Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Recognizes Nine Local Hospitals for Quality in Cardiac Care

Hospitals among first to receive new designation for delivering both quality and cost-efficient cardiac procedures

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.Blue Distinction Centers® (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+SM (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on www.bcbs.com. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. For details on Local Blue Plan Criteria, a provider’s in-network status, or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan. Each hospital’s Cost Index is calculated with data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both Cost Index figures must meet BDC+ national criteria. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has recognized nine hospitals in North Carolina with a Blue Distinction Center+ SM designation for delivering quality and cost-efficient cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program. Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community.  This year, the national program has added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost-efficient specialty care.

The Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac CareSM facilities are:

  • CarolinaEast Medical Center, New Bern
  • Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte
  • Carolinas Medical Center - Northeast, Concord
  • FirstHealth Moore Regional, Pinehurst
  • Gaston Memorial Hospital, Gastonia
  • High Point Regional Hospital, High Point
  • Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, Greensboro
  • Rex Hospital, Raleigh
  • WakeMed - Raleigh Campus, Raleigh

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year.  Cardiac procedures, including bypass and cardiac stent placement, are among the most common major medical procedures provided by the US health care system, with more than 1 million procedures performed annually. These cardiac related procedures cost the nation more than $28 billion annually.  The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program seeks to reduce this burden, by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs.

“We are pleased to be working with hospitals that share our commitment to high quality care in North Carolina,” said Lisa Cade, vice president network management for BCBSNC. “Through the Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program, customers are able to take control of their health and find great care at a reasonable price.”

In 2006, the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program was developed to help patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.  To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac CareSM designation, a hospital must meet general quality and safety criteria, cardiac-specific quality measures and show better cost efficiency relative to their peers.  Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is proud to announce that nine hospitals have been recognized as the first Blue Distinction Centers+ for Cardiac Care in North Carolina for demonstrating proven results in delivering improved outcomes, as well as greater affordability.

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of healthcare associated infections, compared with their peers.  Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient for those same cardiac procedures.

The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program identifies hospitals delivering quality care in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants.  These specialty areas comprise approximately 30 percent of inpatient hospital expenditures.  For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

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About BCBSNC:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.74 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For generations, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012 and 2013. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.

Blue Distinction Centers® (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. Blue Distinction Centers+SM (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Individual outcomes may vary. National criteria are displayed on www.bcbs.com. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area. For details on Local Blue Plan Criteria, a provider’s in-network status, or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan. Each hospital’s Cost Index is calculated with data from its Local Blue Plan. Hospitals in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two Cost Index figures; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both Cost Index figures must meet BDC+ national criteria. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for damages or non-covered charges resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.