February 10, 2016
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas designates Wesley a
Blue Distinction Center+ for quality, affordable maternity care
WICHITA – Wesley Medical Center, known as the region’s “Baby Hospital” for delivering more than 6,000 babies each year, has been designated by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care. This is the first time a maternity care designation has been awarded under the national Blue Distinction® Specialty Care program.
“Wesley has long been the regional leader in caring for women, children and families,” said Joyce Soule, Wesley’s chief nursing officer. “We strive daily to provide our moms and moms-to-be with the very best in facilities and service.”
Wesley recently completed a $39 million renovation of its women’s hospital and BirthCare Center, and is currently building a $28 million dedicated children’s hospital.
Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, 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 also must meet requirements for cost efficiency. Hospitals were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ medical claims.
"Improving quality of care while also attaining cost efficiency is integral to transforming the healthcare system, so we are proud to recognize Wesley for demonstrating higher levels of quality, expertise and efficiency resulting in better maternity care for our members," said Andrew C. Corbin, BCBSKS president/CEO.
Nearly four million babies are born in the United States 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. The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.
Wesley is one of just 330 hospitals in the United States – and the first and only in the state of Kansas – to achieve Baby-Friendly Designation.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care need. 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 Wesley Healthcare and its birth care services, please visit www.wesleymc.com. For more information about the program, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
Wesley Healthcare is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley Medical Center treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER, Wesley Woodlawn ER, the region’s only pediatric ER and soon, Wesley Derby ER. Wesley owns and operates Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER, multiple WesleyCare clinics and is currently building the region’s only dedicated children’s hospital – Wesley Children’s Hospital. To learn more about Wesley Healthcare, please visit www.wesleymc.com.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
For nearly 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit bcbsks.com.
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 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.