEP, CHCQM, chief medical officer, BCBSIL. “It’s one of the ways we’re partnering with members, employers, providers and communities to help improve health equity.”
For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated providers, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About AMITA Health
AMITA Health (www.AMITAhealth.org) is a joint operating company formed by AdventHealth in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and St. Louis-based Ascension. AMITA Health is the largest health system in Illinois, comprising 19 hospitals and more than 230 sites of care. The health system has 900 providers in its medical groups, more than 26,000 associates and 7,000 physician partners and serves over 6.6 million residents in the greater Chicagoland area.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health care to as many people as possible in Illinois. BCBSIL is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Learn more at bcbsil.com and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.
About the 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 one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health IndexSM. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.
About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on www.bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for noncovered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.