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

Submitted by KCH on Fri, 01/08/2021 - 10:46am
AS Birthing Care Team

The Ann Schnormeier Center for Birthing Care Recognized for Higher Quality and Cost-Efficiency in Maternity Care 

[January 2021, Mount Vernon, OH] – Knox Community Hospital’s Ann Schnormeier Center for Birthing Care is proud to be recognized by Anthem with a Blue Distinction® Centers+ (BDC+) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. 

Pictured on this page: (L-R) Hannah Holt BSN, RN, Nursery Coordinator, Darcell Jones RN, C-EFM, IBCLC, Brittany Tutorow BSN, RN, Educator, Megan Smith BSN, RN, Director.

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 States has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR), at approximately 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, with the MMR steadily increasing since 2000. 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. 

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. Those factors include preventable or treatable pregnancy-related conditions, high utilization of Caesarean sections, and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal healthcare. 

Overall, the cost of care episodes for vaginal and cesarean births at BDC+ facilities are 20% less than those at non-Blue Distinction Centers+ facilities. The rates of Episiotomies were 49% less those at Blue Distinction Centers (BDC and BDC+) than at those at non-Blue Distinction Centers (BDC and BDC+). In 2018, BDC/BDC+ facilities across the country cared for more than 40% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured women giving birth.

The Ann Schnormeier Center for Birthing Care is proud to be recognized by Anthem for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Centers+ quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“Achieving this distinction is another way to signify how we are elevating care at KCH. This past year has been an extraordinary year of hard work, dedication, and growth. We look forward to growing, achieving, and providing the best patient-centered care for our community. We want to give our community the best, and we are setting our goals and striving to be the best for our local families.” – Megan Smith, Director of the Ann Schnormeier Center for Birthing Care

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, 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) are 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. 

Quality is key: only those health care facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally-established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+. 

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. 

For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated providers, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction

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® have registered trademarks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Knox Community Hospital is a 99-bed, Joint Commission-accredited, community hospital located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, approximately 40 miles northeast of Columbus. Members of the Knox Community Hospital medical staff represent numerous specialties offering a wide range of clinically excellent services surprising for a community hospital. Our dedicated staff, along with a strong team of volunteers, is committed to providing personalized, high-quality care. Knox Community Hospital’s independent, not-for-profit status ensures that all remaining revenue after expenses is committed solely to improving patient services, technology, and facilities for the health of the people of Knox County and surrounding areas.

About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is a leading health benefits company dedicated to improving lives and communities and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 107 million people, including approximately 43 million within its family of health plans. We aim to be the most innovative, valuable, and inclusive partner. For more information, please visit www.antheminc.com or follow @AnthemInc on Twitter.

About the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based, and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health IndexSM. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter, and check out our blog.

About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for providers located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable healthcare. Each provider’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Providers in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on www.bcbs.com. Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for no covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

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