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SWMC Recognized for Higher Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Maternity Care

Joe Denoyer - April 24, 2024 10:39 am

LIBERAL, KS –Southwest Medical Center is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ (BDC+) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. To earn this designation, each facility must deliver quality care, safely and cost-effectively.

“We will continue to provide elite and compassionate maternity care to fulfill the needs and preferences of our expectant mothers,” said Amber Williams, SWMC President, and CEO. “Our dedicated physicians and staff work diligently every day to place every patient and family first. We are deeply committed to ensuring the best care for our community.”

The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program plays a key role in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s (BCBSA) National Health Equity Strategy aimed at reducing racial health disparities across the care spectrum and improving patient outcomes for all Americans. To align with this strategy, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program enhanced its quality and measurement standards to recognize higher-quality facilities that have taken action to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies, reduce racial disparities, and improve maternal health outcomes.

Based on data from the current designation cycle, facilities designated under the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program demonstrate higher-quality care compared to non-Blue Distinction Center facilities, with overall average rates of 26% lower episiotomies, 60% fewer elective deliveries and 17% lower cesarean births—all of which point to healthier outcomes for patients. BDC+ designated facilities also exhibited an average savings of 21% for maternity care.

“We are committed to giving our members access to the best health care. We are excited that Southwest Medical Center has put in the work to provide their patients with this level of care,” said Matt All, president/CEO, of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. “Each facility recognized as a Blue Distinction Center is meeting rigorous quality metrics in all phases of their maternity care programs and, in doing so, delivering better care for our members and all Kansans.”

The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program’s selection criteria was devised to close clinical care gaps and reduce inequities that persist throughout the maternal care spectrum. The selection criteria includes components of BCBSA’s Maternal Health Equity Actions, which dismantle the cultural, operational, and structural barriers that have created inequities that persist in maternal care.

To be designated under this program, each applicant facility was evaluated on a combination of objective data on patient outcomes as well as the practices implemented to reduce racial disparities and improve maternal health outcomes, such as:

Using evidence-based best practices to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies

• Offering unconscious bias training

• Participating in the regional Perinatal Quality Collaborative

• Having doula support available on the maternity care team

• Collecting race, ethnicity, and language data

• Having a program dedicated to quality improvements in maternal care

• Running drills and simulations to prepare providers are prepared to deal with a range of obstetric emergencies

• Demonstrating health outcomes that exceed the selection criteria from our program’s previous evaluation cycle

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care at lower costs 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 health care professionals to improve the care they deliver.

For more information about the program and a complete listing of the designated providers, visit our website.



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