|BCBSA Spearheads Initiative To Improve Healthcare Quality
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) said
that its Blue Distinction designation is demonstrating meaningful
differences in healthcare outcomes and value, through collaboration
with employer groups, providers and medical organizations to provide
consumers with important quality information.
Blue Distinction is a nationwide program that recognizes
medical facilities that meet objective, evidence-based thresholds for
clinical quality developed in collaboration with expert physicians and
medical organizations. This designation provides consumers with a
credible, easily identifiable means of selecting facilities that best
meet their individual specialty care needs.
To date, more than 800 Blue Distinction designations for
specialty care have been awarded in 45 states and the District of
Columbia in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and
rare cancers and transplants.
"The ever-expanding number of Blue Distinction Centers
is a testament to the work Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are
doing nationwide to enhance healthcare quality, value and access," said
Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and CEO. "This is a true collaboration
among key healthcare stakeholders, and together we are demonstrating
that achieving improved clinical outcomes is a reality, not just
Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care were awarded
the designation because they met rigorous selection criteria that aim
to significantly raise healthcare quality in America. A recent study,
conducted by HealthCore Inc., a subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., confirmed
that readmission rates for certain procedures performed at Blue
Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care were lower than those performed at
other hospitals for Blue Cross and Blue Shield patients. Specifically,
the study found that patients of the centers experienced:
- 26 percent lower readmission rates for bypass surgery
and 37 percent lower readmission rates for outpatient angioplasty based
on 30-day cardiac-related readmission rates
- 21 percent lower readmission rates for bypass surgery
and 32 percent lower readmission rates for outpatient angioplasty based
on 90-day cardiac-related readmission rates
- lower costs, 5 percent less for bypass procedures or 12 percent less for outpatient angioplasty. with a 90-day episode of care
The HealthCore data is based on a claims analysis of 24
Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to measure outcome and cost for
patients treated at Blue Distinction-designated facilities compared to
other facilities where cardiac care is provided. The analysis includes
41,333 patients treated within a facility setting, 22,322 of which were
treated at Blue Distinction-designated facilities and 19,011 at other
facilities. The analysis is based on cardiac events and procedures
occurring during calendar year 2006, with follow-up in 2007.
Other analyses show that Blue Distinction Centers for
Transplants are also demonstrating highly successful patient outcomes.
The 1-year mortality rate for adult heart transplants is 11 percent in
Blue Distinction Centers, compared to 19 percent at other facilities,
according to an analysis of BCBSA RFI data, and data from the
Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
Address: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, 225 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601; (312) 297-6000, www.bcbs.com.