Freeman recognized for quality in cardiac care

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - Freeman recognized for quality in cardiac care
JOPLIN, Mo.—As part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri has recognized Freeman Health System with a Blue Distinction Center® designation for delivering quality cardiac care. Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes developed with input from the medical community.

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 Care designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria—such as preventing hospital‐acquired infections—and cardiac-specific quality measures for cardiac surgical and non‐surgical procedures—such as cardiac stent placement. Freeman is proud to be recognized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri for meeting the rigorous Cardiac Care criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

“This designation is a testament to the outstanding care delivered every day by our team of physicians, nurses, and other caregivers at Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute,” said Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are honored to be recognized for our dedication to improving the health of the communities we serve through contemporary, innovative quality healthcare solutions.”

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 healthcare 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 expense, by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs.

"The Blue Distinction program is designed to engage consumers to help them make more informed healthcare decisions while we collaborate with physicians and hospitals to improve quality outcomes and affordability," said Ruth Meyer Hollenback, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri Vice President of Provider Engagement and Contracting. "We believe Freeman Health System strives to offer the best practices and standards in cardiac care."

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications for certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of healthcare-associated infections, as compared with their peers.

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.

About Freeman Health System

Based in Joplin, Mo., and proudly recognized as the Best Hospital in southwest Missouri—as well as ranked #4 in the state—by US News & World Report, Freeman Health System provides comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services, including cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurosciences, orthopaedics, and women’s services. The area’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health system, Freeman has more than 300 physicians representing 60 specialties serving southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com or facebook.com/freemanhealthsystem, or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at twitter.com/freemanceo.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri

In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area) Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name for RightCHOICE® Managed Care, Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and 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 Missouri is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

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.