Seven UnityPoint Health Facilities Honored for Expertise and Outstanding Maternity CareJan 17, 2024
UnityPoint Health® is proud to announce that seven facilities across Iowa and Illinois have been recognized by Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ (BDC+) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. To earn this designation, each facility must safely deliver cost-effective, quality care. The UnityPoint Health maternity care facilities recognized include:
- UnityPoint Health – Allen Hospital
- UnityPoint Health – Iowa Methodist Medical Center
- UnityPoint Health – Methodist West Hospital
- UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids
- UnityPoint Health – Trinity Bettendorf
- UnityPoint Health – Trinity Moline
- UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center
The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program plays a key role in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s (BCBSA) National Health Equity Strategy aimed at reducing racial health disparities across the care spectrum and improving patient outcomes for all Americans. To align with this strategy, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program enhanced its quality and measurement standards to recognize higher-quality facilities that have taken action to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies, reduce racial disparities and improve maternal health outcomes.
Based on data from the current designation cycle, facilities designated under the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program demonstrate higher-quality care compared to non-Blue Distinction Center facilities, with overall average rates of 26 percent lower episiotomies, 60 percent fewer elective deliveries and 17 percent lower cesarean births—all of which point to healthier outcomes for patients. BDC+ designated facilities also exhibited an average savings of 21 percent for maternity care.
The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program’s selection criteria was devised to close clinical care gaps and reduce inequities that persist throughout the maternal care spectrum. The selection criteria includes components of BCBSA’s Maternal Health Equity Actions that dismantle the cultural, operational and structural barriers that create inequities in maternal care.
To be designated under this program, each applicant facility was evaluated on a combination of objective data on patient outcomes as well as the practices implemented to reduce racial disparities and improve maternal health outcomes, such as:
- Using evidence-based best practices to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies
- Offering unconscious bias training
- Participating in the regional Perinatal Quality Collaborative
- Having doula support available on the maternity care team
- Collecting race, ethnicity and language data
- Having a program dedicated to quality improvements in maternal care
- Running drills and simulations to prepare providers to deal with a range of obstetric emergencies
- Demonstrating health outcomes that exceed the selection criteria from our program’s previous evaluation cycle
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find low-cost, quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery, and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver.