Jefferson Health - New Jersey’s Maternity Center Recognized for Higher Quality in Maternity Care
Jefferson Health - New Jersey’s Maternity Center Recognized for
Higher Quality in Maternity Care
Washington Township, NJ, January 20, 2021 - Jefferson Health – New Jersey’s Washington Township-based Maternity Center, a participating facility in Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s network, has been recognized with a Blue Distinction® Centers (BDC) for Maternity Care designation, as part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s 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 20001. 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 women2.
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.
Jefferson Health – New Jersey’s Maternity Center, based at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital, earned this designation by meeting the rigorous BDC quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
Dr. Kenneth Covone, Chief of OB/GYN services at Jefferson Health – New Jersey, said the designation “speaks volumes about the great care our team delivers day-in and day-out. Patient safety and patient satisfaction have always been two of our top priorities, and this designation shows we provide top-notch care to all expectant mothers who come to us for maternity services.”
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.
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.
About Jefferson Health: Jefferson Health, home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College, is reimagining health care in the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey. Jefferson’s dedicated team of doctors, nurses, health professionals, and staff provides a range of primary to highly-specialized care through 14 hospitals (seven are Magnet®-designated by the ANCC for nursing excellence), more than 40 outpatient and urgent care locations, the NCI-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Magee Rehabilitation and the JeffConnect® telemedicine program. For 2020-2021, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals is ranked among the nation’s best hospitals in nine specialities by U.S. News & World Report. Jefferson Health’s mission is to improve the lives of patients in the communities it is privileged to serve through safe, effective, equitable, compassionate care.
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.\
About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving nearly 3.6 million members.
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 noncovered 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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