Emanuel Medical Center Recognized for Higher Quality in Maternity CareMar 15, 2021
Turlock, Calif. – March 15, 2021 – Emanuel Medical Center is proud to be recognized by Blue Shield of California with a Blue Distinction® Centers (BDC) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
Racial and ethnic disparities are persistent and widespread across maternal healthcare, primarily driven by socioeconomic status, geographic location, and implicit provider bias. Compared to similarly developed countries such as Canada, Germany, and Australia, the United State has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR), at approximately 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, with the MMR steadily increasing since 2000.1 According to the CDC, non-Hispanic Black women are two to three times more likely to die from preventable or treatable pregnancy-related complications compared to white women.2
To help address these gaps in care and to help ensure the better health of mothers, The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association enhanced its quality evaluation for the Maternity Care program to address key factors driving the United States’ maternal health crisis such as preventable or treatable pregnancy-related conditions, high utilization of Caesarean sections, and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal healthcare. In 2018, facilities that received designations under the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program cared for more than 40% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured women giving birth across the country.
Emanuel Medical Center is proud to be recognized by Blue Shield of California for meeting the rigorous BDC quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
“This designation shows our unwavering commitment to providing high-quality, patient-centered maternity care at Emanuel,” said Chrystal Hamilton, MSN, RNC-OB, Director of Maternal Child Health at Emanuel Medical Center. “Our team is dedicated to meeting and exceeding strict quality standards of care for maternal and newborn health. We are so proud to achieve this designation.”
In 2020, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care Program was expanded beyond traditional outcome measures to include assessments of internal quality improvement, data collection and dissemination, and internal protocols that better address clinical quality and equity issues in maternity care. New in the evaluation cycle, facilities must collect race ethnicity data, have a maternal quality improvement program, commence drills and simulations for adverse events, and have dedicated protocols and procedures for the management of hypertension and hemorrhage. In addition, they must meet clinical outcome metrics at a higher standard than required previously. Specifically, the rate for low risk first time cesarean sections (NTSV c-section rate, PC-02) has been aligned with the revised Healthy People 2020 goals. Facilities eligible for the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity care show statistically significant differences in key clinical outcomes compared to their peers.
“Blue Shield of California congratulates Emanuel Medical Center on their Blue Distinction® Centers for Maternity Care designation, especially as it pertains to addressing health inequities. The racial and ethnic disparities in maternal care within the U.S. are unacceptable and health care providers play an important role in addressing the underlying causes of suboptimal care and outcomes. I am thrilled that Emanuel has been able to develop a comprehensive quality improvement program to help address and provide leadership on this crucial topic,” said Dr. Seth Glickman, chief health officer of Blue Shield of California.
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery, and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other providers, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.
All companies and trademarks listed above are the property of their respective owners and used for identification purposes only, and are in no way associated or affiliated with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Use of these trademarks does not imply endorsement. The Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® names and symbols and Blue Distinction® are registered trademarks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.