HMNH Center for Women and Newborns earns Blue Distinction designation

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News release 

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital announced it has been recognized by Blue Shield of California with a Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care designation as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program

To earn this designation, each facility must deliver quality care, safely and effectively, according to a news release from the hospital. 

The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program plays a key role in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s National Health Equity Strategy aimed at reducing racial health disparities across the care spectrum and improving patient outcomes for all Americans, the release said.  

To align with this strategy, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program enhanced its quality and measurement standards to recognize higher-quality facilities that have taken action to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies, reduce racial disparities, and improve maternal health outcomes, the release said. 

Based on data from the current designation cycle, facilities designated under the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program demonstrate higher-quality care compared to non-Blue Distinction Center facilities, with overall average rates of 26% lower episiotomies, 60% fewer elective deliveries and 17% lower cesarean births — all of which point to healthier outcomes for patients, according to the release. 

“We are pleased to be recognized by Blue Shield of California with a Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care designation,” Lori Matzner, director of the Center for Women and Newborns at Henry Mayo, said in the release. “It’s a testament to the high-quality maternity care we provide at Henry Mayo.” 

The Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care program’s selection criteria was devised to close clinical care gaps and reduce inequities that persist throughout the maternal care spectrum. The selection criteria include components of BCBSA’s Maternal Health Equity Actions, which dismantle the cultural, operational and structural barriers that created inequities in maternal care, the release said. 

To be designated under this program, each applicant facility was evaluated on a combination of objective data on patient outcomes as well as the practices implemented to reduce racial disparities and improve maternal health outcomes, such as: 

  • Using evidence-based best practices to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies. 
  • Offering unconscious bias training. 
  • Participating in the regional Perinatal Quality Collaborative. 
  • Collecting race, ethnicity and language data. 
  • Having a program dedicated to quality improvements in maternal care. 
  • Running drills and simulations to prepare providers are prepared to deal with a range of obstetric emergencies. 
  • Demonstrating health outcomes that exceed the selection criteria from our program’s previous evaluation cycle. 

“With our current maternal health crisis in the United States — and California — it’s critical that providers provide equitable, quality care to birthing people and their babies, ” Dr. Ravi Kavasery, interim chief medical officer and vice president of Provider Performance, Quality and Affordability at Blue Shield of California, said in the release. “That is why we are grateful to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital for displaying quality, equitable care that is worthy of our family and friends.” 

To be designated under this program, each applicant facility was evaluated on a combination of objective data on patient outcomes as well as the practices implemented to reduce racial disparities and improve maternal health outcomes, such as: 

  • Using evidence-based best practices to respond effectively to obstetric emergencies. 
  • Offering unconscious bias training. 
  • Participating in the regional Perinatal Quality Collaborative. 
  • Collecting race, ethnicity and language data. 
  • Having a program dedicated to quality improvements in maternal care. 
  • Running drills and simulations to prepare providers are prepared to deal with a range of obstetric emergencies. 
  • Demonstrating health outcomes that exceed the selection criteria from our program’s previous evaluation cycle. 

“With our current maternal health crisis in the United States — and California — it’s critical that providers provide equitable, quality care to birthing people and their babies, ” Dr. Ravi Kavasery, interim chief medical officer and vice president of Provider Performance, Quality and Affordability at Blue Shield of California, said in the release. “That is why we are grateful to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital for displaying quality, equitable care that is worthy of our family and friends.” 

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