Blue Distinction Center+ Maternity Care | Allen Hospital, Waterloo IA

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Pregnant Woman Sitting in Field

Allen Hospital is proud to be one of the first hospitals in Iowa to be Designated a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care

What does the Blue Distinction mean?

In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced the first hospitals in Iowa to receive the Blue Distinction® Center and Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designations 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. This new 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.

Wellmark has designated one hospital as a Blue Distinction Center and 26 as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care in Iowa.

Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care are hospitals recognized for delivering quality 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 meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers while also meeting requirements for cost efficiency.

As a result, Allen Hospital has 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. The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend services to others, and cost efficiency. 

Research shows that, compared to other facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities.

For more information about the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.