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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Names UI Health Blue Distinction Center + for Maternity Care

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Designated Blue Distinction Center + Maternity

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System is one of the first hospitals in the country to receive a new national designation that helps prospective parents find health centers that deliver quality, affordable maternity care.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois recently awarded UI Health the
Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation (BDC+), which recognizes hospitals for delivering quality, affordable specialty care safely and effectively, in addition to meeting cost-efficiency requirements.

“We are honored to receive the Blue Distinction Center+ designation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois,” says Dr. Mary Stephenson, chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UI Health. “This recognition speaks to UI Health’s mission of providing quality patient care and promoting health equity within our community.”

Nearly 4 million babies are born in the U.S. every year, making childbirth the most common reason for hospitalization. Compared with babies born at 39 weeks or later, early-term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments, such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and respiratory failure. Early-term babies also have a higher rate of admission to neonatal intensive care units. The BDC+ designation evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community.

“Reducing preterm deliveries is our No. 1 priority,” Dr. Stephenson says. “Our local communities are engaged with this initiative. This designation recognizes our commitment to providing exceptional care in the Chicago area.”

In addition, hospitals that receive the BDC+ for Maternity Care designation agree to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding. The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others. 

“We’re continually working to improve our patients’ experiences at UI Health and finding innovative ways to reach out to our nearby communities,” Dr. Stephenson says.

Learn more about maternity services at UI Health.