CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care, Highmark Blue Shield has created a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, the Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care. Chambersburg Hospital has been designated as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive this designation.
Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care are hospitals recognized for delivering quality, affordable specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must also meet requirements for cost efficiency.
“We are thrilled to have earned this important recognition for our maternity services,” said Senior Vice President of Hospital Services Sherri Stahl. “We are committed to delivering quality care in our Family Birthing Services unit. This distinction speaks to that commitment and consistent care offered to our patients.”
“Highmark Blue Shield extends its sincere congratulations to Chambersburg Hospital for their dedication to quality, patient safety, and transparency that is required to achieve this great distinction. With consumer driven healthcare programs like Blue Distinction, and the significant effort of our partner practitioners and facilities, Highmark can now enable our members the opportunity to make wise, value-driven healthcare decisions”, said Dr. Mark Piasio, Medical Director, Provider Strategy, Highmark Inc.
This new Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of 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.
In addition, hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated 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.
For more information on maternity services at Chambersburg Hospital, please click here.
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 facilities 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 facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities 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.
About Highmark Blue Shield
Highmark Blue Shield serves approximately 1.1 million members through the company’s health care benefits business and employs nearly 3,000 people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visitwww.highmark.com.