Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has recognized UnityPoint Health – Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Methodist West Hospital with a Blue Distinction® Center+ (BDC+) designation in the area of maternity care, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. The designation places Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Methodist West Hospital among nationally designated facilities shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective measures developed from the medical community for patient safety and better health outcomes.
"The advances we continue to make in high quality, family centered maternity care are only possible because of the great teamwork from all of our health care providers," says Steve Stephenson, MD, president and COO of Blank Children’s Hospital and executive vice president for UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. "The national standard for maternity care continues to advance, and we are proud to continue to bring the very best in highly coordinated maternity care to our patients right here in Central Iowa."
The Maternity Care Program was designed to respond to the clinical challenges in maternity care. Overall, cost of care for vaginal and cesarean births (C-sections) at BDC+ facilities are 20 percent less than those at non-Blue Distinction Centers+ facilities. Overall, episiotomy rates were 49 percent less at Blue Distinction Centers (BDC/BDC+) than at those at non-Blue Distinction Centers.
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. Facility evaluations are based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations. The goal is to provide a best-in-class maternity care designation that gives new and expectant parents access to higher quality and affordable maternity care, close to home.
To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care designation, a health care facility must have a maternal quality improvement program and conduct drills and simulations for adverse events. In addition, it must meet clinical outcome metrics at an even higher standard than the program’s last designation cycle. In addition to meeting these quality thresholds, facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are, on average, 20 percent more cost-efficient per episode of care compared to their peers.
The Blue Distinction Specialty Care program remains a trusted and valuable source for patients seeking quality care in a number of specialty areas. UnityPoint Health – Des Moines is proud to have several areas recognized with Blue Distinction, including maternity, bariatric surgery, spine surgery, knee and hip replacements.
For more information about the program, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction. To learn about the maternity centers at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, visit unitypoint.org/maternity.