St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center Recognized As Top Performer In Maternity Care

(PUEBLO, COLO.) -In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced thatSt. Mary-Corwin Medical Centerhas been designated as one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation, a new recognition under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. St. Mary-Corwin is the only provider in the Pueblo market to receive this distinction.

Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. 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.

Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, 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 incredibly proud of the high-value and quality outcomes that we deliver at St. Mary-Corwin that has made our Birth Place a national leader in maternity care, said Brian Moore, president and CEO, St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center. Families throughout southern Colorado have trusted us with their birth experience for over 130 years and this designation further exemplifies our commitment to making every new beginning a special delivery.

Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information, said Mike Ramseier, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. Were committed to working with doctors and hospital across the state who demonstrate quality patient care.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 650 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies medical claims.

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants. 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 program, visit http://www.bcbs.com/why-bcbs/blue-distinction/.

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About St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center is nationally recognized for its award-winning programs in womens services, orthopedics, cancer, cardiology, stroke, trauma and emergency services. St. Mary-Corwins expert team of physicians, nurses and caregivers provide compassionate, quality patient care, with access to the latest in medical technology. St. Mary-Corwin is part of Centura Health, the regions leading health care network. For more information visitSt. Mary-Corwin Medical Center or follow us on Twitter@StMaryCorwinand onFacebook.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado is available at http://www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/anthempr_CO.

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 nearly 105 million members one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

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 facilitys 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 providers in-network status or your own policys 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.

Media Contact:
Gianna Lisac
St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, marketing & communications assistant
719-557-4504
GiannaLisac@centura.org