March 28, 2016 – Officials with Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (RMC) today announced that RMC in Anniston is the first hospital in the state of Alabama to receive the Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care designation by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alabama. This new designation is an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
Designated hospitals are recognized for delivering quality specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community, according to BCBS. Criteria for evaluation in maternity care includes percentage of newborns who are early elective deliveries, utilization of evidence-based practices of care, overall patient satisfaction, and participation in programs that promote successful breastfeeding, such as the Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative.
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.
“We are extremely proud of the dedicated physicians and maternity nursing staff who helped elevate RMC to receive this esteemed designation as Alabama’s first BCBS Maternity Blue Distinction® Center,” said Louis Bass, CEO of RMC. “This further demonstrates the commitment RMC has to serving new mothers, families and newborns throughout northeast Alabama. As prospective parents seek the ideal maternity facility to welcome their baby’s first precious moments, we are thankful they continue to choose RMC because our hospital offers such baby-friendly, family-centered, personalized birthing experiences that are so important to the continued growth of RMC’s maternity program.”
Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. Research shows that compared to other facilities, designated Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.
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.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 280 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. For more information about the program, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About Regional Medical Center
With 338 inpatient beds at Regional Medical Center (RMC) Anniston, 89 beds at RMC Jacksonville, and numerous outpatient facilities and services, RMC is the provider of choice for over 13,500 inpatients, 57,000 outpatients, 1,380 newborn deliveries and 42,000 emergency room visits each year. More than 1,600 employees, 300 volunteers and 200 physicians in a full range of specialties provide state-of-the-art healthcare with integrity, skill and compassion. RMC is accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, is an affiliate in the UAB Cancer Care Network, is recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama as a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Knee and Hip Replacement®, and is the first designated Baby-Friendly birthing facility in Alabama. For more information, visit www.RMCcares.org.
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.