Mercy Medical Center - Des Moines is Recognized for Higher Quality in Maternity Care
DES MOINES, Iowa — Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines’ Women & Infants’ Center has once again been designated as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care by Wellmark under the Blue Distinction Specialty Program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community. Mercy is one of 18 Iowa hospitals to receive this designation in an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care.
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 Healthcare 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. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must also demonstrate cost-efficiency.
Quality is key: Only those hospitals that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally-established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.
“Mercy is proud to be recognized as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care,” said Mercy’s Interim Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Goetz. “We created the Mercy Women & Infants’ Center to meet the complete needs of mother and baby in one location. Here they have access to birthing and midwifery services, obstetric emergency care in Iowa’s only dedicated 24-hour OB Emergency Department, management of high-risk pregnancies by perinatal specialists and specialty care for babies who are born early in the Variety Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”
In 2017, Mercy welcomed 4,365 new babies. Mercy delivers more babies than any single Iowa hospital.
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 bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About Mercy – Des Moines
Mercy operates four not-for-profit, Catholic hospital campuses, with a total of 875 beds, along with more than 20 additional facilities that house more than 50 primary care, pediatric, internal medicine and specialty clinics. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893, Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines and is also one of the largest employers in the state – with more than 7,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians and allied health associates. Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is a member of Mercy Health Network and is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 17 states and includes 100 hospitals and multiple other facilities and services.
About Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Wellmark, Inc. (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, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., Wellmark Synergy Health, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health Plan, 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, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., Wellmark Synergy Health, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc. are independent licensees 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 one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Index. 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 for patient safety and outcomes, 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 health care. 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 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 non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.