Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has recognized MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center, MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center, MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center, and Genesis Medical Center with Blue Distinction® Center and Blue Distinction® Center+ designations in the area of maternity care, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. The designation places these MercyOne locations among the nationally designated facilities shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective measures developed from the medical community for patient safety and better health outcomes.
The Maternity Care program was designed to respond to the clinical challenges in maternity care. Overall, cost of care episodes for vaginal and cesarean births at BDC+ facilities are 20 % less than those at non-Blue Distinction Centers+ facilities. Overall, episiotomy rates were 49 % less at Blue Distinction Centers (BDC/BDC+) than at those at non-Blue Distinction Centers. In 2018, BDC/BDC+ facilities across the country cared for more than 40 % of Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured women giving birth.
To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care designation, a health care facility must have a maternal quality improvement program and conduct drills and simulations for adverse events. In addition, it must meet clinical outcome metrics at an even higher standard than the program’s last designation cycle. In addition to meeting these quality thresholds, facilities designated as Blue Distinction Centers+ are, on average, 20 % more cost-efficient per episode of care compared to their peers.