BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee honors Johnson City Medical Center for outstanding heart care

7/26/2013


Hospital among first to receive new designation for delivering quality and cost-efficient cardiac procedures

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has recognized Johnson City Medical Center as one of the first hospitals in the nation to receive a Blue Distinction Center+SM designation in the area of cardiac care, as part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program.  Blue Distinction Centers® are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community.  This year, the national program has added a new designation level, Blue Distinction Centers+, to recognize hospitals that deliver both quality and cost-efficient specialty care.

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 CareSM 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 (related to lower rates of complications and death following cardiac surgery; and non-surgical procedures, such as cardiac stent placement) and, additionally, must show better cost efficiency relative to their peers.  Quality is key: only those facilities that first meet Blue Distinction’s nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.  Johnson City Medical Center is proud to be recognized by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for meeting the rigorous cardiac care selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

 
“We are always glad to be recognized for high-quality, low-cost care, but the real winners are our patients, who expect and deserve nothing less than the best when it comes to their heart care,” said David Nicely, CEO of Washington County, Tenn., facilities for Mountain States Health Alliance, JCMC’s parent company. “We are honored that more patients choose JCMC for their heart care than any other hospital in our region, and we take very seriously our commitment to providing the highest quality care and the best patient experience at the lowest possible cost.”

According to Dr. Andrew Poret, a cardiothoracic surgeon at JCMC, the hospital’s quality outcomes in cardiac care are due in part to outstanding teamwork among the entire hospital staff.

“From the emergency department to the cath lab to the operating room, everyone here works together to ensure that we can achieve the best patient outcomes. We carefully evaluate each step in the process to make sure that transitions are seamless and that patient safety is always the highest priority.”

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 U.S. health care 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 burden, by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs.

“It is important to BlueCross for our members to have a choice of health care providers who operate efficiently while maintaining a high quality of care,” said Dr. Daniel Barnett, interim chief medical officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “Selecting a Blue Distinction facility provides patients the peace of mind to know they’re receiving excellent quality.”

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications following certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of healthcare associated infections, compared with their peers. Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient for those same procedures.

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 www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About Mountain States Health Alliance

Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children’s hospital, a behavioral health hospital, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, a comprehensive medical management corporation, and the region’s only provider-owned health insurance company. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care. For more information, visit www.msha.com.

About BlueCross®

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA). BCBSA is an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visit the company's website at bcbst.com.

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.


 


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