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Freeman recognized for quality in cardiac care - KOAM TV 7

Freeman recognized for quality in cardiac care

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED AUGUST 29, 2013 BY FREEMAN HEALTH SYSTEM

Freeman recognized for quality in cardiac care
Hospital receives Blue Distinction Center® designation for delivering quality cardiac procedures

JOPLIN, Mo.—As part of the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri has recognized Freeman Health System with a Blue Distinction Center® designation for delivering quality cardiac care. Blue Distinction Centers are hospitals shown to deliver quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes developed with input from the medical community.

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 Care designation, a hospital must demonstrate success in meeting both general quality and safety criteria—such as preventing hospital$B!>(Bacquired infections—and cardiac-specific quality measures for cardiac surgical and non$B!>(Bsurgical procedures—such as cardiac stent placement. Freeman is proud to be recognized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri for meeting the rigorous Cardiac Care criteria set by the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care program.

$B!H(BThis designation is a testament to the outstanding care delivered every day by our team of physicians, nurses, and other caregivers at Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute,$B!I(B said Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. $B!H(BWe are honored to be recognized for our dedication to improving the health of the communities we serve through contemporary, innovative quality healthcare solutions.$B!I(B

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 US healthcare 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 expense, by empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to find both quality and value for their cardiac care needs.

"The Blue Distinction program is designed to engage consumers to help them make more informed healthcare decisions while we collaborate with physicians and hospitals to improve quality outcomes and affordability," said Ruth Meyer Hollenback, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri Vice President of Provider Engagement and Contracting. "We believe Freeman Health System strives to offer the best practices and standards in cardiac care."

Research shows that Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients, with lower rates of complications for certain cardiac procedures and lower rates of healthcare-associated infections, as compared with their peers.

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 bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

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