Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has recognized St. Francis Medical Center with a Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care designation as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.
“We are proud to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana for meeting the rigorous Blue Distinction Center quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program,” said Kristin Wolkart, President & CEO of St. Francis Medical Center.
Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization, and cesarean sections the most common operating room procedures, according to National Centers for Health Statistics and the Agency for Health care Research & Quality (AHRQ). Reducing early elective delivery is an area of focus for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). According to Health Affairs, elective inductions result in more cesarean deliveries and a longer maternal hospitalization. The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on quality measures for vaginal and cesarean delivery.
More than 1,500 babies are delivered at St. Francis Medical Center each year. Through an association with providers at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, St. Francis offers a Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic for high-risk expectant mothers, as well as the only Level III OB Unit in the region. Additionally, St. Francis offers the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Northeast Louisiana to care for newborns needing specialized care. St. Francis is a GIFT (Guided Infant Feeding Techniques) Certified Facility by the Louisiana Maternal and Child Health Coalition and the Louisiana Perinatal Commission, offers two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants to assist families with breastfeeding, and was recognized in 2014 as a Louisiana Safe Sleep Champion Hospital by the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals – Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health. St. Francis offers a host of prenatal classes, most of which are free to attend.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the nation have recognized more than 1,000 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized with this designation are assessed using a combination of quality information supplied by hospitals and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.
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, maternity care, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other hospitals, 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 facilities, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.
About St. Francis Medical Center
From a modest beginning in July 1913 as a three-story red brick building with 75 patient beds, St. Francis Medical Center has grown to become Northeast Louisiana’s largest healthcare provider and one of the largest employers in Ouachita Parish. Today, St. Francis Medical Center is licensed for 345 beds, employs over 1,600 team members and partners with over 300 medical staff members. Our mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to those most in need reaches out to 17 parishes in Louisiana and three counties in Arkansas, an area with a population exceeding 515,000 people. St. Francis Medical Center is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, we have eight regional offices to serve our customers around the state. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.BCBSLA.com or talk to us on social media.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and 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 Index. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit www.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 for patient safety and outcomes, 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 health care. 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 non-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. <br